Akron shocks Herd
AKRON -- Byron Leftwich got beat up, knocked out, picked off and shut out.
Leftwich, Marshall's star quarterback, threw for 307 yards Saturday despite leaving for part of the game, but it wasn't enough as Akron beat the Herd 34-20.
The win was the first for Akron against Marshall in five years.
''This is the biggest win I've been a part of since I've been here,'' Akron coach Lee Owens said. ''To beat a team with a Heisman candidate, that no one gives you a chance to win against, is just a great experience for the program.''
The Zips (2-7, 1-4 Mid-American Conference) forced seven turnovers and kept Leftwich from throwing a touchdown pass, the first time he's been held without a scoring pass since Nov. 10 of last year.
On a day when Leftwich -- one of the nation's top QB's -- was expected to be the show, Akron quarterback Charlie Frye stole it. Frye went 11-for-22 for 132 yards, threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Mike Brake and rushed for a 26-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
''He told the team in pregame that he would do anything to get this job done,'' Owens said. ''Nobody's going to be more of a warrior for us than he is going to be.''
Marshall fumbled nine times, losing five, and Leftwich and Stan Hill each threw an interception. Ricky McKenzie returned a fumble 98 yards for Akron's first score and intercepted a late pass by Leftwich.
Leftwich was hit on the left shin by Ryan Myers with about seven minutes to play in the first quarter. He left for one play and came back to lead a touchdown drive for the Thundering Herd (6-2, 4-1 Mid-American Conference).
He then left the game and didn't return until there was 7:06 left in the third quarter. Leftwich was taken to a hospital for X-rays, which were negative. He led Marshall to a touchdown and a field goal after coming back.
''We had it X-rayed, it's the same shin that was operated on before spring drills,'' Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. ''We'll have to evaluate his status when we get home. It's a good thing we have 11 days off.''
Leftwich had surgery early this year for a stress fracture in his left shin.
Akr--McKenzie 98 fumble return (Sullivan kick), 6:26.
Mar--Wallace 2 run (Head kick), 2:16.
Mar--FG Head 37, 14:49.
Akr--Payne 1 run (Sullivan kick), 9:11.
Akr--FG Sullivan 41, 7:19.
Akr--Brake 28 pass from Frye (Sullivan kick), 2:24.
Akr--FG Sullivan 36, 9:19.
Mar--Wallace 1 run (Head kick), 4:12.
Akr--Frye 26 run (Sullivan kick), :58.
Mar--FG 23 Head, 12:15.
Time of Possession30:1429:46
RUSHING--Marshall, Wallace 21-63, Hill 4-13, Carey 1-4, Hargrove 1-2, team 1-21, Leftwich 1-(minus 5), Davis 1-(minus 22). Akron, Hendry 28-120, Frye 6-28, Ellington 1-5, Barbee 1-3, Payne 4-2, team 1-(minus 2).
PASSING--Marshall, Leftwich 26-38-1-307, Hill 7-14-1-37. Akron, Frye 11-22-1-132.
RECEIVING--Marshall, Davis 8-144, Watts 5-79, Marriott 9-48, Doss 3-30, Rader 2-15, Wallace 5-19, Carey 1-9. Akron, Irvin 3-20, Ellington 2-43, Barbee 2-13, Brake 1-28, Sparks 1-18, Hendry 1-7, Payne 1-3.