UMass Falls To Marshall, 49-20
Sept 8, 2001
By RANDY COLEMAN
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Byron Leftwich passed for 331 yards and five touchdowns as Marshall beat Massachusetts 49-20 on Saturday night.
Sophomore receiver Darius Watts caught three of Leftwich's scoring tosses, a 15-yarder in the first quarter and 20- and 10-yard strikes in the third quarter.
Despite the four-touchdown victory, the game wasn't the cakewalk over the Division I-AA Minutemen most Marshall fans expected.
Marshall (1-1) moved the ball almost at will throughout the contest and finished with 545 yards of offense. The Thundering Herd scored four of the first five times they had the ball, jumping to a 28-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
But UMass (0-2) also moved seemingly at ease for much of the contest. The Minutemen finished with 355 yards and scored twice in the final two minutes of the first half to pull to 28-20 at halftime.
The Minutemen opened the second half by driving to the Marshall 41 before stalling when quarterback Matt Guice missed on a fourth-down pass.
Marshall then took control.
The Thundering Herd scored three times in the third quarter to stretch their lead to 49-20.
Senior Trod Buggs - playing in place of injured tailbacks Franklin Wallace and Chanston Rodgers - rushed 12 times for 128 yards and caught two passes for 44 yards.
Buggs scored the first time he touched the ball, on a 25-yard pass into the right flat.
Marshall played without starting receiver Curtis Jones, defensive end Ralph Street and linebackers Charles Tynes and Alonzo Jones.
Marshall would not comment on whether the players were suspended. But on Friday the NCAA denied Marshall's appeal to fully reinstate 14 student-athletes suspended last week for taking extra work benefits.
Ten football players are required to miss three games this season and two
players are required to miss one game.
Also, two men's basketball players are required to miss eight games of their season.
Marshall has refused to release the players' names or provide specifics on the infractions.
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