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Herd strong in all phases to beat UAB

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Maybe Mark Snyder has some mechanic in him. After all, his Marshall Thundering Herd seemed to be firing on all cylinders Saturday.

Marshall was solid in all phases of the game as the Thundering Herd whipped the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers 27-7 in a key Conference USA East Division game.

Quarterback Brian Anderson was 25 of 38 for 315 yards and two touchdowns while running back Darius Marshall carried 32 times for 133 yards as the Herd amassed 450 total yards.

The 300-yard passing and 100-yard rushing combination in one game was the first for Marshall since quarterback Stan Hill (392 yards) and running back Earl Charles (173) turned the trick in a 49-33 win over Kent State on Oct. 11, 2003.

“I was proud of this football team. We had a 300-yard passer and 100-yad rusher. That’s a pretty good day,” said Snyder.

“We played really good defense. Joe Webb is a great player. There seems to be a focus and confidence that I felt last week and again today.”

Anderson attributed the offensive balance and success to the offensive line.

“The offensive line did a great job giving me time to find my receivers and the receivers did a good job getting open,” said Anderson.

“We got a lot of different guys involved. Chuck (Walker) had another big day for us. Cody (Slate) was there when we needed him on crucial third downs. We had a great offensive day and we put up enough points to get a victory.”

Six different players caught passes for the Herd with Walker catching five passes for 108 yards. Slate had 78 yards on five catches, Antavious Wilson five for 55 and Jamal Wilson 59 yards on seven grabs.

“It was funny. I answer this question every week at the Quarterback Club,” said Snyder. “There are certain games we have to go to Darius and Cody (Slate) and there are certain games when we can spread the ball around. We felt we could spread the ball around today.”

Marshall (5-3, 3-1) employed a different defense against the Blazers to try and slow down UAB quarterback Joe Webb who had a big day with 129 yards on 18 carries and was 16 of 27 passing for 200 yards.

Linebacker Mario Harvey had 15 tackles for the Herd defense and cornerback Ashton Hall had 11. The seven points allowed was the fewest in a game this season.

“This (new defense) is a little something coach Snyder put in he had before. We were successful. It was a great plan,” said linebacker Kellen Harris.

The Herd is now 5-3 overall and is tied with East Carolina at 3-1 in the East Division. UAB fell to 2-5 and 2-2.

Marshall took a 3-0 lead on its first possession of the game on a season-long 43-yard field goal by Craig Ratanamorn.

Marshall began the second quarter with a six-play, 84-yard highlight by a 42-yard pass to Walker, the longest of his career. Anderson hit Slate with a 30-yard touchdown pass and the Herd led 10-0.

The replay booth stopped the Herd on its next possession when Walker’s touchdown catch was reviewed and overturned. Darius Marshall was then stopped on a fourth-and-goal.

But Walker did come back to score on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:43 left in the half and it was 17-0.

UAB got on the scoreboard with 26 seconds left in the half on a 12-yard pass from Webb to Mark Ferrell and it was 17-7 at the break.

The Thundering Herd responded to start the second half with an 89-yard, 19-play drive capped by Darius Marshall’s 1-yard run. He junior running back carried 14 times for 60 yards in the drive.

Ratanamorn — now 9-for-9 on field goal attempts this season — booted a 32-yard field goal with 5:35 to play that sealed the win.

The Herd plays next Sunday night at Central Florida on ESPN.

Marshall stats

MARSHALL 27, UAB 7

UAB 0 7 0 0 — 7

Marshall 3 14 7 3 — 27

First Quarter

Mar—FG Ratanamorn 43, 10:29.

Second Quarter

Mar—Slate 30 pass from Anderson (Ratanamorn kick), 12:30.

Mar—C.Walker 15 pass from Anderson (Ratanamorn kick), 1:43.

UAB—Ferrell 12 pass from J.Webb (Zahn kick), :26.

Third Quarter

Mar—Marshall 1 run (Ratanamorn kick), 2:46.

Fourth Quarter

Mar—FG Ratanamorn 32, 5:35.

A—18,878.

———

UAB Mar

First downs 16 24

Rushes-yards 34-232 38-135

Passing 200 315

Comp-Att-Int 16-27-0 25-38-0

Return Yards 14 25

Punts-Avg. 6-45.2 4-46.8

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 3-1

Penalties-Yards 15-135 5-39

Time of Possession 25:56 34:04

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INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—UAB, J.Webb 18-129, Borne 7-37, Carter 1-29, R.Slaughter 5-17, Isabelle 2-13, Brooks 1-7. Marshall, Marshall 32-133, Ward 1-4, Edwards-Maye 1-1, P.Taylor 1-(minus 1), Anderson 3-(minus 2).

PASSING—UAB, J.Webb 16-27-0-200. Marshall, Anderson 25-38-0-315.

RECEIVING—UAB, Ferrell 5-60, Forrest 3-46, R.Slaughter 3-38, Anderson 2-17, Adams 1-28, Carter 1-8, J.Harris 1-3. Marshall, J.Wilson 7-59, C.Walker 5-108, Slate 5-78, A.Wilson 5-55, Smith 2-9, Marshall 1-6.