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Herd QB inflicts pain on Temple

The Associated Press

Limited to one day of practice with a sore thigh, Pennington threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night as No.

Monday, September 27, 1999

Limited to one day of practice with a sore thigh, Pennington threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns Saturday night as No. 17 Marshall beat Temple 34-0. Marshall moved up four spots in this week’s AP poll.

The injury, which occurred a week ago against Bowling Green, bothered Pennington throughout.

”I didn’t take any shots on it. I made sure I slid when I was scrambling,” Pennington said.

”Every time he stepped on it, he was in pain,” Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. ”He played in a lot of pain tonight. That’s the reason he’s a great player.”

The Thundering Herd toyed with Temple, rolling up 593 yards in offense in going to 4-0 for the third time in four years. Marshall also won its 27th straight at home, second in the nation to Florida’s 30.

Wide receiver Nate Poole enjoyed the feast with career highs of 10 catches for 179 yards, including a juggling 26-yard catch for a score in the third quarter.

”After a while, I didn’t even have to think about my routes,” Poole said. ”It was like when your mother cooks dinner. She just puts it on the table and you eat. I’ve never felt like this.”

Poole had six catches in the first quarter as Pennington completed 11 of his first 12 passes. He also ran for a first down on fourth-and-inches from the Marshall 30 in the second quarter.

”If we can’t make it that far, we don’t need to be ranked,” Pruett said.

The sneak kept alive a drive which resulted in Pennington’s 47-yard TD toss to running back Llow Turner for a 21-0 halftime lead.

Pennington finished 26-of-36 with one interception before leaving late in the third quarter with Marshall ahead 31-0. The 400-yard game was the fourth of his career.

Temple (0-4) was held scoreless for the third time in four games.

Its defense was given some reason to cheer. Marshall failed twice on fourth-down tries in Owls territory and twice was forced to kick short field goals inside the Temple 10.

Marshall’s defense, allowing just 10 points per game, held the Owls to 14 first downs, forced nine punts and held the Owls to 195 yards.

”Any time you post a shutout and score 34 points, I think you’ve got to be happy,” Pruett said.

Temple had the ball in Marshall territory five times but had two passes intercepted and turned the ball over on downs three times. The nation’s fourth-worst rushing offense was held to 28 yards on 28 attempts.

”When it rains, it pours,” Temple coach Bobby Wallace said. ”We tried to run at them. Two or three times we had short yardage and we didn’t convert. And that hurt us.”

Temple quarterback Mac DeVito, making his first college start, left in the first quarter when he was hit attempting his first pass. Backup Devin Scott, who started Temple’s other three games, went 21-of-39 for 157 yards.

”We practiced our game plan with DeVito all week. When DeVito went out, we had to go back to another,” Scott said.

This was just the second meeting between the schools. Temple won 31-10 in 1974.