TU-Marshall: Report Card
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 07, 2012
10/07/12 at 6:44 AM
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Coach Bill Blankenship indicated the Tulsa plan was to emphasize its run game, and the run game became even more significant after quarterback Cody Green sustained a first-half injury to his throwing shoulder. Green was 9-of-17 passing for 90 yards. He did convert on two extremely important throws during the fourth quarter (the first of which was a third-down, 47-yard catch-and-run by Keyarris Garrett). Tulsa's 250-yard ground game was driven by Trey Watts (111 yards) and big man Alex Singleton (94 yards and three TDs). Other than the 47-yard play, Green completed only three passes to wide receivers, and those netted only 15 yards.
TU gave up way too many total yards (572) and way too many passing yards (403), along with allowing the Thundering Herd to drive 99 yards for the fourth-quarter, go-ahead touchdown. The Golden Hurricane defense did, however, make big plays at big moments. Cornerback Lowell Rose and safety Marco Nelson were responsible for victory-preserving pass break-ups. Linebacker Shawn Jackson had a tremendous performance - 16 tackles and a sack. End Jared St. John was extremely active with seven tackles. On Marshall's penultimate offensive play, St. John pressured Marshall QB Rakeem Cato into throwing the ball away. On the next play - on fourth down from the TU 17, with 44 seconds left - Nelson knocked down a Cato pass in the end zone.
On a third-quarter kickoff return by Trey Watts, three Thundering Herd players had a chance to make the tackle at the Tulsa 30. Aided by Zack Langer's block, Watts escaped and completed a 95-yard touchdown return - the longest of his career. Watts had a career-best total of 255 all-purpose yards. During the opening minute of the fourth quarter, and with TU leading only 37-32, Hurricane sophomore Cole Way delivered his best punt of the season - a 61-yarder that rolled out of bounds at the Marshall 1. TU freshman Daniel Schwarz was good on a 36-yard, line-drive field goal to open the scoring. Tulsa's only special-teams bust occurred on a point-after attempt, when a flawed snap was recovered by Marshall and returned for a Thundering Herd two-pointer.
TU players sing to their fans following their 45-38 victory over Marshall. RANDY SNYDER / for the Tulsa World
Keyarris Garrett breaks away from Marshall's D.J. Hunter after catching a pass. Garrett's 47-yard reception in the fourth quarter set up the winning touchdown. RANDY SNYDER / for the Tulsa World