Nov 7, 2020; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback Grant Wells (8) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

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No. 16 Marshall routs UMass, 51-10

Brenden Knox rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Grant Wells threw for 228 yards and three scores as unbeaten No. 16 Marshall routed the visiting Massachusetts Minutemen 51-10 in their nonconference matchup in Huntington, W.Va., on Saturday.

Knox had 105 yards by halftime, topping 100 for his fifth straight game, as Marshall improved to 6-0.

The Minutemen (0-2), an FBS independent, entered as 43.5-point underdogs and are trying to put together a season after initially canceling their slate of games. They lost to Georgia Southern 41-0 on Oct. 17.

UMass freshman quarterback Will Koch went 12 of 18 passing for 99 yards and a touchdown. Samuel Emilus caught six passes but only for 29 yards, including a touchdown. The Minutemen had only 41 yards rushing.

Marshall scored on five of its seven first-half possessions, capped by a six-play drive completed in only two minutes. Sheldon Evans’ 11-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds left before intermission extended the Herd’s lead to 31-10.

On its first possession of the second half, Marshall marched 80 yards on 11 plays, finishing it off on a 13-yard pass to Xavier Gaines. The failed conversion kept the lead at 37-10, but not for long.

Koch fumbled on UMass’ next possession after a hit by defensive lineman Jamare Edwards. It was the only turnover of the game. Two plays later, Wells and Gaines connected again, this time for a 16-yard score, pushing the lead to 44-10.

Marshall wasted little time getting on the board, needing only four plays to cover 75 yards on the game’s first possession. The last 45 of those yards came on a romp off the left side by Knox for a 7-0 lead just 1:32 into the game.

The Minutemen tied the score on their second possession, going 80 yards on six plays, helped mightily by a 37-yard pass from Koch to Taylor Edwards after a double-handoff. Koch’s 2-yard toss to Emilus gave UMass its first points of the season.

Artie Henry caught five passes for 71 yards, and Gaines had seven for 66 yards for Marshall, which piled up 495 yards in total offense to 190 for UMass. The Herd entered the game allowing 9.4 points and 265 yards per game.

The Herd (3-0 Conference USA) are scheduled to return to league action on Nov. 14 against visiting Middle Tennessee.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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