Marshall welcomed third ranked Louisville to Huntington this weekend, and the result was what many expected. Heisman Trophy frontrunner Lamar Jackson came in and led his team to a 59-28 victory at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
The Herd defense showed up strong on the opening drive, accomplishing something no team has done this season; they forced the Cardinals to punt on their opening drive. For a team that gave up 65 points to Akron a week prior, this is a feat in and of itself.
The defense, while giving up 682 total yards, showed improvement from last week. They forced three turnovers Saturday, including one interception in the second quarter.
The offense on the other hand, behind backup quarterback Garet Morrell, could not get any momentum going in the first three quarters. It was a rough first start for the freshman who was filling in for Chase Litton as Litton recovers from a concussion. Morrell threw for less than 60 yards, was hit twice, and threw one pick. Morrell did hit Ryan Yurachek for a touchdown late in the second quarter from 16 yards out to put Marshall on the board before the half ended.
At the end of the night, the offense only put up about 200 yards. The defense was outmatched. Marshall was simply outclassed this weekend.
It is not all doom and gloom for the Herd however. The defense made some of their most impressive stands in the game. The team actually had less penalties than their opponent this game. A freshman got his first start and threw two touchdowns against an ACC team.
For the first time in a couple years, it looked like the whole city was behind the Herd. Fans striped the Joan, packing 40,592 people in the stadium. That’s the second largest crowd in the stadium’s history. The largest was when West Virginia University last came to town in 2010.
Next week, Marshall will play their first away game of the season as they travel to Pitt. This will be a great game to get the season back on track before heading into conference play. Chase Litton still has not been confirmed to return so Morrell may have back to back starts against Power 5 schools.