Georgia Southern had one final chance to keep themselves in contention for the Sun Belt East title race, but Marshall sat up as if it was The Undertaker lying in a casket and chokeslammed the Eagles’ chances of doing anything meaningful this season in a 38-33 win.
After all, the Thundering Herd had dropped five consecutive games coming into the contest, and made a change at quarterback that ended up being the difference.
The contest was a back-and-forth affair for the first three quarters with the teams trading blows before Georgia Southern suffered stage fright beginning in the fourth quarter and completely crumbled, allowing the Herd to score 14 unanswered and euthanizing Southern’s season as a result.
Freshman Cole Pennington, son of former Marshall standout Chad Pennington, stepped in and played okay with 201 yards and an interception, but mostly stretched the Southern secondary with some deep attempts, opening up running lanes for standout running back Rasheen Ali.
Ali made the most of his opportunity with signal caller Cam Fancher finally sidelined, racking up 156 yards and two touchdowns as Marshall powered its way past Georgia Southern for the five-point victory.
Marshall receiver DeMarcus Harris did much of the damage to the Eagles’ clueless secondary, assuring the team that there is nothing to play for in the weeks ahead. Harris finished the contest with a game-high 147 yards on just four catches and tested Georgia Southern’s “defenders” (if you can call them that) all night.
The Herd also put a ton of pressure on Eagles quarterback Davis Brin, who turned in a performance that looks better on the stat sheet than it did in real-time. Brin racked up 307 yards and three touchdowns, but failed on a number of key 3rd down attempts which left Georgia Southern unable to make a comeback when it was all said and done.
With GS effectively ending its own season — outside of an appearance in the Dukes Mayo Bowl or whatever — Eagles head coach Clay Helton needs to look elsewhere at the quarterback position moving forward.
Freshman QB J.C. French may not be the long-term answer, but Brin is not the future of this football team, nor is he really anything of value on a team which needs to start building towards next year rather than spinning its wheels to minorly improve its bowl standing or whatnot.
That time has passed.
Marshall will look to build on this next week at South Alabama, while Georgia Southern will look to pick up a meaningless seventh win at home against Old Dominion.