UTSA hands heartbreaker to Herd, 9-7


By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com



Marshall redshirt freshman Cody Mitchell, right, returns a kickoff during the second half of a Sept. 30 non-conference football contest against Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Herd kept them out of the end zone … and it still wasn’t enough for a win.

Jared Sackett completed his hat trick with a 40-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation, allowing host Texas-San Antonio to rally for a 9-7 victory over the Marshall football team Saturday night in a Conference USA matchup at the Alamodome.

The Roadrunners (6-4, 3-4 CUSA) held the Thundering Herd (7-4, 4-3) scoreless for three quarters and used a pair of Sackett 24-yard field goals in each quarter to establish a 6-0 cushion at the break.

MU — who entered the game without wide receivers Tyree Brady and Marcel Williams — struggled to move the ball offensively, but the guests finally found a rhythm late in the fourth.

With possession at their own 26 with 4:14 remaining, the Herd strung together an 8-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in their only lead of the night after Chase Litton found Hyleck Foster on a 20-yard scoring pass.

Kaare Vedvik converted the ensuing extra-point kick, giving Marshall a 7-6 edge with 1:31 remaining in the game.

Starting at its own 25, UTSA ended up converting four different passes for double-digit yardage — which set up a first-and-10 at the MU 23 with 12 seconds remaining.

The Herd defense didn’t surrender a single yard on the next two offensive snaps, which set up third down just six seconds later.

After a Marshall timeout, Sackett calmly booted the 40-yard field goal through the uprights — allowing Texas-San Antonio to rally back for the narrow two-point triumph.

UTSA — in the process — became bowl eligible while also picking up the program’s first-ever win over the Green and White. The series is now tied at one apiece all-time.

The Roadrunners put together a pair of impressive drives in establishing their first half advantage.

The hosts covered 75 yards in 16 plays before Sackett’s first 24-yard field goal, which gave UTSA a 3-0 lead with three minutes left in the opening period.

Then on Marshall’s second drive of the second quarter, the guests fumbled the ball away at the UTSA 29. The hosts followed with a 14-play, 64-yard drive that led to Sackett’s second 24-yard field goal for a 6-0 lead with seven seconds left.

Marshall defensive lineman Ryan Bee was disqualified from the game following Sackett’s second field goal, which also resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.

The loss was the second straight on the road for Marshall, which finishes the year 3-3 overall away from Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The Herd has also dropped three of its last four decisions overall.

Texas-San Antonio outgained MU by a sizable 355-229 overall advantage in total yards, including an 88-40 edge on the ground. The hosts claimed a 23-12 lead in first downs and also finished the game plus-1 in turnover differential.

Keion Davis led Marshall with 41 rushing yards on 12 carries, followed by Tyler King with four yards on seven tries.

Litton completed 16-of-23 passes for 189 yards, including one touchdown and one interception. Litton also ran three times for minus-3 yards.

Obi Obialo led the MU wideouts with six catches for 80 yards, followed by Nick Matthews with three grabs for 31 yards. Foster and Ryan Yurachek also hauled in two passes apiece for 26 and seven yards, respectively.

Vedvik was 1-of-1 on PAT kicks and also had four punts for an average of 41.2 yards. Cody Mitchell also had two kickoff returns for 18 yards.

Malik Gant led the Marshall defense with 16 tackles, followed by C.J. Reavis with 15 tackles. Chris Jackson and Davon Durant teamed up on the Herd’s lone sack. Jaquan Yulee also recovered a fumble late in the third quarter.

Tyrell Clay led UTSA with 35 rushing yards on 15 carries, followed by Jalen Rhodes with 27 yards on seven totes.

Dalton Sturm ran 11 times for 25 yards and also completed 25-of-38 passes for 264 yards. Kerry Thomas Jr. led the Roadrunners with 106 yards on 10 catches.

La’Kel Bass led the UTSA defense with seven tackles, while Carl Austin III added five tackles. Austin Jupe intercepted Litton early in the third quarter and Jim Phillstin recovered the fumble just before halftime.

Marshall enters the final week of the regular season in a three-way tie with Florida International and Western Kentucky for second place in the CUSA East Division.

Florida Atlantic (8-3, 7-0) has already clinched the CUSA East Division championship.

The Thundering Herd will host Southern Miss (7-4, 5-2) next Saturday in the regular season finale at Edwards Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Marshall redshirt freshman Cody Mitchell, right, returns a kickoff during the second half of a Sept. 30 non-conference football contest against Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.
http://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2017/11/web1_11.22-MU-Mitchell.jpgMarshall redshirt freshman Cody Mitchell, right, returns a kickoff during the second half of a Sept. 30 non-conference football contest against Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bryan Walters|OVP Sports

By Bryan Walters

bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.