If you’re a fan of defensive football, you were loving the Gildan New Mexico Bowl — until the second quarter happened.
After a first quarter completely dominated by both defenses, the two combatants traded offensive jabs in the second as Marshall (7-5) took a 21-14 lead on Colorado State (7-5) into the halftime locker room. And what a second quarter it was as the two teams combined for three lead changes and a pair of ties.
Very early in the period, Thundering Herd quarterback Chase Litton threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Tyre Brady to account for the first score of the half. On the ensuing possession, a Detrich Clark five-yard touchdown catch from Nick Stevens capped 15-play, 75-yard drive to tie the game at 7-all. The possession after that, Litton tossed his second touchdown pass, hitting Ryan Yurachek from 15 yards out for MU’s second lead of the contest. The possession after that, Stevens called his own number and scored on a nine-yard run to knot the score once again. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before but, on the possession after that, Keion Davis rumbled 68 yards yards for a touchdown to hand the lad back to the Herd.
Litton finished the half with 185 yards passing, 136 of which went to Brady. Stevens, meanwhile, passed for 128 yards.
On the running side of the ledger, Davis had 85 yards on the ground on just six carries.
Thanks to special teams, the Herd, looking to win its sixth straight bowl game, could’ve taken a two-touchdown lead into halftime as Hyleck Foster returned a punt 83 yards for a score early in the first quarter. However, he was penalized for an illegal fair-catch signal and the touchdown was taken off the board.
While the Herd is looking to extend a winning streak, the Rams are looking to snap its three-game bowl losing streak. Their last postseason win? The 2013 New Mexico Bowl
Colorado State will get the ball on offense to start the second half.