RECAP: Starting at its own 4-yard line following a superb pooch kick by UT's Dustin Colquitt, Marshall shredded a UT defense that was ranked No. 1 nationally entering the game. The Herd marched 96 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead -- the big plays being a 26-yard run by Earl Charles, a 21-yard completion from Stan Hill to Josh Davis and a 34-yard scramble by Hill. The TD play was a nine-yard strike from Hill to Jason Rader. Tennessee had good field position all quarter -- starting drives at its 27-, 36- and 41-yard lines but could not score.
KEY PLAY: On second-and-10 at Tennessee's 49-yard line, Vol defenders blanketed Marshall's receivers but Hill eluded the pass rush and rambled 34 yards to the UT 15-yard line. The Herd went up 7-0 three plays later.
KEY PLAYER: Hill. In addition to his 34-yard scramble, he had another run of 14 yards and completed 4 of 9 pass attempts for 45 yards.
KEY STAT: Each team had nine rushing attempts in the quarter but Marshall parlayed its carries into 74 yards, while UT managed just 14.
RECAP: Completing a drive that began at its 49-yard line late in the first quarter, Tennessee got a 16-yard scramble by Casey Clausen on the first play of the second period that carried to the Marshall 24-yard line. On third-and-10, Clausen hit James Banks on a slant route and the converted QB took it to the house for a game-tying 24-yard TD play. Marshall broke the 7-7 tie with 3:16 left till halftime on a 34-yard Ben Lewis field goal. With just 38 seconds left in the half, Rashad Baker returned a Marshall punt 35 yards, and a late-hit penalty tacked on another 15 yards, giving UT the ball at the Herd's 27-yard line with 26 seconds left. Tony Brown made a leaping catch of a Clausen pass near the back of the end zone and -- Presto -- UT suddenly found itself with a 14-10 lead.
KEY PLAY: Without Baker's long punt return and Marshall's late-hit penalty, Tennessee goes to halftime down 10-7 instead of leading 14-10. That return swung the game's momentum and probably ranks as the biggest play of the game.
KEY PLAYER: Vol linebacker Kevin Simon recorded a whopping three sacks in the quarter, the losses covering 10, 7 and 11 yards.
KEY STAT: Clausen completed 5 of 7 pass attempts for 82 yards and 2 TDs in the period.
RECAP: Tennessee marched 80 yards in eight plays to open the third period, getting a 50-yard run from Cedric Houston along the way. Jabari Davis leaped over the goalline from two yards out for the score as Tennessee went up 21-10. Just when it appeared the Vols were ready to land the knockout punch, however, their defense went crazy. Four personal foul penalties -- two facemask infractions and two late-hit fouls -- accounted for 49 yards of an 80-yard drive that enabled Marshall to pull within 21-17. Hill hit Darius Watts with a 13-yard pass for the score. UT retaliated with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that featured a 14-yard completion to freshman Jayson Swain on third-and-10 at the Vol 37 and a 35-yard run by Houston. Clausen hit fullback Troy Fleming with a three-yard pass for the TD. The 28-17 lead lasted precisely 94 seconds. A third-and-five toss to Josh Davis broke clean and went 65 yards for a touchdown, capping a four-play 80-yard drive and closing the gap to 28-24.
KEY PLAY: (Tie) Houston's 50-yard run to set up UT's first touchdown of the quarter and his 35-yard run that set up the Vols' second TD of the period.
KEY PLAYER: Houston had 10 rushes for 102 yards in the quarter, almost single-handedly carrying the Vol offense.
KEY STAT: Tennessee was 5 of 5 on third-down conversions in the period, converting a third-and-seven, a third-and-goal from the 2, a third-and-10, a third-and-goal from the 3 and a third-and-4.
RECAP: Swain dropped a would-be 40-yard touchdown pass on UT's second play of the quarter and James Wilhoit subsequently missed a 47-yard field goal. On the Vols' next possession, however, Swain made a spectacular 35-yard catch to get the Vols in field-goal range and Wilhoit connected from 42 yards out, padding the lead to 31-24. Wilhoit then secured the final margin by nailing a game-clinching 35-yard field goal with 1:38 remaining.
KEY PLAY: The Clausen-to-Swain bomb came on a third-and-14 from the Vol 41-yard line. If that pass falls incomplete, Marshall gets the ball back trailing just 28-24, instead of 31-24.
KEY PLAYER: Clausen. The Vol QB completed 7 of 11 passes for 54 yards in the quarter. He would've been 8 of 11 for 94 yards had Swain held on to the 40-yard strike on the second play of the quarter.
KEY STAT: UT ran 24 plays, gained 123 total yards and kept the ball for 10:21 of the period. Marshall ran just 13 plays for 63 yards and kept the ball for just 4:39. How's that for ball control?