Marshall Drops 24-21 Decision at Memphis|
Oct. 2, 2007
MEMPHIS - Marshall once again had victory slip out of its hands as an emotionally charged Memphis team was able to pull out a 24-21 victory over the Thundering Herd.
As a team the Herd tallied 405 yards including a season high 185 on the ground. The Tigers gained 445 yards with 220 of those coming from quarterback Will Hudgens, who set a new career high.
Marshall was led offensively by freshman running back Darius Marshall who had 15 carries for 90 yards and one reception for seven yards. Quarterback Bernard Morris completed 22 of 32 passes and for 220 yards and ran for 62 more.
Memphis came out roaring on its first drive, covering 58 yards in its first three plays. The Tigers' drive eventually stalled out at the Marshall eight and the Tigers were forced to settle for a Matt Reagan field goal.
The Herd went three and out on its opening possession and was forced to punt. A series of Tiger miscues as killed Memphis' second drive. After moving inside the Marshall 10-yardline, Memphis was called for a false start and fumbled a snap forcing a second field goal by Reagan.
Marshall began to move on its next possession before a Morris pass intended for Darius Passmore was intercepted by Memphis' LeRico Mathis. Following the turnover the team's exchanged a pair of punts.
Marshall finally landed its first blow of the game second quarter. Starting on its own 34, the Herd went 66 yards in six plays, ending with Morris connecting on a 20-yard scoring strike to Slate.
The Tigers responded by driving into Marshall territory, but cornerback Zearrick Matthews broke up a possible touchdown pass on fourth down to end the threat.
After Marshall's next drive stalled, Memphis took over on its 20-yardline with just 2:49 left in the first half. The Tigers were able to move to the Marshall 13 where Regan booted through his third score of the game with just four seconds remaining.
On the opening drive of the second half, Marshall smashed its way down the field, moving the ball 69 yards on seven straight running plays. Darius Marshall scampered around the left end from 11 yards out for the first touchdown of his career and the Herd went ahead, 14-9
Memphis answered with its own scoring drive. The Tigers converted a crucial fourth and one at midfield en route to a 19-yard touchdown pass from Hudgens to Carlos Singleton. Hudgens found Singleton for the two-point conversion and Memphis took a three point advantage with 6:52 to play in the third quarter.
Darius Marshall looked to be leading the Herd once again it moved the ball deep into Memphis territory, but the freshman coughed the ball up and the Tigers recovered at their own 23.
Hudgens again led the Tigers down the field behind an effective short passing game, connecting with fullback Greg Hinds on a four yard touchdown catch.
The Marshall defense was able to stop Memphis on a close third down play and the Herd took over at its own 31 to start its next drive. As he has all season Morris carried the offense back down the field connecting on six of nine passes, including a four-yard touchdown to Passmore.
With the lead now at three the Memphis offense slowly worked their way down the field, but with the ball at the Marshall 44 the Herd defense was finally able to make a stop. Brent Sutherland's punt bounced into the end zone and Marshall took over at the 20-yardline with 2:34 left in the game.
After driving to the Memphis 48 Morris had a snap sail over his head all the way back to the Marshall 38-yardline. Facing third down and 23 Morris scrambled out of the pocket for a 20 yard gain. On fourth down Morris and Courtney Edmonson were unable to connect and Memphis was able to run the clock out.