Anyone who wanted to see the best two quarterbacks in the conference, Marshall's Rakeem Cato and Western Kentucky's Brandon Doughty, put on a show got exactly that. After Western Kentucky jumped out to a 14-0 lead that included two Brandon Doughty touchdowns and a Rakeem Cato interception, Marshall joined in on the scoring fun and would end the first quarter trailing the Hilltoppers 28-21.
Western Kentucky looked as if they were starting to pull away early in the second quarter with a 42-21 lead after taking advantage of a pair of Cato's passes that were intercepted by safety Branden Leston. Marshall came roaring back, though, and -- after a few touchdown drives and a Brandon Doughty interception later -- were able to shorten their deficit to 49-42 heading into the half (the most combined points scored in a half by any two FBS teams this season).
In the second half, both teams seemed to slow their offense down by relying a little more on the run game. After forcing Marshall to punt, Brandon Doughty was able lead a balanced attack to a 17 play, 80 yard drive that resulted in a blocked field goal with 3:39 to go in the third (our score still 49-42). Our first points of the half would be scored by the Herd on a 21 yard touchdown run from Steward Butler with 0:58 remaining in the quarter to tie the game at 49 points.
Western Kentucky quickly answered with a 21-yard Garrett Schwettman field goal with 12:56 remaining in the game to take a 52-49 lead. Rakeem Cato then quickly moved the Herd offense down to the WKU 12, where he threw his fourth interception-- this time to senior cornerback Ricardo Singh-- with 10:57 remaining. Brandon Doughty and company were able to take advantage of the turnover as Doughty hooked up with Jared Dangerfield for a 35-yard score to take a 59-49 lead with 9:11 to go. The Herd, after making a field goal and forcing a WKU punt, re-gained possession of the ball trailing 59-52 with 3:16 remaining and were able to tie the game on a Rakeem Cato touchdown pass with 0:49 seconds left in regulation. Doughty threw an interception with 10 seconds left, and Marshall was able to move the ball down to the WKU 40 with five seconds remaining but was unable to connect on a Hail Mary.
In overtime's first possession, Hyleck Foster caught a 25-yard touchdown pass to give the Herd their second lead of the day at 66-59. Jared Dangerfield then made a spectacular catch on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Doughty to make the score 66-65. Brandon Doughty then completed a successful two-point conversion pass to win the game in overtime, 67-66. Here's the two-point conversion catch by senior Willie McNeal:
Western Kentucky (7-5, 4-4) and Marshall (11-1, 7-1), though both surely a lock for a bowl game, now await to hear from bowl committees as to where their postseason game will be played. Stay tuned, football fans.
- QB B. Doughty: 34-50, 491 YDS, 8 TD, 2 INT
- RB L. Allen: 33 CAR, 237 YDS, TD
- TE T. Higbee: 6 REC, 99 YDS, 3 TD
- DB B. Leston: 3 INT
- Total Yards: 738
- QB R. Cato: 29-46, 417 YDS, 7 TD, 4 INT
- RB S. Butler: 24 CAR, 233 YDS, 2 TD
- WR D. Allen (ejected from game in 3rd Q): 6 REC, 141 YDS, 2 TD
- Total Yards: 708