Herd Drops Hard-Fought 34-24 Game At Tennessee

Marshall played in front of the biggest crowd to ever see Thundering Herd football Saturday. 106,520 came to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville and watched the Herd and Tennessee put on an offensive show, with over 800 total yards, seven touchdowns and 68 points scored by both teams. The Volunteers were able to pull away in the fourth quarter with two James Wilholt field goals to defeat a pesky Marshall team that did not seem intimidated by the crowd or the Vols #12 ranking, as Tennesse wins 34-24.

Stan Hill threw for three touchdowns and 242 yards in three quarters for the Herd, before leaving the game with an injury. Hill aggravated his left knee that was injured on a run at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter on a scramble. He hit Jason Rader for eight yards to give MU a 7-0 lead.

Marshall tight end Jason Rader went up high for the Herd's first TD of the game against Tennessee.

With Marshall trailing 21-10 in the third quarter, Hill hooked up with Darius Watts (9-112, TD) for a 13-yard touchdown that again brought the Herd within four. After Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen, who had a great game of 33 attempts, 21 completions, 235 yards and three touchdowns, hit fullback Troy Fleming to put UT back up by 11 points, Hill and Josh Davis (6-123, TD) hooked up on a 65-yard slant pass that Davis turned into a touchdown. Davis ran away from the trailing Vols on defense after a great block by fellow receiver, Brad Bates.

Toriano Brown got a hand on Tennessee QB Casey Clausen in the second quarter on Saturday afternoon.

With Hill, who finished with 24 attempts, 16 completions, 242 yards passing and three touchdowns, out of the game, Marshall turned to junior Graham Gochneaur. While hitting on 70 percent of his passes (10-7-1, 52 yards), Gochneaur was not able to drive the Herd in for a score as Tennessee sealed the win with two Wilholt field goals at the 5:27 and 1:38 marks of the final quarter.

The Tennessee rushing attack was slowed by the MU defense at times, especially in the first half, but the Vols rushed for 223 yards in the game. Cedric Houston had the bulk of those, with his 160 yards on the night. Jabari Davis chipped in 61 more on eight carries, including a 35-yard score in the third quarter. MU rushed for only 88 yards on the night, but much of the total was lost as UT sacked the Herd seven times for minus-56 yards on the night. Earl Charles led the Herd with 10 for 56 and Hill had a beautiful 34-yard run on Marshall's second drive of the game.

Other standouts for the Herd included linebacker Charlie Tynes, who picked off Clausen's only interception of the game to set up Ben Lewis for a second quarter field goal of 34-yards that gave MU a 10-7 lead until nearly halftime. Lewis also hit 3-3 on extra-points and Knoxville native and true freshman Ian O'Conner kicked to the end zone or deeper throughout the game.Chris Royal had a 35-yard kickoff return to start the game and later chipped in a 21-yard punt return, plus some good play in the nickle and dime packages.

Marshall will get in the training room early Sunday morning, as Hill, Toriano Brown, Roberto Terrell and Josh Davis all sustained injuries that required medical attention. The Herd will practice Sunday afternoon or early evening, due to the short week with the Friday game with Mid-American Conference opponent Toledo looming. An expected packed house is expected for the 7:00 p.m. kickoff, televised on ESPN and heard on the Thundering Herd/ISP Sports Network on 37 stations reaching eight states and the District of Columbia.

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