Herd upset bid falls just short, 38-35

Published 11:07 pm Saturday, November 29, 2008

The numbers said Marshall did good. The Thundering Herd coach said it wasn’t good enough.

Despite a valiant effort, the Herd fell short of an upset bid as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane escaped with a 38-35 Conference USA win Saturday.

Marshall held Tulsa below its season scoring average of more than 50 points and game, and shy of its total offense numbers. But Marshall coach Mark Snyder had mixed emotions about the performance.

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“We want to be great, not just good,” said Snyder.

“But I’m proud of our effort. I’m very proud of our seniors. I thought they did a tremendous job leading this team. They never let this team quit against a really good team.”

Tulsa’s win coupled with Rice beating Houston gave the Golden Hurricane the West Division title. Tulsa will host East Carolina next week to determine the C-USA champion.

“We’re really excited to get our 10th win and also clinch the Western Division title tonight and we have an opportunity to compete for the conference championship again for the second year in a row at our place,” said Tulsa coach Todd Graham.

The Tulsa coach was well aware that his team had to battle for the win on Jarod Tracy’s 22-yard field goal with 3:42 to play.

“I’m going to say something really nice about Mark Snyder and this Marshall team,” said Graham. “They gave us everything they got. They played extremely hard. I thought they played exceptional. It was one of the toughest games we’ve played.”

The two teams matched scores until Tulsa got a major break late in the game.

On a third-and-10 play, Tulsa quarterback David Johnson attempted to his Trae Johnson with a pass. Johnson lunged but could only hit Trae Johnson’s outstretched hand.

The ball glanced off the receiver’s hands and went about 10 yards and landed in the hands of teammate Damarius Johnson for a first down.

Tulsa went down the field and were able to get Tracy’s game-winning field goal.

Marshall had one last chance, but Chubb Small was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-one from the Herd 49 with 1:46 to play.

The Golden Hurricane was able to run out the clock.

“Our guys played very hard, but we came up three points short,” said Snyder. “That seems to be our motto. One point here, two points there. Last year we said we need to get 10 to 11points better in the off season have a chance at this thing, it’ snow down to two or three.”

Marshall, 4-8 and 3-5, was playing without starting quarterback Mark Cann due to shoulder injuries. Backup Brian Anderson stepped in and completed 14-of-19 for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

“Brian sparked us tonight. He played really well,” said Snyder. “He took shots when they gave them to him and I thought he did really well.”

Senior Darius Passmore caught two of the scoring strikes while Terrel Edwards and Small each had long touchdown runs.

Small’s 69-yard scamper tied the game at 14 in the second quarter and Passmore caught a 42-yard TD pass with 1:19 left in the half to tie the game 21-21.

Edwards bolted 53 yards to tie the game at 35-35 just before the end of the third quarter.

But neither team could get a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Tracy missed a 46-yard field goal attempt with 8:24 to play.

Tulsa 7 14 14 3 = 38

Marshall 7 14 14 0 = 35

First Quarter

Mar– Courtney Edmonson 19 pass from Brian Anderson (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 5:28

Tul – Tarrion Adams 1 run (Jarod Tracy kick) 2:23

Second Quarter

Tul – Tarrion Adams 1 run (Jarod Tracy kick) 10:21

Mar – Chubb Small 69 run (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 10:06

Tul – Damaris Johnson 15 pass from David Johnson (Jarod Tracy kick) 7:12

Mar – Darius Passmore 42 pass from Brian Anderson (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 1:19

Third Quarter

Tul – Charles Clay 2 pass from David Johnson (Jarod Tracy kick) 11:21

Mar – Darius Passmore 12 pass from Brian Anderson (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 7:56

Tul – Tarrion Adams 6 run (Jarod Tracy kick) 5:47

Mar – Terrel Edwards 53 run (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 1:35

Fourth Quarter

Tulsa – Jarod Tracy 22 field goal 3:42


Tulsa Marshall

First downs 29 17

Rushes-yards 55-203 36-260

Passing yards 313 177

Total yards 516 437

Cmp-Att-Int 21-33-0 14-19-0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-yards 3-15 5-63

Punts-average 5-38.6 6-39-0

Sacks by-yards 1-3 4-27

Time of Possession 32:55 27:05


Individual Leaders

RUSHING–Tulsa: Tarrion Adams 30-123, Jamad Williams 8-48, A.J. Whitmore 2-21, David Johnson 11-11, Damaris Johnson 2-3, Charles Clay 1-3, team 1-minus 6. Marshall: Darius Marshall 18-94, Chubb Small 10-91, Terrel Edwards 3-52, Cody Slate 1-14, Brian Anderson 4-9.

PASSING–Tulsa: David Johnson 21-33-0 313.Marshall: 14-19-0 177.

RECEIVING–Tulsa: Damaris Johnson 8-88, Marion Brennan 4-96, A.J. Whitmore 3-70, Trae Johnson 2-36, Charles Clay 2-4, Tarrion Adams1-13, Shelley Slick 1-6. Marshall: Darius Passmore 6-73, Cody Slate 3-58, Courtney Edmonson 1-19, E.J. Wynn 1-17, Lee Smith 1-4, Darius Marshall 1-3, Chubb Small 1-3.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–Tulsa: Jarod Tracy, 46, short.