"That's two weeks we've been pretty dominant out there on the field," said Marshall DB Yancey Satterwhite. "I like what I'm seeing out there from my guys."
And what Satterwhite saw was a solid performance from the Marshall defense against TSU. In fact, Marshall limited the Trojans to 164 yards of total offense. Troy State ran the ball on 47 of their 72 plays, yet ended up with just 63 yards on the ground. Troy State quarterback Hansell Bearden was sacked five times, with Marshall lineman Orlando Washington picking up two of those.
"I'm tickled to death," coach Bob Pruett said afterwards. "As a matter of fact, I'm a little surprised we handled them that easily."
While the Marshall defense was holding its ground against the TSU offense, Marshall's offense went to the air to do the most damage against the Trojans. Byron Leftwich threw for 275 yards and two TDs while running for a third. Brandon Carey stepped in after Franklin Wallace turned his ankle early in the game, and Carey ended up with 74 yards on 21 carries. The steady downpour forced the Marshall offense to play gingerly in pass mode, going for the short gains instead of the long ball.
Darius Watts extended out to nab this 21-yard TD pass from Byron Leftwich in the second quarter against Troy State.
"It (rain) forces you to change everything," Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich said of the sloppy conditions and the passing attack. "But we did a great job of doing what we had to do to win."
Marshall wide receiver Curtis Jones severely injured his leg on the Herd's first play from scrimmage during the game. According to new NCAA regulations, Jones' condition was not made available after the game. However, sources confirmed that the injury was season-ending in severity.
With Jones out, Marshall tight end Jason Rader stepped to the forefront. The St. Albans, WV native had his best game of his first year playing for the Herd, hauling in six passes for 47 yards and one touchdown, a 14 yarder with 4:00 remaining in the first quarter. "After he (Jones) went down, I felt like I had to step up and become that fourth receiver tonight," Rader said. "It's just a devastating blow losing Curtis like that."
With the win Marshall improves to 5-1 overall, 3-0 in MAC play. Troy State slides to 2-6 overall with the loss. The Herd now begins preparations for next Saturday's MAC game at Central Michigan, with a 2pm EST kickoff. Troy State hosts Florida Atlantic next Saturday at home.