Litton, Yurachek help Marshall beat Cincinnati 38-21
CINCINNATI (AP) Chase Litton and Ryan Yurachek have been together for three seasons and through rough times.
Marshall won just three games last year and hadn’t won on the road since Oct. 31, 2015, at Charlotte but these two road roommates led their younger teammates.
Litton threw four touchdown passes, including three to Yurachek, to help Marshall to a 38-21 win over Cincinnati on Saturday night.
”Let’s just say we talked about this game and our prediction came true,” Litton said. While Cincinnati was concerned with receiver Tyre Brady, a transfer from Miami of Florida, Litton found his tight end in key situations. ”It shows the IQ of our guys. It isn’t the new personnel. It is guys coming in trying to get better and execute. That guy, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickel, was a defensive guru at Ohio State. He throws so much at you. We had to study film and execute.”
Litton was 21-of-34 passing for 233 yards, Yurachek had six receptions for 77 yards and Keion Davis had 20 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown for Marshall (3-1).
The Thundering Herd scored touchdowns nine seconds apart to take control late in the first half. Litton found Willie Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown to cap a 10-play, 68-yard drive with 1:38 remaining in the second quarter. Artis Johnson forced a Thomas Geddis fumble on the ensuing kickoff return and Nazeeh Johnson recovered at the Cincinnati 15. Litton hit Yurachek on the next play to make it 24-0.
”Our special teams’ play was tremendous,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. ”After you make big play, you’ve got to take a shot.”
A 2-yard touchdown run by Cincinnati’s Gerrid Doaks capped a 15-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half.
Cincinnati (2-3) fumbled a punt and, on the next play, Litton connected with Yurachek for a 31-yard score to give Marshall a 31-7 lead with 1:06 remaining in the third quarter.
Moore was 22-of-45 passing for 211 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Javon Hawes, but 13 of his completions came in the fourth quarter when Marshall played prevent defense
”We have to find a way to feed off some positive energy,” Fickel said. ”Not a lot went right for us tonight. We can’t be one of those teams that waits for things to go right. We have to generate some things and make things go right.”
Senior Ryan Yurachek brought down six passes, three for touchdowns. Yurachek has caught at least one pass in 33 straight games dating back to his freshman season. It is the fourth-longest such streak in the nation…Chase Litton has thrown a touchdown pass in 25 straight games, the second-longest streak of its kind in the country. Litton broke a tie with John Gregory for fifth place in Marshall history with 55 touchdown passes.
Michael Warren ran 27 yards for his first career touchdown. The freshman from Toledo had 16 carries coming into the game, including nine late in the game at Michigan…Javon Hawes caught his first career touchdown pass for 18 yards. The freshman from Atlanta caught three passes for 37 yards…He caught one for 15 yards in the first three games…Hayden Moore was held to 93 yards passing going into the fourth quarter.
Marshall will travel to Charlotte for the first Conference USA game for both teams on Saturday at 6:00 pm.
Cincinnati will return American Athletic Conference play when it hosts Central Florida on Saturday at 7:00 pm.
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