HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall got back in the win column on blackout night, beating Western Kentucky 30-23. A recap of Saturday’s scoring below:
WKU: Mike White 6-yard touchdown pass to Quin Jernighan (9:54)
Facing a third-and-15, it looked as if Western Kentucky’s first drive was destined to end in a three-and-out. A 17-yard catch by tight end Deon Yelder breathed life into the Hilltoppers and they took advantage driving the ball 56-yards in seven plays into a goal-line situation. On third-and-6, quarterback Mike White found Jernighan.
WKU leads 7-0
Marshall: 29-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik (14:56)
After another slow start for the Herd (their third game in a row without a point in the first quarter), Marshal got into a rhythm with an array of short passes and runs. Marshall converted two third-downs on the ground, the second of which saw Tyler King hurdle a defender to barely reach the marker on a third-and-8. After three plays netted nothing in the red zone, Marshall settled for three points.
WKU leads 7-3
Marshall: 3-yard touchdown run by Keion Davis (7:29)
Receiver Nick Matthews, filling in for injured receivers Tyre Brady and Marcel Williams, had a 14-yard catch to start the drive. King and Keion Davis ran for 27 of Marshall’s 65 yards on the drive. On fourth-and-1 from WKU’s 3, Chase Litton handed the ball to Davis out of the shotgun formation and he cut through the left side.
Marshall leads 10-7
Marshall: 42-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik (:04)
Marshall ate up the last six minutes of the half on a drive that saw them convert four third downs of 9 yards or more. Litton connected with receiver Willie Johnson for a 30-yard catch. Nick Matthews made a 16-yard catch with a defender all over him. Another third-and-long was erased by a screen pass to King, who darted up the field 21-yards for a first. Marshall finally failed to convert on a third-and-22, but Vedvik rewarded his offense as the half expired.
Marshall leads 13-7
Marshall: 10-yard touchdown run by Tyler King (11:01)
Marshall came out of the locker room at halftime firing on all cylinders, starting with a 34-yard return on the kickoff by Davis. A 14-yard sweep by receiver Obi Obialo, who was also playing next man up for the Herd’s injured receivers, pushed Marshall into WKU territory, where King finished the drive.
Marshall leads 20-7
WKU: 28-yard field goal by Ryan Nuss (7:41)
After 20 unanswered points by Marshall, WKU finally got some big plays going with two 25-yard catches by tight end Deon Yelder and receiver Nacarius Fant. Once inside the redzone, the Herd’s defense locked down.
Marshall leads 20-10
Marshall: Nazeeh Johnson 45-yard interception return for touchdown (1:37)
After Devon Key picked off Litton on a 41-yard bomb into the endzone, WKU was set up to pull within three points. Just three plays into their drive, Marshall cornerback Nazeeh Johnson jumped a comeback route for a pick-six.
Marshall leads 27-10
Marshall: 44-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik (:35)
On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Juquan Yulee stripped WKU’sreturner and linebacker Chase Hancock dove on the ball at the 24-yard line. Marshall’s offense proceeded to run a very inefficient three plays for negative-3 yards, but were still in field goal range.
Marshall leads 30-10
WKU: White 25-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Echols-Luper (13:48) XP missed
Runs of 15, 17, and 18 from running backs D’andre Ferby and Jakairi Moses moved the ball down field. From the 25-yard line MWhite found Echols-Luper in man-to-man coverage with cornerback Rodney Allen.
Marshall leads 30-16
WKU: White 27-yard touchdown pass to Jernighan (3:02)
On WKU’s last drive, White converted a third-and-7 to Deon Yelder to extend the series. Jernighan got open in the end zone, but it was too little too late as Marshall ran the clock down to zero on the ensuing possession.
Marshall leads 30-23
— By Troy Alexander