Another week, another tough loss for the Thundering Herd. This week, Marshall lost its first meeting against the Pittsburgh Panthers in a 27-43 game.
Quarterback Chase Litton returned under center for the game, coming back from a concussion he sustained during Marshall’s matchup against Akron. Litton threw for 240 yards, two touchdowns and threw a late pick that ended that game.
The Herd fell flat in the first half. They were unable to convert third downs and their defense couldn’t find an answer for Nate Peterman’s offense. The half ended with the Panthers up by 27.
Marshall started to show some life in the second half. Litton hit Josh Knight for a 15 yard pass that finally put points on the board for the Herd. Marshall then recovered an onside kick that set up a second scoring drive. Anthony Anderson ran it in from 11 yards out to cap off the drive.
The fourth quarter started with an 83 yard pass to Michael Clarke. Keion Davis found the endzone to bring the Herd within three with about four minutes left in the game.
That’s when things began to fall apart for the Herd again. With only one timeout left, Marshall was unable to effectively stop Peterman from marching his team down the field. With 1:04 on the clock, Peterman found Jester Weah for a 54 yard pass that resulted in a touchdown.
Litton led his team on the field one last time and threw the team’s only turnover as time ran out.
This was another hard week for the now 1-3 Herd. They will be entering conference play with little momentum, questions on both sides of the ball, and many of the fans questioning the coaches’ ability to prepare the men on the field for games.
Yes, the team has made some improvements. They have been playing P5 teams the last two weeks, and at times looked like they could hold their own against ACC teams. They are able to score against tough defenses and they at least have the ability to make goal line stands against some very talented offensive lines.
However, the Herd has a lot more to improve on. Discipline, clock management, play calling, and pass coverage all need to be addressed in a short amount of time or else it will be a long season for Herd.
Marshall starts conference play next week against a 2-3 University of North Texas. If the team wants to continue their 10 win season streak, they’ll have to find a way to win in the Lone Star State.