Oct. 22, 2011
Despite racking up over 500 yards of offense, the Marshall football team was outmatched by No. 20 Houston and quarterback Case Keenum in a 63-28 loss Saturday at Robertson Stadium in Houston, Texas.
With the loss, Marshall dropped to 3-4 overall, 2-2 in Conference USA while Houston improved to 7-0 overall, 3-0 in conference play.
The Herd threw for 309 yards and rushed for 197 yards for a total of 506, the most since putting up 562 yards against New Hampshire on Sept. 15, 2007.
In the second start of his career, sophomore quarterback A.J. Graham had his best game yet as he was 27-for-35 for 257 yards and passed for two touchdowns. He made the most of his chances on the ground as well, rushing for a team-high 74 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
Sophomore running back Tron Martinez ran for 45 yards on 16 carries. The Herd receivers were led by senior Troy Evans who had six receptions for 86 yards. Junior Antavious Wilson also caught six passes for 79 yards. Senior Wayne Bonner caught his first touchdown pass of the season for one of two completions for 52 yards.
Junior Aaron Dobson entered the game as the team-leader in touchdown receptions and added two to his total on Saturday. His scores of one and 17-yards gave him six for the season.
Marshall's offense was slowed by two interceptions and against the Cougar's high-flying offense, it was two too many.
Keenum, a Heisman trophy candidate, led the Cougars to 621 yards of total offense with 376 yards passing and six touchdowns. The senior was extremely accurate, completing 24-of-28 passes. He also broke the NCAA record for total offense in a career surpassing Timmy Chang of Hawai'I (17,173).
Trailing 7-0, Marshall got on the board late in the first quarter with a one-yard pass from Graham to Dobson to tie the game 7-7. After another score by Keenum, it was another pass from Graham to Dobson to tie the game 14-14 early in the second quarter.
Houston then scored 21 answered points to hold a 35-21 lead at halftime.
In the first possession of the second half, Graham brought Marshall to within 14 points with a 6-yard touchdown run. However, the Cougars scored the next 28 points of the game to take a commanding 63-21 lead with just under seven minutes to play in the game.
Senior linebacker George Carpenter led the Herd defense with 12 tackles, five solo. The reigning national defensive player of the week Vinny Curry was held to just three tackles. The Herd recorded no sacks, while the Cougars had two.
Marshall will next face UAB on Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon in Huntington. The game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium will be televised on Comcast Sports South.