Herd Drops 23-22 Heartbreaker to UCF on Last-Second Field Goal

Oct. 4, 2006

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HUNTINGTON - Michael Torres' 22-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in the fourth quarter propelled the UCF Golden Knights to a 23-22 win over the Marshall Thundering Herd Wednesday night at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Torres connected on three 22-yard field goals, while Marshall's Anthony Binswanger (Pleasant Hill, Calif./Diablo Valley CC) connected on three field goals as well from distances of 26, 40 and 50 yards. Binswanger's 50-yard field goal gave the Herd a brief 22-20 lead with 3:00 left in the game.

It was the second consecutive season that the Herd (1-4, 0-1 C-USA) fell victim to the Golden Knights (2-3, 1-1 C-USA) offensive attack. UCF rushed for a season-high 275 yards, compiling a season-high 488 yards of total offense.

One of the major keys to UCF's victory was its ability to convert on third downs. The Golden Knights finished 7-of-14 on third down conversions, while the Herd converted on 7-of-12 opportunities.

"Fundamentally, I was not real pleased with our defense (tonight)," Marshall head coach Mark Snyder said. "You have to give them credit. They (UCF) made one more play than we did."

Kevin Smith led UCF with 166 yards rushing, while Jason Peters added 108 yards on the ground. Ahmad Bradshaw (Bluefield, Va./Graham) rushed for a season-high 181 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. Bradshaw fell six yards short of tying his single-game career high of 187 yards set last season against East Carolina.



Bernard Morris (Orlando, Fla./Jones) finished 14-of-22 for 136 yards with one touchdown and an interception. UCF's Steven Moffett threw 13-of-19 for 165 yards with a score.

Javid James led all receivers with 86 yards on five receptions. Mike Walker added five catches for 81 yards. Hiram Moore (Huntington, W.Va./Huntington) led the Herd with seven catches for 62 yards. Freshman Cody Slate (Chipley, Fla./Hargrave) chipped in four catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Curtis Keyes (Mt. Olive, Miss./Mize) led all tacklers with a career-high 15 tackles. C.J. Spillman (Louisville, Ky./Central) added 10 tackles, while Matt Couch (Okeana, Ohio/Ross Senior) finished with eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

It took nearly the entire length of the first quarter, but the Herd struck first late in the opening period to take a 6-0 lead. After halting the Golden Knights on the 1-yard line, Marshall engineered a 10-play, 99-yard drive to take the early advantage.

Bradshaw keyed the drive with a season-long 59-yard run, setting up Morris' 7-yard touchdown pass to Cody Slate. However, on the extra point attempt, Ian O'Connor (Knoxville, Tenn./Halls) bobbled the snap and attempted a pass that fell incomplete.

UCF responded to take a one-point lead, 7-6, early in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Kyle Israel scampered in the end zone from two yards out to give the Golden Knights their first lead of the game.

Marshall regained the lead later in the second quarter on Binswanger's 40-yard field goal. But the Golden Knights tacked on a pair of 22-yard field goals by Michael Torres to take a 13-9 lead into halftime.

UCF extended its lead to 20-9 with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter. Moffett connected with Walker on a 28-yard touchdown completion for UCF's second touchdown of the game.

One minute later, Bradshaw cut the Golden Knights' lead to four points, 20-16, on a 32-yard touchdown run.

Thanks to a 17-play, 71-yard drive that chewed up 8:22 on the clock, the Herd was able to pull to within one point, 20-19. Binswanger's 26-yard field goal at the 10:01 mark of the fourth quarter was his first field goal attempt of the season less than 40 yards.

Binswanger later gave the Herd its first lead since the first quarter. The Herd drove 51 yards in 4:41 to setup Binswanger's season-long 50-yard field goal with 3:00 left that gave Marshall a 22-20 lead.

However, UCF took advantage of the extra time on the clock, driving 76 yards in 2:45 to allow Torres to connect on his third 22-yard field goal of the night.

The Marshall Thundering Herd returns to action Saturday, Oct. 14, when it travels to Dallas to face the SMU Mustangs. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (EDT).