Sorry this is so late, folks. Took me forever at the ballot box. Just couldn’t make up my mind on that assessor’s race.
Until midway through last Saturday’s fourth quarter, it looked like Marshall’s football team couldn’t make up its mind as to whether it wanted to put Memphis away. But the Thundering Herd finally iced it with Cato’s touchdown to Davonte Allen and Cortez Carter’s sack.
Now Marshall heads to Birmingham for a game at UAB and an opportunity to do something it hasn’t all season — win two games in a row.
Here’s a trio of points to ponder as you wait for that:
1) It may sound silly saying this, but Saturday’s game is a must win for the Herd. As I’ve said earlier, the last thing Marshall needs is to enter its regular season finale with East Carolina needing to beat the Pirates to become bowl eligible. Lose to UAB, and the Herd is forced to win two straight against Houston and ECU … and if Marshall loses to the Blazers, the Herd would have gone 10 games without winning two in a row. Win Saturday, and all Marshall needs is a split.
2) Methinks the Herd saw in Memphis what it will see in UAB — a team with nothing to lose that’s ready to throw everything against the wall and see if it sticks. The Tigers dropped an onside kick and a fake punt at the Herd and succeeded at both. UAB tried an onside kick and punt block against Ohio State and succeeded. The Blazers have blocked two punts and a kick and recovered three of the five onside kicks its tried. They don’t just get tricky. They get tricky and get it done.
3) Not to be a wet blanket … and the team isn’t going to speak ill of a sorely needed win … but Marshall’s performance against Memphis isn’t the performance it needs going forward. Memphis converted six of seven fourth downs and dominated on special teams. And don’t forget there were at least three dropped passes that would have gone for long gains or touchdowns. Again, a win is a win, and Marshall will take wins any way they can right now. But Memphis isn’t very good and the competition only gets better the rest of the way.