Marshall Downs East Carolina in Overtime, 34-27
Nov. 26, 2011
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Tron Martinez's one-yard touchdown run in overtime lifted Marshall to a 34-27 win over East Carolina on Saturday.
Marshall (6-6, 5-3 Conference USA) became bowl eligible for the first time under second-year coach Doc Holliday.
Dominique Davis threw an interception on fourth down to end East Carolina's overtime possession, keeping the Pirates (5-7, 4-4) out of a bowl for the first time in six years.
Davis threw three touchdown passes to sophomore inside receiver Justin Jones, including a six-yarder with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Davis finished 32-of-48 passing for 285 yards. His trio of touchdown tosses gave him the ECU career record with 62. Davis moved ahead of David Garrard (1998-01), who held the previous mark with 60 aerial scores.
Jones became the first Pirate with three TD grabs in a game since Bobby Good against Army on Oct. 20, 2004, a span of 94 games.
Senior Michael Barbour kicked a pair of long-distance field goals to keep the Pirates in the game as he converted 57 and 58-yard attempts in the second quarter. The 58-yard make tied the East Carolina program record, set by Jeff Heath against Texas-Arlington on Nov. 6, 1982. It was the longest FG ever inside Joan C. Edwards Stadium, and the third-longest field goal in Conference USA history.
Defensively, ECU was led by senior field cornerback Derek Blacknall, who forced the first fumble of his career in the opening quarter by knocking the ball away from Antavious Wilson. Blacknall added another forced fumble in the fourth quarter, jarring the ball loose from Wilson again. Freshman outside linebacker Maurice Falls made his first career start and chipped in with two sacks. He became the first Pirate with two or more quarterback drops in a contest since Josh Smith had a pair against UAB on Nov. 21, 2009.
Marshall's Rakeem Cato completed 23-of-29 passes for 341 yards and two scores in his second-straight start in place of the injured A.J. Graham. Aaron Dobson caught two TD passes and had four catches for 110 yards for the Thundering Herd.