A 17-0 third quarter rallied the Miami University football team within eight of the Marshall Thundering Herd amidst an inspired effort by the RedHawks that opened the Chuck Martin era on Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium. Despite a valiant effort, Miami (0-1) came up short in its opener, 42-27.
Senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix hit senior tight end Alex Welch on a 2-yard pass for the RedHawks’ first touchdown of 2014 at the 11:53 mark of the third quarter. Sophomore kick returner Fred McRae returned a Marshall punt 54 yards to put the RedHawks on the Thundering Herd’s 7-yard line to set up Miami’s second score of the third quarter as junior kicker Kaleb Patterson drilled a 24-yard field goal at the 10:06 mark.
Late in the quarter, Hendrix found sophomore wideout Rokeem Williams with a 41-yard pass to help stage his second touchdown pass of the quarter. Three plays later, Hendrix hit senior wide receiver Dawan Scott on a 3-yard pass with 10 seconds to go to move the RedHawks within eight points entering the final 15 minutes, 28-20.
The Thundering Herd (1-0) extended its lead to 35-20 midway through the fourth quarter on a 27-yard run with 8:37 to go. But Miami refused to back down and fired back as Williams hauled in a 40-yard pass from Hendrix with a beautiful catch in the endzone at the 6:25 mark. The Patterson PAT again put the RedHawks within eight, 35-27. Marshall was able to tack on one more touchdown in the final minutes, scoring on a 2-yard run to push its lead to 42-27.
Marshall took a 21-0 lead in the opening half with touchdown passes at the 7:20 mark and 2:53 mark of the first quarter and with 14:11 to go in the second quarter. Miami put its first points on the board when Patterson connected on a 22-yard field goal at 8:03 in the second quarter. The Thundering Herd tacked on one more touchdown on a 2-yard run at the 3:10 mark of the second quarter to carry a 28-3 lead into the half.
Hendrix finished with 318 passing yards, completing 24-of-49 passes and throwing three touchdowns with one interception. Senior wide receiver David Frazier led all players with 109 receiving yards on six catches. Williams recorded 99 receiving yards and a touchdown. Defensively, junior linebacker Kent Kern led all players with 13 tackles, including seven solo stops and added a career-high 2.0 sacks for a total loss of 12 yards.
As a team, Miami amassed 418 yards of total offense to Marshall’s 432.
- Seven different RedHawks made their first career start on Saturday afternoon. On offense, Collin Buchanan, Orlando David, Andrew Hendrix and Ryan Smith saw their first action for the Red and White, while Joe Donlan, Quinten Rollins and Lo Wood were first-time starters on defense.
- Christian Koch had a career-high 60-yard punt in the second quarter.
- Kent Kern had two sacks in the season opener. He now has 2.5 sacks in his career.
- David Frazier had six catches for 109 yards. His yardage total was a career best.
- Andrew Hendrix connected with Alex Welch on a touchdown in the third quarter. It was Hendrix’s second career touchdown pass (1 at Notre Dame) and Welch’s first career touchdown reception. Both played at Notre Dame last season.
- Fred McRae recorded a career-best 54-yard punt return. His previous-best was a 32-yard return at Kentucky in 2013.
- Miami finished with 418 yards of total offense. The highest total in all of last season was 303 yards versus Akron.
- At the same time, the RedHawks threw for 318 yards. Miami’s high in 2013 was 226 yards versus Akron
- Miami held the ball for 34:46, compared to Marshall’s 25:14. Miami ran 85 plays compared to 68 for the Herd.
- Kent Kern led the team with 13 tackles.