Owls’ big 2nd half tops Herd

Published 11:22 pm Saturday, November 22, 2008

For 30 minutes, the Marshall defense showed why it was one of the best in Conference USA.

For the next 30 minutes, Rice showed why it was one of the best offenses in Conference USA.

The difference was the Owls ability to prove that their offense was more dominant than the Thundering Herd defense as Rice snapped a 7-7 halftime tie and rolled to a 35-10 win Saturday, thus ending any Marshall hopes of a postseason bowl game.

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Rice (8-3, 6-1) didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard, but they got some help from Marshall.

After a short 31-yard punt by Kase Whitehead to the Rice 44, Rice quarterback Chase Clement threw for 9 yards to James Casey and then the Herd’s Devin Johnson helped out by jumping offside on two straight plays and the ball was at the Marshall 37.

Clement then ran for 10 yards, threw to Jarrett Dillard for 15, and then ran the final 12 yards for the touchdown.

Clark Fangmeier kicked the conversion and it was 7-0 at the 11:42 mark.

Marshall came right back at the Owls’ defense with a well-executed drive that mixed the running and passing game and covered 99 yards in 18 plays.

Quarterback Mark Cann capped the drive with a 9-yard scoring toss to tight end Cody Slate — his sixth straight game with a TD catch — and Craig Ratanamorn’s conversion kick tied the game.

But then came the second half.

Rice took the second half kickoff and went 77 yards in nine plays capped by a 27-yard scoring pass from Clement to Dillard and it was 14-7.

Marshall (4-7, 3-4) was forced to punt and this time Rice used a time-consuming 13-play drive that took 4:29 off the clock and ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Clement to Toren Dixon with 5:54 left on the clock to make it 21-7.

The Thundering Herd put together a drive that moved to the Rice 21 before it bogged down and forced Ratanamorn to kick a 36-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 21-10 with only 19 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Owls didn’t take long to answer the score as Clement found Corbin Smiter open on a 44-yard scoring strike and it was 28-10.

Rice had another drive going and got deep into Marshall territory at the 17 when Clement and Smiter clicked on another 44-yard pass play, but Smiter fumbled and T.J. Drakeford recovered for the Herd.

Marshall got a drive of their own started, but Chubb Small fumbled at the Marshall 46 to set up the Owls’ next touchdown. Clement and Dillard hooked up on a 13-yard scoring pass and it was 35-10 with 6:42 to play.

Herd running back Darius Marshall ran for 118yads to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the season. The 13th Herd player to accomplish the feat, Marshall now has 1,003 yards on 206 carries.

Marshall linebacker Maurice Kitchens had his fourth interception of the season. Slate had seven catches for 37 yards.

The Herd closes its season at home next Saturday against nationally-ranked Tulsa.

Marshall 0 7 3 0 = 10

Rice 7 0 14 14 = 35

First Quarter

Rice — Chase Clement 12 run (Clark Fangmeier kick) 11:42

Second Quarter

Mar – Cody Slate 9 pass from Mark Cann (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 14:53

Third Quarter

Rice — Jarrett Dillard 27 pass from Chase Clement (Clark Fangmeier kick) 12:23

Rice — Toren Dixon 5 pass from Chase Clement (Clark Fangmeier kick) 5:54

Mar — Craig Ratanamorn 36 field goal 0:19

Fourth Quarter

Rice — Corbin Smiter 44 pass from Chase Clement (Clark Fangmeier kick) 14:01

Rice — Jarrett Dillard 13pass from Chase Clement (Clark Fangmeier kick) 6:42


Mar Rice

First downs 19 27

Rushes-yards 46-185 35-141

Passing yards 83 315

Total yards 268 456

Cmp-Att-Int 13-24-1 25-41-1

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1

Penalties-yards 5-40 4-35

Punts-average 6-38.7 4-42.3

Sacks by-yards lost 1-3 2-12

Time of Possession 30:46 29:14


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Marshall: Darius Marshall 24-118, Darius Passmore 3-27, Chubb Small 8-14, Cody Slate 1-12, Kase Whitehead 1-12, Terrel Edwards 3-9, Court Edmondson 1-6, Mark Cann 5-minus 13. Rice: C.J. Ugokwe 19-79, Chase Clement 10-53, James Casey 4-14.

PASSING–Marshall: Mark Cann 13-24-1 83. Rice: Chase Clement 25-41-1 315.

RECEIVIN–Marshall: Darius Passmore 1-14, Cody Slate 7-37,Chubb Small 2-11, Darius Marshall 1-8, Bryan Milligan 1-7, Courtney Edmonson 1-6; Rice: Corbin Smiter 4-120, Jarrett Dillard 6-88, Toren Dixon 4-51, James Casey 7-38, Tomm Henderson 2-11, C.J. Ugokwe 1-7, Jeramy Goodson 1-0.