The night started right for the Thundering Herd as they took their opening possession straight down the field for a touchdown and didn’t look back from there. The momentum continued to roll in Marshall’s favor and provided the defense with the spark that they needed.
An impressive defensive performance by Marshall was highlighted by a second quarter where they forced two turnovers in a row in Middle Tennessee territory, scoring points and setting up the Herd with easy scoring chances that put this one away early.
Because of this, Marshall was able to lean on it’s strong offensive line and a potent rushing attack as Tyler King rushed for a career high 129 yards and added two touchdowns.
In general, there was an obvious difference in the attitudes of these two teams. Marshall looked confident and poised in this one, taking care of business quietly but efficiently. They were able to stick to their game plan with ease and put this game away quickly.
As for the Blue Raiders, it was honestly exactly what I expected as a Middle Tennessee fan. Anytime the Blue Raiders play on national television, I expect the worst and this game was no different. The team looked uninspired and had no passion at all. I have never seen a Rick Stockstill team look so defeated in the middle of the season.
Turnovers and penalties killed this team all night long and killed any momentum that Middle ever had in this one. John Urzua’s few bad decisions continue to come at the absolute worst times and continue to define his performances despite playing well otherwise.
In the end, Marshall absolutely deserved to win this game after out playing and out coaching Middle Tennessee in this one. Coach Stockstill has to get this team figured out in Middle Tennessee’s bye-week and find a way to turn this season around with the games they have left. The Blue Raiders move to 3-5 with the loss and are now in serious of danger missing a bowl game.
As for Marshall, they remain undefeated in conference play and are now bowl eligible with a 6-1 record. The Herd will look to continue their winning streak next week at home verses FIU.