Herd can#8217;t overcome Cougars#8217; big plays
HOUSTON, TX — In game of making big plays, the Houston Cougars made more.
Houston used some big plays by redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum to outscored the Marshall Thundering Herd 35-28 Saturday in Conference USA.
Keenum was 24 of 32 passing for 298 yards and also had some key runs to avoid the Marshall rush that kept several scoring drives alive.
Houston took a 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by T.J. Lawrence.
An interception by Herd defensive lineman Ryland Wilson — his second of the season — at the 44 set up Marshall’s first scoring drive.
Quarterback Bernard Morris hit Emmanuel Spann with a 32-yard scoring pass to put the Herd up 7-3 with just 36 seconds on the clock. It was Marshall’s first touchdown in the first quarter this season.
But Anthony Alridge, known as “Quick Six” for using his speed to quickly score touchdowns, helped Houston regain the lead with a 3-yard scoring run with 5:17 left in the half and it was 10-7.
Marshall had two opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second quarter, but kicker Anthony Binswanger was wide right on two field goal attempts.
Lawrence hit a 24-yard field goal early in the third quarter and Alridge caught a
26-yard touchdown pass from Keenum to extend the lead to 20-7 with 4:31 on the clock.
Marshall came back with a 13-yard scoring run by Chubb Small just before the end of the third quarter and it was 20-14.
But the Cougars quickly dampened the Herd comeback hopes when Keenum marched his team down the field and scored on a 1-yard run. He also ran for the conversion and a 28-14 lead.
The Thundering Herd answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by Darius Marshall as offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge threw his teammate into the end zone after he appeared stopped.
Again Houston answered as Keenum hooked up with Mark Hafner on a 62-yard scoring pass and run and it was 35-21 with 4:22 to play.
Marshall didn’t quit.
The Herd drove 69 yards in seven plays capped by Kelvin Turner’s 1-yard run. The drive used just 1:51 of the clock.
Binswanger’s onside kickoff went out of bounds and Houston at the ball at the Marshall 37. The Cougars were able to run out the clock and stayed deadlocked for first place in the West Division.
Houston is now 7-4 overall but 6-2 in the West. Marshall falls to 2-9 and 2-5 in the East.
Hou — T.J. Lawrence 32 field goal 11:34
Mar — Emmanuel Spann 32 pass from Bernard Morris (Anthony Binswanger kick) 0:36
Hou — Anthony Alridge 3 run (Lawrence kick) 5:17
Hou — Lawrence 24 field goal 10:46
Hou — Alridge 26 pass from Case Keenum (Lawrence kick) 4:31
Mar — Chubb Small 13 run (Binswanger kick) 0:20
Hou — Keenum 1 run (Keenum run) 10:50
Mar — Darius Marshall 1 run (Binswanger kick) 5:10
Hou — Mark Hafner 62 pass from Keenum (Lawrence kick) 4:22
Mar — Kelvin Turner 1 run (Binswanger kick) 2:31
Time of Possession30:4429:16
RUSHING — Marshall: Darius Marshall 12-66, Chubb Small 8-43, Kelvin Turner 6-30, team 1-minus 1, Bernard Morris 9-minus 2. Houston: Anthony Alridge 25-103, Case Keenum 8-44, Andre Kohn 3-15, Terrance Ganaway 6-12, Jeron Harvey 2-6, team 2-minus 6.
PASSING — Marshall: Bernard Morris 20-32-0 260. Houston: Case Keenum 24-32-1 298.
RECEIVING — Marshall: E.J. Wynn 6-66, Emmanuel Spann 3-75, Cody Slate 3-26, Shawn Lauzon 2-32, Courney Edmonson 1-13, Marcus Fitzgerald 1-10, Brian Shope 1-10, Darius Passmore 1-9, Kelvin Turner 1-8. Houston: Mark Hafner 6-128, Donnie Avery 5-46, Anthony Alridge 5-44, Jeron Harvey 4-42, L.J. Castile 2-23, Perry McDaniel 2-15.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Binswanger 47, 42.