Marshall Gives Memphis Some 41-27 Blues

Marshall scored early and often. To wit: Ahmad Bradshaw went for 125 yards and three TDs; Jimmy Skinner relieved Bernard Morris and hit 13-of-21 for 181 yards and two scores; Morris hooked up with Cody Slate for a 75-yard touchdown reception; Curtis Keyes, James Johnson and C.J. Spillman all grabbed interceptions. It is no surprise that Marshall marched to a 41-27 win over Memphis on Saturday...

Bernard Morris started the game at QB for Marshall, hitting 2-of-3 for 94 yards before a foot injury sent him to the bench. Jimmy Skinner came off the the bench for the second consecutive week and had a great game, hitting 62 percent, throwing touchdowns to Emanuel Spann and and Ahmad Bradshaw in the second and third quarters respectively to give Marshall a 35-13 lead in the game.

Marshall tight end Cody Slate looked behind him during his 75-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the first quarter against Memphis. photos by Greg Perry/HI staff

Memphis, however, came back with a 27-yard touchdown via a Martin Hankins to Ryan Scott pass with about one minute to play in the the third quarter, and appeared ready to tighten up the game when they drove to the Herd one-yard line with 12 minutes to play.

However, the Marshall defense had bent but not broken in crucial situations all night, and came up with the first of two big fourth quarter turnovers. Memphis' T.J. Pitts was stripped of the ball by Albert McClellan at the one-yard line and Ian Hoskins recovered at the two. The Herd would have to punt from the end zone and Memphis was right back in business at the Marshall 45-yard line. After two first downs, the Tigers were facing fourth-and-five at the Herd 17-yard line when C.J. Spillman stepped in front of a Hankins pass and returned the ball 85 yards for a touchdown race down the Herd's sidelines.

Memphis QB Martin Hankins (13) had one shot at C.J. Spillman, but couldn't make the tackle. Spillman intercepted Hankins and returned the pick 85 yards for a score in the fourth quarter of Marshall's 41-27 win over the Tigers.

Zip, bang, boom. Just like that, Marshall led 41-20 with six minutes remaining in the game.

Memphis would score on its next drive, but Curtis Keyes would stop the final Tiger drive with the third MU interception and fourth Memphis turnover of the day. And with that, Marshall improved to 2-2 in Conference USA and 3-5 overall. It is the first two-game win streak for coach Mark Snyder and the first at MU since the Herd beat Buffalo and UCF on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, 2004.

Marshall's Shavar Greer (91) went up high over Memphis QB Martin Hankins during the first half. Marshall won the game, 41-27.

Spillman's interception for a touchdown was the first since 2004 as well, when Willie Smith went 32 yards for a score against Cincinnati in the Fort Worth Bowl that same year.

Marshall won its Homecoming game for the 14th consecutive year dating back to 1993, and is now 53-42-8 all-time in Homecoming games, back to the first in 1895.

Ahmad Bradshaw flipped the ball in the air after crossing the goal line during his second TD of the night against Memphis. Bradshaw ran for 125 yards on the night.

The Herd rushed for 130 yards, with Bradshaw picking up 125 of those. That involved two touchdowns, including a 52-yard effort in the third quarter, as well as a receiving touchdown, first of the year and fourth of his career. Tight end Cody Slate caught four for 135 yards and the 75-yard touchdown in the first quarter is a season-long and career-best for both Slate and QB Bernard Morris.

In the end, Marshall had 408 yards of offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play, and were plus-two in turnovers in the game. Matt Couch had 13 tackles, James Johnson and C.J. Spillman had 11 and an interception each and Keyes had 10 tackles and an interception.

Up next for The Herd is a home game against the Tulane Green Wave next Saturday (November 4)at Edwards Stadium. Game time is 8:00pm, and the game will be televised by CSTV.

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