Marshall began the game with quarterback Graham Gochneaur, but the junior was pulled just before the end of the first half after going just 8-13 for 53 yards. Stan Hill made a return to action, his first since suffering a knee injury during the Tennessee loss three weeks ago.
With Troy State up 13-3, Hill stepped in for the Thundering Herd and hit tight end Jason Rader for MU's first touchdown of the game with :24 remaining in the first half. Hill went 13-16 for 109 yards in the first half, and all appeared well.
Marshall QB Stan Hill returned to action at Troy State, replacing Graham Gochneaur late in the second quarter.photo by Donald Norsworthy for Herd Insider
Troy State, however, would prove that what goes up must eventually come back down. In the second half, both teams went 0-for-3 on their first three drives of the half. Josh Davis broke that streak when the Marshall wide receiver took a Hill pass 79 yards for a touchdown -running the last 45 yards untouched- with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Marshall took the 17-13 lead.
Troy State running back DeWhitt Betterson took control of the game at this point. The 218-pound junior broke free on a 57-yard run up the middle, which set up Betterson's plunge from 3 yards out with 2:32 left to put the Trojans back in the lead at 20-17.
With 11:45 left in the game, TSU's Derrick Ansley picked off a Stan Hill pass and returned the interception 65 yards for the TSU touchdown. The Trojans jumped up 26-17 and never looked back, despite Marshall blocking the extra point.
Marshall got right back in the game on Stan Hill's 15-yard TD pass to Darius Watts with 8:02 left in the game, closing the gap to only two points at 26-24. But where TSU RB Betterson left off, replacement Marrio Fraser stepped in. Fraser continued TSU's punishing running attack, capped with Fraser's run up the middle for the final score of the game with 5:28 remaining.
However, Troy State defensive back Derrick Ansley capped a stellar night by intercepting yet another Stan Hill pass with 2:54 left in the game, sealing the win for the Trojans. Troy State amassed 349 yards of offense, yet Marshall racked up 417 yards in the loss.
Marshall falls to 2-3 overall with the loss, while Troy State pumps up to 3-2 overall with the win. Marshall next faces Kent State on October 11 after an open week, while the Trojans travel to Nebraska.