Marshall tops Charlotte, 30-13
HUNTINGTON — Facing adversity and a tied game against the Charlotte 49ers in the third quarter, Marshall University’s football team needed a lift.
On a day when Marshall (6-3, 4-2 Conference USA) was honoring victims of the Nov. 14, 1970, plane crash, the Thundering Herd seemed to have a few extra players with them as the second half wore on. Marshall used a strong defensive effort and the emergence of running back Brenden Knox in the second half to fuel a 30-13 victory in front of 19,418 spectators in Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday.
With running backs Tyler King and Keion Davis sidelined, Knox went into action when Anthony Anderson was injured on a fumble on the opening drive of the third quarter. The redshirt freshman from Columbus responded, logging 22 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown.
His 4-yard touchdown capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive when Marshall answered after Charlotte turned the Anderson fumble into a Jonathan Cruz field goal to knot the game 13-13.
It was a statement drive by the Herd, especially after the offense struggled to move things in the first half.
Following Knox’s touchdown, the Marshall defense took the field energized and forced two straight three-and-outs that fueled a sequence when Marshall scored 17 consecutive points to take control.
Obi Obialo added a 10-yard touchdown reception from Isaiah Green and Justin Rohrwasser added a 23-yard field goal -- his third of the game -- to set the final score.
Green finished the game 15 of 25 passing for 178 yards and a touchdown while leading a Marshall offense that did not turn the ball over.
Marshall took a 13-10 lead at the halftime break despite Charlotte’s offense putting together a drive at the end of the second quarter that led to a 40-yard field goal by Jonathan Cruz as time expired in the half.
Charlotte (4-6, 3-3) took an early lead, but Marshall scored 13 straight points with 10 coming on consecutive possessions.
After a 23-yard field goal by Rohrwasser, Marshall’s defense forced a punt before special teams came up with a huge play to give the Herd the lead in the first quarter.
Marshall’s Darius Hodge broke through the line and blocked a Kyle Corbett punt. The ball bounded into the arms of Naquan Renalds, who fell on it at the 1-yard line. One play later, Anderson went into the end zone to give the Herd a 10-7 lead. Rohrwasser added a 33-yard field goal to increase the lead to 13-7 before Charlotte’s late drive.
Charlotte came into the game at No. 3 in FBS in time of possession and dominated the first-half tally, possessing the ball for a 2-to-1 ratio on the Herd.