Big plays pushed Marshall to a 33-17 victory over the Florida Atlantic University football team Saturday in Boca Raton.
Redshirt freshman Jason Driskel got the starting nod for FAU, throwing for 203 yards. Freshman Trey Rodriguez rushed 16 times for a career-high 72 yards while Tyler Cameron set a career high with 111 receiving yards.
ďAll the credit goes to Marshall,Ē FAU Head Coach Charlie Partridge said. ďThatís a heck of a football team and made some big plays. It didnít go the way we wanted, but there is a lot of progress. Iím grateful for every fan that showed up today to cheer and back our guys and back our young team and some of the veterans who are continuing to fight.
You saw our kids fighting the entire game. Iím proud of that. Iím disappointed in the result, there is no question. We will continue to fight and come back to work tomorrow. We will build on some of the positives that showed up throughout the course of the game and get the negatives corrected.Ē
Marshall struck quickly with a 75-yard touchdown run by Devon Johnson on the second play of the game before FAU responded with a 14-play, 65-yard drive culminating in a 23-yard field goal by Greg Joseph.
After being pinned back on its own two to start the final drive of the first quarter, FAU was stopped in the backfield for a safety to extend the Marshall lead to 9-3.
On the ensuing possession, the Herd marched 63 yards in 1:41 for a Remi Watson one-yard touchdown rush to increase the advantage to 16-3.
Later in the quarter, with Marshall driving in FAU territory, freshman Ocie Rose intercepted a Chase Litton pass and returned it 95 yards for his second pick-six of the season to cut the lead to 16-10.
The 95-yard return, combined with his 60-yard return at Charlotte, give Rose the FAU single-season interception return yards record at 155, snapping Willie Hughleyís 2002 record of 147.
The Herd again responded with another 65-yard drive ending in a 22-yard touchdown pass from Litton to Davonte Allen to retake a two-possession lead at 23-10 with 2:05 to play in the first half.
Driskel scrambled 11 yards on third down to give FAU a first and goal at the three on the next drive, but the Owls couldnít put points on the board as Joseph missed a 20-yard field goal.
Marshallís Hyleck Foster broke off a 66-yard touchdown rush at the 5:42 mark of the third quarter to hand the Herd its largest lead of the game at 30-10.
FAU struck back to make it 30-17 on a Trey Rodriguez (pictured) two-yard TD run after Driskel found Tyler Cameron for a career-long 71-yard pass to get inside the five-yard line.
FAU held Marshall to a field goal on its first possession of the fourth quarter to keep it a two-score game, but the Owls struggled to find offense in the frame. Marshall held FAU to just 13 total yards and less than two minutes of possession in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Owls go on the road to take on UTEP on Saturday, Oct. 24 before returning home to host FIU on Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m.
- Brandon Goodwin