The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

September 15, 2013

Turnovers overshadow Herd offense

The good news for Marshall after its disappointing loss at Ohio is that the offense really was not stopped.

At least not by the Bobcats.

The Thundering Herd outgained Ohio 482-339 in total offense and gained 28 first downs to Ohio’s 19. But the second-most important number — four turnovers — directly led to the ultimate 34-31 loss, Marshall’s third straight in the Battle for the Bell series.

Marshall (2-1) had not fumbled in its first two games, but had three in the first half against Ohio. The Bobcats scored half their points off three of the Herd’s four giveaways.

“We just didn’t play well enough,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said after the game. “We turned it over too many times. Give Ohio a lot of credit, they fought hard, and our guys did, too.”

One of the turnovers was a fumbled kickoff by Steward Butler that the Bobcats’ Toran Davis recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.

“That kick return was unacceptable and just can’t happen,” Holliday said.

Marshall quarterbck Rakeem Cato played well, completing 30 of 45 passes for 366 yards and a touchdown. His only interception, with less than eight minutes to play and the Herd trailing 31-24, came when intended target Demetrius Evans slipped.

Now the Herd will have to prepare for a Virginia Tech team that, as is usually the case, is riding its defense thus far. The Hokies (2-1) have the No. 2 defense in the nation, and are allowing 190.7 total yards per game.

Tech has picked off seven passes total this season.

Marshall will visit Lane Stadium/Worsham Field in Blacksburg, Va., at noon Saturday. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

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