Johnson’s record-setting day leads Herd over FAU
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Devon Johnson rushed for a school-record 272 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 23 Marshall to a 35-16 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
Marshall (8-0, 4-0 Conference USA) overcame its first halftime deficit of the season to extend its home winning streak to 12 games.
Florida Atlantic (3-5, 2-2) fell to 0-5 on the road.
Quarterback Rakeem Cato threw the go-ahead score late in the third quarter to extend his Bowl Subdivision record of consecutive games with a TD toss to 40.
Johnson had touchdown runs of 58, 62, 66 and 7 yards. He broke the school record of 262 yards set by Ron Darby in 1988.
The 240-pound Johnson needed just eight games to surpass the 1,000-yard mark in his first season at the position.
The junior had played backup tight end, linebacker and fullback earlier in his career before winning the starting running back job in August ahead of 2013 backups Steward Butler and Remi Watson.
Marshall amassed 328 yards rushing. Florida Atlantic entered the game 97th in the FBS against the run.
Other than Johnson, Marshall had trouble moving the ball against Florida Atlantic. The Thundering Herd managed just 25 yards on the first three drives after halftime before Cato turned things around.
Cato had completed only eight of his first 17 passes to that point. He then connected with Deontay McManus on a 39-yard pass to set up Cato’s 21-yard scoring toss to Tommy Shuler for a 21-16 lead late in the third.
Cato finished 13 of 24 for 218 yards. His completions and yards were both season lows.
Florida Atlantic had little trouble moving the ball until it got inside the Marshall 20-yard line.
Greg Joseph’s three first-half field goals help stake the Owls to a 16-14 halftime lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, with Florida Atlantic drive toward a potential go-ahead score, quarterback Jaquez Johnson’s fourth-down pass from the 6 was batted down by Marshall’s Darryl Roberts in the end zone.
A few plays later, Devon Johnson went 66 yards up the middle to extend Marshall’s lead to 28-16. He closed the scoring with his 7-yarder in the final minute.
Jaquez Johnson went 19 of 37 for 179 yards, including a second-quarter touchdown toss to Alex DeLeon.