Herd’s late fumble enables Knights to rally for 21-20 win

Published 2:33 am Monday, November 2, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. — Brett Hodges threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Rocky Ross with 23 seconds left and Nick Cattoi added the extra point to give UCF a 21-20 victory over Marshall on Sunday night.

UCF (5-3, 3-2 Conference USA) scored twice in the final 8 minutes to overcome a 20-7 deficit and beat Marshall (5-4, 3-2) for the fifth straight time.

Brynn Harvey scored on a 2-yard burst with 7:51 left to cut it to 20-14. The Knights turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, but got a break when Marshall quarterback Brian Anderson fumbled on his own 30 with 2:12 left.

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Josh Robinson recovered the fumble to give UCF one more opportunity. Hodges had to convert a fourth-and-1 play from the 20, then found Ross uncovered in the end zone.

“These kids have a lot of fight in them,” UCF coach George O’Leary said. “They don’t worry about mistakes, they worry about making the next play and that’s what we did. When we needed a play, somebody stepped up and made it.”

Anderson and Marshall had dominated the game to that point. The Marshall quarterback completed 13 of 28 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown.

Thundering Herd running back Darius Marshall, the second-leading rusher in the nation coming into the game, was held to 80 yards on 28 carries and scored once.

“That’s one of the wackiest games I’ve seen in my career,” Marshall coach Mark Snyder said. “I thought we dominated the whole game, we played our hearts out, but we had some mistakes at the end that cost us the game.”

Anderson and tight end Cody Slate carried the Thundering Herd to a 17-7 halftime advantage. Anderson was 9 of 19 for 164 yards and one touchdown in the first two periods. Slate caught five of those passes for 80 yards, including a 4-yard scoring play that finished off a 91-yard drive that made it 7-0.

UCF tied it on Hodges’ 4-yard pass to Aiken on fourth-and-1. UCF converted five of six fourth-down plays in the game.

Marshall kicker Craig Ratanamorn, who is 11-for-11 on field goals this season, made a 30-yarder to make it 10-7.

Cattoi lined up a 48-yard attempt to tie it with just over 2 minutes left in the half, but hit it low and it bounced off the back of one of his lineman. Marshall safety Ashton Hall returned the ball 68 yards to the UCF 28.

Marshall 0 17 3 0 = 20

Cent. Florida 0 7 7 14 = 21

Second Quarter

Ma — Cody Slate 4 pass from Brian Anderson (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 12:03

CF — Kamar Aiken 4 pass from Brett Hodges (Nick Cattoi kick) 7:57

Ma — Craig Ratanamorn 30 field goal 4:58

Ma — Darius Marshall 3 run (Craig Ratanamorn kick) 1:02

Third Quarter

Ma — Craig Ratanamorn 21 field goal 3:25

Fourth Quarter

CF — Brynn Harvey 2 run (Nick Cattoi kick) 7:51

CF — Rocky Ross 1 pass from Brett Hodges (Nick Cattoi kick) 0:23

Attendance: 35,676



First downs 18 23

Rushes-yards 36-56 30-59

Passing yards 237 342

Total yards 293 401

Cmp-Att-Int 13-28-1 23-48-0

Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 5-39 8-76

Punts-average 5-41.8 6-37.0

Sacks by-yards 3-10 4-42

Time of Possession 31:06 28:54


Individual Leaders

RUSHING—Marshall: Darius Marshall 28-80, Brian Anderson 7-minus 27, Andre Booker 1-3. UCF: Bryann Harvey 21-47, Jamar Newsome 1-1, Jonathan Davis 2-16, Brett Hodges 5-minus 9, Kamar Aiken 1-minus 12.

PASSING—Marshall: Brian Anderson 13-28-1 237. UCF: Brett Hodges 23-45-0 342, Team 0-3-0.

RECEIVING—Marshall: Cody Slate 5-80, Antavious Wilson 5-42, Aaron Dobson 2-75, Lee Smith 1-40; UCF: Rocky Ross 6-76, A.J. Guyton 5-100, Kamar Aiken 5-62, Adam Nissley 3-46, Jamar Newsome 2-27, Ricky Kay 1-16, Brian Watters 1-15.