BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Marshall football team made a big step to get on top of the Conference USA East Division standings after a 28-13 road win against the Florida Atlantic Owls Saturday evening.
The win also gives Marshall bowl eligibility in the first year of the Huff era.
The Thundering Herd (6-3, 4-1 CUSA East) came out hot right out of the gate, with wide receiver Jayden Harrison returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
However, the Owls (5-4, 3-2) responded on their first drive, with quarterback N’Kosi Perry finding wide receiver Brandon Robinson on a 27-yard pass into the end zone.
It appeared the Herd was poised for another touchdown on their second possession, but Herd quarterback Grant Wells was intercepted in the Owl redzone.
FAU used this turnover to march down the field, but Marshall was able to keep them to a field goal.
The Owls added onto their lead a couple minutes into the second quarter, but the Green and White responded on their next drive when running back Rasheen Ali punched the ball in from three yards.
With 37 seconds to go before halftime, Ali got another touchdown, a 21-yard run, to give the road team the lead once again.
The last scoring play of the game came with just under two minutes to go in the third quarter, when Wells hit wide receiver Willie Johnson with a 65-yard bomb.
The Thundering Herd had 447 yards of total offense, beating out the Owls by only six yards.
Marshall had the majority of their yards through the air, with Wells recording a statline of 26 completions on 38 attempts and one interception for 351 yards, compared to Perry’s line of 15-29-0 and 198 for the Owls.
On the other end, the FAU rush attack was more potent than Marshall’s with Ali once again leading the way with 90 yards on 18 carries.
For the Owls, the rush leader was Johnny Ford, who had 138 yards on 13 carries.
In receiving, the Herd was led by Johnson who had 140 yards on five receptions, and FAU was led by Willie Wright who had 69 yards on two catches.
The Thundering Herd will be back on the field at 3:30 p.m. Saturday when they host the defending Conference USA champions in Alabama-Birmingham.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.