Marshall builds early lead en route to 34-10 victory against UTSA
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall raced out to a 24-0 first-half lead and never looked back en route to a 34-10 victory against UTSA in Conference USA action on Saturday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.
The Thundering Herd (3-2, 1-0 C-USA) piled up 404 yards of offense — 252 before halftime — and forced three UTSA turnovers.
Rakeem Cato was 22-of-32 passing for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead Marshall.
The Roadrunners (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) managed just 254 yards of offense against the league's top unit in total (285.0 ypg) and scoring defense (19.2 ppg).
Marshall took advantage of a pair of early UTSA interceptions in building a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Justin Haig drilled a 33-yard field goal after the first pick and Cato found Devon Johnson over the middle for a 17-yard scoring connection on the Herd's next possession, which came following a diving interception by Ra'Shawde Myers.
Late in the first, Essray Taliaferro capped a nine-play, 89-yard scoring march with a 4-yard run up the middle, as Marshall increased its lead to 17.
Steward Butler's 1-yard touchdown run with five minutes remaining in the opening half made it 24-0.
With two minutes to go before intermission, Robert Singletary sacked Cato and a forced a fumble that was recovered by Codie Brooks at the Marshall 11-yard line. The Roadrunners could not find paydirt, but Sean Ianno booted a 24-yard field goal with 31 seconds on the clock to put UTSA on the board.
After a scoreless third quarter, Marshall tacked on three points early in the fourth on a 31-yard boot by Haig.
UTSA answered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was keyed by a pass interference call and a 27-yard connection from Eric Soza to Kenny Bias that brought the Roadrunners all the way to the Marshall 3-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal from the one, Soza crossed the goal line to make it 27-10 with 9:44 left.
The Herd responded with an 11-play, 74-yard march that chewed up 5:58 off the clock. The drive ended on a 4-yard TD pass from Cato to Demetrius Evans with 3:46 to play to provide the final margin.
Steven Kurfehs led the UTSA defense with 10 tackles, including one of five sacks recorded by the Roadrunners. Meanwhile, Singletary had seven stops and matched Brooks with a pair of sacks.
The Roadrunners will host Rice (3-2, 2-0 C-USA) next Saturday, Oct. 12. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Alamodome.