No. 22 Marshall slips by Florida Atlantic
Grant Wells threw for 251 yards and a pair of touchdowns as Marshall got by Florida Atlantic 20-9 in a matchup of Conference USA East Division contenders on an overcast, chilly Saturday afternoon in Huntington, W. Va.
Wells completed 18 of 31 passes with two interceptions as the Thundering Herd (5-0, 3-0 C-USA) continued their best start since the 2014 team won its first 11 games.
Brenden Knox scored on a 58-yard reception in the first quarter and posted his fourth consecutive triple-digit rushing game with 101 yards.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Owls (1-1, 1-1 C-USA).
Tavante Beckett (13) and Joshua Bowers (11) both were in double figures in tackles for the Herd, who got to FAU’s Nick Tronti for five sacks and an interception. Tronti was 18 of 30 passing but for only 148 yards.
Both teams hurt themselves with penalties. The Owls were penalized 11 times for 126 yards, the Herd seven for 65 yards.
Marshall trailed for the first time this season when critical penalties on the Herd’s defense kept alive FAU’s opening drive of the third quarter that ended with Vladimir Rivas’s 43-yard field goal to give the Owls a 9-7 lead.
The Herd went to the locker room up 7-6 at halftime after blocking the extra point attempt following FAU’s Malcolm Davidson’s 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
The Owls were missing six starters, including offensive tackles Marquice Robinson and BJ Etienne, because of COVID-19 tracing concerns and a seventh, running back BJ Emmons, was out with an ankle injury. Then they lost backup running back Larry McCammon III to a leg injury in the third quarter.
Marshall was without leading receiver Broc Thompson, sidelined by a foot injury, and lost starting safety Derrek Pitts to a targeting penalty in the second quarter.
–Field Level Media