The Marshall coaches were hoping Bernard Morris could rest a sore "turf toe" on his right foot, but Brian Anderson for was not moving the Herd while New Hampshire quarterback Ricky Santos was having a field day against the Herd. 2006's Walter Payton award winner for what was I-AA football passed for three touchdowns and hit 23-of-33 for 289 yards while rushing for another 45 yards and one touchdown on the ground.
Kelvin Turner rushed for three touchdowns in the loss to UNH. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
The Marshall defense gave up 502 yards to the Colonial Athletic Conference member, allowing 213 yards on the ground. When Morris closed the Herd to within six points at 34-28, after he found Kelvin Turner for one of his three touchdowns on the night, the special teams had a breakdown allowing Keith LeVan to return Anthony Binswanger's kickoff 80 yards to the Herd nine-yard line. Two plays later, Santos found LeVan for a four yard score to blow the lead back out to 13 points, down 41-28.
The Marshall Thundering Herd took the field under sunny skies to face New Hampshire on Saturday, with perfect temps in the high 60s. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Back came Morris, who hit 31-of-42 off the bench, who found Darius Passmore for a 25-yard touchdown that once again appeared to have the Herd in striking distance. But Santos led the Wildcats on a clock-burning, 13-play, 70 yard drive that rand the clock down to 1:01 to play in the fourth quarter. Coach Mark Snyder said after the game, Marshall could not get a stop when they needed to. "Give them credit, they played well," said Snyder. "They had a good plan."
Darius Passmore went up high for this touchdown pass from QB Bernard Morris in the second half against New Hampshire. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
This was the third consecutive game a team has run the ball at will against the Herd, as Miami had a 100-yard rusher and 260 total rushing yards and West Virginia had 362 yards rushing as Steve Slaton piled up 146 yards. Today, Chris Ward just missed the 100-mark with 99 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown, the clincher from two-yards out with 1:01 to play. "We couldn't stop them," said Snyder. "We have to get that fixed. We can't stop the run." Snyder was happy with the offense, but not the slow start. "The offense played well in spurts, but it took us a quarter and one-half to get going. The offense looked good in the two-minute and that might be our way to go, staying in the hurry-up."
Cody Slate was off to the races on this 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run against New Hampshire. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
It was a big day for both offenses with Marshall piling up 562 yards in the game in total yards, while New Hampshire had 502 yards. Tight ends on both sides led the way, with Scott Sicko leading New Hampshire with six catches for 78 yards. Cody Slate led the Herd with 11 catches for 177 yards and an electrifying 80 yard touchdown late in the third quarter that closed the New Hampshire 24-0 halftime lead to 31-21. The Herd, however, allowed New Hampshire to pick up a field goal and two more touchdown in the final period which led to the Herd's first loss to a FCS/I-AA team since dropping the national championship to Montana, 22-20, in 1995 with freshman Chad Pennington at the controls for Marshall.
QB Bernard Morris had a career night against New Hampshire despite only playing two-plus quarters. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Passmore finished with eight catches for 91 yards and a score. Courtney Edmonson had five for 55 while Emmanuel Spann had four for 69. Marshall's leading rusher was Chubb Small, with five carries for 45 yards. Kelvin Turner had just three carries for three yards, but two of those were touchdowns. Turner also caught two balls for 18 yards and a third score. On defense, safety C.J. Spillman had six solo tackles, 11 assists and forced a fumble. Josh Johnson ended the game with six solos, eight assists, a sack, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry from the linebacker position. Corner Ashton Hall, who briefly left the game but returned on the next series, had five solo, six assists and forced a fumble.
While Hall re-entered the game, the Herd came into the game with defensive end John Jacobs on the sidelines following surgery this week, with nickel back Aaron Johnson also out with a hand injury. During the game, Marshall lost tackle Montel Glasco and with Albert McClellan and Zearrick Mathews out, the Herd was down five starters on defense and even Byron Tinker was like Hall in having to be helped from the field but returning. In addition, left tackle John Inman was taken to the training room on the trainer's cart. Red-shirt freshman Brandon Campbell came in and did a very good job of replacing the senior, as Morris was only sacked twice all game.