Report Card: Marshall @ Kansas State

Marshall started off a historic day of Top 25 wins for the Mid-American Conference with the 27-20 win in Manhattan, Kansas, over then-#6 Kansas State. Later that night, Northern Illinois topped then-#22 Alabama in Birmingham. Then, Toledo invited then-#9 Pittsburgh to the Glass Bowl and hung a 35-31 win on the Panthers. Add in Miami's any other weekend big win at Colorado State, 41-21, and the MAC Commish, is buying the next round of Beer, Chryst Style, or BCS! Here is the MU report card:

Offense A What, are you kidding me? 201 rushing by Butchie Wallace and Earl Charles, 106 and two touchdowns passing by "G-squared," Graham Gochneaur and the offensive line manhandled a Big XII defesnsive unit giving up only 63 yards per game on the ground. What about the drive when the Wildcats took the lead, as the Herd runs and hits short passes to methodically move in for the go ahead TD, and then a great pass and catch by Josh Davis to give the Herd a full seven point lead.

Defense A"Woody, what are we going to do about our run defense?," might be the question I have tired of most from Herd fans. Again, the highest grade to stop KSU's vaunted run offense attack (although partial credit must go to Kansas State and their offensive scheme-the Heisman Trophy candidate is Darren Sproles, not Jeff Schwinn. How does the QB get more carries than Sproles). Jonathan Goddard turned "ol' MO" on his ear with the fumble recovery for an 84-yard touchdown and K-State never recovered.

Special Teams CNick Kelly hit two field goals, including into the wind to end the half with MU up 16-10, but the miss on chip shot with wind at back made end more exciting than need be. Klint Rose almost let K-State back in game with NINE-yard punt into student section, then mis-snap on punt by long snapper. Chris Royal kickoff return and Dennis Thorton in coverage keep grade up and Ian O'Conner was deep on kicks, except for out of bounds to start.

Overall A Come on, the first win over a Top Ten team, dominating defense and running the ball down the throat of one of the best defenses (?) in the Big XII? What do you think I give the Herd for the first non-conference win over the Wildcats in 42 games? A for effort, A for out-coaching K-State to bob Pruett and staff and an A because I'm still giddy about this win...yes, giddy!


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