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Middle Tennessee State Outlasts Marshall in a Triple-Overtime Thriller

Marshall missed five field goals and still had a chance for a win, only to come up short after a blocked kick gave the Herd its first road loss in conference in over two years.

MTSU's Richie James (87) hauls in a pass in front of Marshall's Antavis Rowe (7) in the Blue Raiders' win.
MTSU's Richie James (87) hauls in a pass in front of Marshall's Antavis Rowe (7) in the Blue Raiders' win.
Falecia Collier/Collier Photography

Middle Tennessee State entered Saturday night's game with Marshall as a slight favorite but needed five missed Herd field goals and triple overtime to pull off a 27-24 upset in Murfreesboro.

Jeremy Cutrer blocked an Ameoreto Curraj 39-yard field goal attempt in the third overtime period to lift the Blue Raiders to the win.

It was Marshall's first road loss in conference since 2013 when it fell to Middle Tennessee State 51-49.

Middle Tennessee State and Marshall traded opening possession punts but the Blue Raiders marched deep into Herd territory, poised to grab an early lead. Facing third and one from the Marshall 13, Steve Dillon forced a Desmond Anderson fumble and Marshall's Devontre'a Tyler recovered the ball at the 12.

Marshall took full advantage of the Middle Tennessee State miscue to open the scoring in the contest. Chase Litton fired a 1-yard touchdown pass to Emanuel Byrd midway through the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Blue Raiders drove to the Marshall eight to open the second quarter, only to come away empty after Gary Thompson forced a Jordan Parker fumble. Ryan Bee recovered at the Herd 9 as the Blue Raiders once again came away empty.

Middle Tennessee State finally broke its scoring drought midway through the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brent Stockstill to Terry Pettis to tie the game at seven. Pettis finished with a game-high 126 yards on five catches.

Stockstill finished 21-34 for 353 yards and three touchdowns.

Middle Tennessee State grabbed its first lead of the contest late in the third after Stockstill connected with Richie James from 12 yards, making it 14-7. Cody Carter nailed a 19-yard field goal at the end of the quarter, extending the Blue Raiders lead to 17-7.

Nick Smith connected on his first score of the game, sending a 37-yard field goal through the uprights to cut the lead to seven.

With 1:06 left in the contest, Marshall did something it had not done in nearly three weeks; score a second-half touchdown on a Litton to Ryan Yurachek strike to tie the game at 17.

Marshall defense forced a quick three and out on the Blue Raiders and Litton took the Herd deep into Blue Raiders territory after a quarterback scramble picked up an addition 15 yards on a late hit out of bounds to move the Herd into field goal range with a chance to win the game with only 10 seconds remaining.

Smith's 32-yard attempt missed wide and the Blue Raiders survived to play overtime.

Stockstill connected for his third touchdown pass of the game on the second play in the first overtime period, hitting Ed Batties for a 27-yard score and a 24-17 lead.

Marshall answered the call with a score of its own, a Litton to Davonte Allen 19-yard pass, to send the game into the second overtime period.

Litton finished 34-56 for 346 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Allen led the Herd with eight catches for 112 yards.

Marshall turned to Curraj in the second overtime period after Smith missed three kicks during regulation. The call was all for not as Curraj's 38-yard attempt was no good, giving Middle Tennessee State a chance to steal away the win.

They least in the second period.

Clark lined up from 31 yards, only to miss wide left, giving Marshall another reprieve as the game moved to its third overtime.

Thompson set the tone to open the third extra period for the Herd as he dropped Stockstill for a 12-yard loss on his second sack of the game. Middle Tennessee State settled for another Clark attempt, this one from 46 yards, and he drilled his longest make of the season for a 27-24 lead.

Taj Letmen led the Herd defensively with 12 tackles while Michael Minter and T.T. Barber turned in double-digit performances with 16 and 13 tackles respectively for the Blue Raiders.

Marshall welcomes FIU to Huntington Saturday for senior day as it pays tribute to the 75 fallen souls of the 1970 plane crash. Middle Tennessee State travels to Florida Atlantic.