Bad breaks continue to haunt Thundering Herd
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2007
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — So far this season, teams like Miami, Fla., West Virginia, and Cincinnati have inflicted pain on the Marshall Thundering Herd.
Tuesday night in the Liberty Bowl the Herd decided to hurt itself.
A second half implosion kept the Herd from its first win of the season as the emotionally charged Memphis Tigers held on for a 24-21 Conference USA win.
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In the second half, the Herd drove to the Memphis’ 24-yard line only to fumble the ball away. Later a 25-yard field goal attempt was botched when holder Emmanuel Spann fumbled the snap.
The final bruise came on a drive with less than a minute to play when the Herd saw a fourth-and 3 play at the Tigers’ 41 fail as a receiver went the wrong way.
“Not getting any points on a couple of trips into the red zone, coming away with no points. That hurt,” said Marshall coach Mark Snyder.
“We found another way to lose and that hurt.”
The hurt shows on the record. Marshall is now 0-5 and 0-1 in Conference USA.
Memphis (2-3, 1-1) was filled with emotion due to the shooting death of defensive lineman Taylor Bradford on Sunday night. A crowd of 25,324 along with players and coaches stood before the game for a moment of silence.
Law enforcement officials continued their investigation Tuesday and do not have any suspects.
Memphis drove 58 yards on its first drive but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Matt Reagan.
The Tigers later got inside the Marshall 10-yard line and scored only to have the play nullified by a penalty. The mistake resulted in a 26-yard field goal by Reagan.
Marshall overcame an interception of a Bernard Morris’ pass scored on a 20-yard pass from Morris to tight end Cody Slate. Anthony Binswanger’s kick gave the Herd a 7-6 lead.
The Tigers got the ball at their own 20 with 2:49left in the half. They proceeded to reach the Herd’s 13 when Reagan hit a 30-yard field goal with four seconds left.
Morris, 23-of-32 for 220 yards, threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Darius Passmore early in the third quarter and the Herd led 14-9.
But Memphis quarterback Will Hudgens threw 19 yards to Carlos Williams for the score. The duo also threw for the conversion and and the Tigers led 17-14.
Greg Hinds caught a 4-yard touchdown pass for Memphis with 14:55 to play and it was 24-14.
Marshall didn’t quit, it just squandered scoring opportunities.
First came the botched field goal attempt, but Morris found Passmore on a 4-yard strike with 5:22 left and the Herd was still alive.
Marshall got the ball back and a 20-yard run by Morris set up a fourth-and-3 at the Memphis 41. Morris threw for Courtney Edmonson, but the ball fell to the ground.
Mem — Matt Reagan 25 field goal 12:48
Mem — Matt Reagan 26 field goal 7:19
Mar — Cody Slate 20 pass from Bernard Morris (Anthony Binswanger kick) 6:52
Mem — Matt Reagan 30 field goal 0:04
Mar — Darius Marshall 11 run (Anthony Binswanger kick) 12:02
Mem — Carlos Singleton 19 pass from Will Hudgens (Singleton pass from Hudgens) 6:52
Mem — Greg Hinds 4 pass from Will Hudgens (Matt Reagan kick) 14:55
Mar — Darius Passmore 4 pass from Bernard Morris (Anthony Binswanger kick) 5:22
Kick Return Yards12883
Punt Return Yards131
Time of Possession.27:2932:31
RUSHING—Marshall: Darius Marshall 15-90, Bernard Morris 10-62, Lenford (Chubb) Small 7-60, Emmanuel Spann 1-minus 8, Team 1-minus19; Memphis: T.J. Pitts 14-57, Joseph Doss 10-22, Earnest Williams 2-15, Matt Malouf 5-12, Carlton Robinzine 1-1, Team 2-minus 2, Will Hudgens 1-minus 6.
PASSING—Marshall: Bernard Morris 23-32-220-1; Memphis: Will Hudgens 30-45-346-0, Team 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Marshall: Darius Passmore 7-69, Cody Slate 6-56, Emmanuel Spann 3-51, Lenford (Chubb) Small 2-10, E.J. Wynn 2-9, Brian Shope 1-9, Shawn Lauzon 1-9, Darius Marshall 1-7; Memphis: Duke Calhoun 6-74, Carlos Singleton 5-69, Maurice Jones 5-54, Earnest Williams 4-47, Steven Black 3-30, Brett Russell 3-19, Joseph Doss 2-12, Carlton Robinzine 1-37, Greg Hinds 1-4.