DALLAS (FWAA) – On an emotional day during a
50th anniversary tribute to its players lost in the 1970 plane crash,
the Marshall Thundering Herd overcame a slow start
to overwhelm Middle Tennessee in a 42-14 home win. For remaining
undefeated at the top of the Conference USA standings and in honor
of its special occasion, the Thundering Herd has earned the
Reveal Suits National Team of the Week honor for
games of the weekend of Nov. 14, as selected by the Football
Writers Association of America.
This is the second time for Marshall (7-0) to earn the Team of
the Week honor and first since 2003, the second year of the award
when the Herd earned its first win over a ranked FBS team (Kansas
State). All Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected.
This is the 19th season for the FWAA to award a Team of the Week.
The win came on the 50th anniversary of the Southern Airways
Flight 932 crash that claimed the lives of 75 people; it concluded
a week of ceremonies and remembrances on the Marshall campus. The
37 players who died in the crash were awarded posthumous degrees
on Friday, and the team's coaches and players paid their respects
at the Spring Hill Cemetery and the Marshall Memorial later that
day. The Herd's top-25 ranking (now 15th) and the national attention
of an undefeated season added to the hype, and to the importance,
of Saturday's remembrance.
On the field, freshman quarterback Grant Wells pushed the Herd
to victory with career highs in completions (25), attempts (37),
passing yards (336) and passing touchdowns (five). Breaking a 7-7
tie early in the second quarter, Marshall exploded for 35 points
in the middle two quarters behind Wells and his favorite target,
Willie Johnson, who had a career day with eight catches for 137
and two touchdowns. Corey Gammage also caught two scores and the
Herd defense recovered three fumbles that each turned into Marshall
Wells' banner day marked the 20th five-touchdown game in Marshall
history, but from that list the last quarterback to also throw for
at least 300 yards without an interception by Byron Leftwich in
Marshall hosts Charlotte at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday in a Stadium
broadcast that will also be carried by FOX's regional networks.
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Nov. 14 are:
• San José State (4-0): The Spartans
moved to 4-0 to start a season for the first time since 1955
and only the seventh time in school history with a 34-17 win
over UNLV. This is SJSU's first 4-0 conference start since 1991
when it played in the Big West Conference. The Spartans had
seven sacks, their highest total since 2000, led by Cade Hall
with 3.0. Nick Starkel threw for 274 yards and a pair of touchdowns
to Bailey Gaither, and SJSU's 176 rushing yards were a season-high
and its highest total since 2017.
• Tulsa (4-1): The Golden Hurricane came
back from a 21-point first-half deficit to beat No. 19 SMU,
28-24, earning a second win over a top-25 team in the same season
for the first time. Tulsa rallied from 18 points down Oct. 3
to win at No. 11 UCF, 34-26. Tulsa scored the game-winner with
2:11 left, then intercepted a pass to seal the win. The Golden
Hurricane rolled up 455 total yards while its defense held SMU
and its eighth-best offense nationally to 351 yards, 175 yards
below its season average of 526.
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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,200 men and women who cover college football.
The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key
executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas
that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson