Marshall gets key win over Southern Miss

Published 1:22 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wide receiver Darius Passmore turned in an all-around dominating performance, running back Darius Marshall eclipsed 100 yards rushing and freshman quarterback Mark Cann displayed the poise a fifth-year signal caller as the Marshall Thundering Herd scored a huge 34-27 victory over Southern Miss at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

Cann finished the game 16-of-25 passing with 228 yards and two touchdowns. His primary target was again Passmore, who finished the day with nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Passmore also broke of an 80-yard touchdown run. He was aided by the return of junior tight end Cody Slate who had 76-yards receiving and a 35-yard scamper on a reverse. Darius Marshall put in a workman like 112-yards rushing on 20 caries.

Southern Miss opened the scoring with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Austin Davis to DeAndre Brown with 11:37 to go in the first quarter.

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However, the Herd responded on its next possession with a five-play 48-yard touchdown drive that was capped off with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cann to Passmore.

Marshall’s defense would hold USM just short on a third and long situation on its ensuing possession thanks to a timely MU timeout that was called prior to a Golden Eagle hurry-up first down quarterback sneak that forced Southern Miss to punt from its own 29-yard line.

The Thundering Herd would utilize a 35-yard run and a 30-yard reception from tight end Cody Slate to set up a 37-yard field goal for Tyler Warner to give Marshall a 10-7 lead with 6:03 to go in the first quarter.

Southern Miss took advantage of a Marshall fumble with 1:05 to go in the first quarter. Marshall was going for a first down on a fourth-and-two situation at the USM 35 when Cann was hit and fumbled the ball back at the Marshall 44 yard line. The Golden Eagles were unable to capitalize however and Marshall took over following a punt at its own 13-yardline with more than 12 minutes to play in the first half.

Following a fumble by Passmore at the end of a pass play, USM would take over just seconds later at the Marshall 44. The Thundering Herd held Southern Miss to a 43-yard field goal from Justin Estes at the 9:31 mark to tie the game at 10-10.

Marshall would respond once again with an impressive nine-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Cann to Slate that put the Herd up 17-10. Southern Miss countered with a 45-yard field goal on its next possession to cut the Marshall lead to 17-14 at halftime.

The Thundering Herd opened the second half with a workman-like 11-play, 69-yard drive that took five minutes and 46 seconds and ended with a Warner 28-yard field goal to put Marshall up 20-13.

Following a Marshall defensive stop, the Thundering Herd pushed its lead to 27-13 when Darius Passmore took an end around and streaked down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown run.

Southern Miss responded on its next possession with a seven-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard Austin Davis touchdown run that cut the Marshall lead to 27-20 with 3:06 to play in the third quarter. Southern Miss would threaten again following a Marshall punt, however USM missed a 43-yard field goal attempt and Marshall took over with about 10 minutes to go in the contest, clinging to a seven point lead.

Marshall was forced to punt, and Kase Whitehead booted the ball in to the end zone for a touchback. However, Brandon Burns tipped the ball into the air and Maurice Kitchens mad the interception to set up a Darius Marshall touchdown run.

Southern Miss was able to score to again cut the lead to seven, but the Marshall defense held strong and batted away a final touchdown attempt.