On the final Friday of its regular season, Conference USA saw one of its members claim a spot in the conference championship game next weekend.
With a stunning 59-28 blowout win of East Carolina in Huntington, Marshall staked its claim to the East division championship. It’s the Herd’s first division title as a member of Conference USA and is the football program’s first title of any kind since winning the MAC in 2002.
The Herd and the Pirates had entered the game tied atop the East standings at 6-1.
As has been the case all season long, Rakeem Cato played a significant role in the win. The junior quarterback accounted for 272 yards, two touchdowns passing and another two on the ground. Tight end Devon Johnson scored two rushing touchdowns on his only two carries of the game; he entered the contest with two receiving touchdowns in the first 11 games this season.
As for who the Herd will face in the conference championship game, that’s to be determined.
At 6-1, Rice currently sits alone at the top of the West and would clinch its first-ever Conference USA division title with a win over Tulane Saturday. If the Green Wave upsets the Owls at home, North Texas, Tulane and UT-San Antonio, all of which are 5-2, could be a part of a multi-team tiebreaker if they finish the season with a win.
(Photo credit: Marshall athletics)