Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marshall Football: UAB Blazes Through Herd 38-31

Despite a valiant fourth quarter comeback, Marshall could not pull themselves out of a deep hole as UAB defeated the Thundering Herd 38-31 at Legion Field Saturday night.

Marshall opened the scoring with a two yard, Remi Watson touchdown run that was set up by a Blazers fumble. Unfortunately for the Herd, UAB would score the next 24 points and prevent the visitors from responding until the third quarter. 

The Blazers took advantage of a pours Marshall run defense as they racked up 209 rushing yards. Most of the damage was inflicted by running back Darrin Reaves, who gained 184 yards on 32 carries with two touchdowns. 

Through the air, UAB was lead by the redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown. Despite throwing three interceptions, Brown completed 20 of 34 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. 

Down 24-7 exiting halftime, the Herd turned to quarterback Rakeem Cato to close the gap. Cato lead four second half scoring drives, closing the gap to 38-31 with just over a minute and a half remaining in the game although, that was as close as it would get. Needing an onside kick to keep their hopes alive, Marshall was unable to covert and UAB keeled out the clock to secure their third win of the season. For the game, Cato completed 25 of 34 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception.

One of Cato's favorite targets, wider receiver Aaron Dobson did not play due to a knee injury sustained in last weeks win over Memphis. Picking up the slack, Tommy Shuler caught five passes for 77 yards. Proving he is more than just a red zone threat, tight end Gator Hoskins recorded four receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown.

On the ground, Marshall used 41 rushing attempts to gain 121 yards. The Herd was lead by freshman Kevin Grooms who toted the ball 16 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. 

With the loss, Marshall (4-6, 3-3) must win it's next two games, at home against Houston and on the road against ECU, to gain bowl eligibility. The Herd has not won back-to-back games this season. 

Game Notes: Defensive tackle Ken Smith did not travel to UAB, presumably because of injury - UAB's Jackie Williams returned a Tyler William's, first half punt 79 yards for a touchdown - Marshall defensive tackle Brandon Sparrow blocked a 52 yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter - Not to be outdone, UAB blocked a first half punt - Cato only attempted 13 first half pass attempts, a season low.

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