Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Marshall tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) catches a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

 

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall left heartbroken after a missed extra point in the final 75 seconds decided Saturday’s 28-27 home loss to Southern Miss.

A recap of the scoring:

Second Quarter

USM: 3-yard touchdown run by running Ito Smith (14:09)
The Golden Eagles finally got some production on their third drive of the game. On a third down, quarterback Kwadra Griggs delivered a perfect back-shoulder throw to receiver Korey Robertson for 19 yards. Coming out of the first quarter break and facing a third-and-6, Griggs once again connected with Robertson for 16 yards despite double coverage by cornerback Rodney Allen and safety Brandon Drayton. Inside the red zone, USM handed the ball to Ito Smith two times, with his second run breaking the plane.
USM leads 7-0

Marshall: Chase Litton 26-yard touchdown pass to Willie Johnson (5:15)
The Herd responded two drives later with a 90-yard drive that was helped by some big gains on the ground. Receiver Obi Obialo drew a defensive holding for an automatic first down to avoid a three-and-out. Running back Tyler King moved the ball near midfield with a 14-yard carry, and then an 11-yard catch by tight end Ryan Yuracheck moved the ball into USM territory. From the 26-yard line Litton found receiver Willie Johnson who cut inside deep across the middle and beat double coverage for the score.
Game tied 7-7

USM: Kwadra Griggs 16-yard touchdown pass to Korey Robertson (3:42)
The next drive started with a big play for USM as Ito Smith busted out of the line of scrimmage for a 27-yard gain. A 7-yard keeper by Griggs, plus a 15-yard face mask penalty on Davon Durant, moved the Golden Eagles into scoring position. Two plays later receiver Korey Robertson beat Rodney Allen in coverage and came down with the scoring pass.
USM leads 14-7

Marshall: Litton 3-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Yuracheck (2:13)
On the ensuing kickoff, King followed his blockers to the 37-yard line where he was hit out of bounds and drew a flag. After the play a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct on USM was also called, setting Marshall up at Southern Miss’s 48. Litton found Willie Johnson deep again in single coverage, connecting for 44 yards. Litton found Yuracheck open in the flat, tying the game once again.
Game tied 14-14

Third Quarter

Marshall: Litton 11-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Yuracheck (11:31)
After Litton forceed an interception deep into triple coverage, the Herd got a mulligan when USM’s Smith fumbled on his own 24-yard line. Marshall ran a play-action pass that left Yuracheck wide open in the middle of the field thanks to the safety biting on the fake.
Marshall leads 21-14

USM: Kwadra Griggs 3-yard touchdown pass to Allenzae Staggers (1:54)
From their own 7, USM came out with a balanced run-pass attack. After moving the ball out to the 32-yard line with a variety of runs and short passes, Griggs snuck the ball up the middle on third-and-1. Smith broke off a 35-yard run and Marshall gave up penalty yards with an illegal substitution as they struggled to keep up with the hurry-up offense. After keeping USM from getting into the endzone on two plays from Marshall’s 1-yard line, Griggs found Staggers on a quick slant.
Marshall tied 21-21

Fourth Quarter

USM: Griggs 9-yard touchdown pass to Staggers (9:44)
Marshall’s King had an 18-yard run to midfield but fumbled on the next play as USM linebacker Xavier Thigpen forced the turnover. USM gambled when Griggs connected with Korey Robertson for 48 yards on a flea flicker that drew in Marshall’s secondary. It looked like Marshall would be able to hold the offense to just a field goal as they forced a third-and-10, but Griggs once again found Staggers on the inside slant as he beat safety C.J. Reavis.
USM leads 28-21

Marshall: Litton 9-yard touchdown pass to Yuracheck (1:15) XP missed on low snap.
On their final drive of the regular season, Marshall drove 60 yards. They faced a third down but Johnson drew a pass interference. When Litton looked for Yuracheck across the middle, the ball went off the tight end’s hands—and straight into the hands of receiver Hyleck Foster who took the deflection 26 yards into the red zone. From the 9, Litton found Yuracheck for his third touchdown of the night in the final home game of his career. What seemed like a crucial score was quickly rendered useless as a low snap on the extra point was not corralled by Marshall’s holder. Kicker Kaare Vedvik never even got a chance to kick the ball as USM defenders swarmed to the ball.
USM leads 28-27

— By Troy Alexander

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