Marshall defense carries team to 20-9 win over Florida Atlantic

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOAY) – On Saturday, No. 22 Marshall defeated Florida Atlantic 20-9 to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Out of the team’s victories so far, Marshall faced its most adversity in this one.

The Thundering Herd seized a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Grant Wells connected with Brendan Knox for a 58-yard score. It was the longest play of Knox’s college career.

But, Florida Atlantic hung around and Malcolm Davidson scored an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Adding insult to injury, Marshall’s starting safety Derrek Pitts was ejected for targeting on the play. After a blocked extra-point attempt, the Herd held a tenuous 7-6 lead.

The Owls made a field goal in the third quarter to go up 9-7. It was the first time Marshall trailed all season long.

But as they have all season, Marshall relied on their defense to clamp down when it mattered and they forced three consecutive punts in the second half.

The Herd’s offense did just enough to swing the game. Later in the third, Grant Wells dropped a beautiful pass to Artie Henry for a 41-yard touchdown. The team added two field goals to extend the lead.

Needing one more stop, Marshall’s defense forced a turnover on downs with 3:50 left to effectively seal the game.

The Herd has yet to allow 100 rushing yards or 20 points in a game. The Owls gained 86 on the ground after rushing for 217 against Charlotte. Marshall is allowing just 9.4 points per game this season.

Next up, the Herd travel to Miami to take on Florida International on Friday at 7 pm.