HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — There’s some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is that the Marshall football team lost 21-14 at home Saturday afternoon against the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.
The good news is the Thundering Herd is still in the hunt for the Conference USA East Division crown.
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers currently hold the top spot in the division with a conference record of 5-1, but Marshall (6-4, 4-2 CUSA East) will have a shot at the Hilltoppers in the last week of the regular season.
Saturday’s game also had the distinction of taking place a day before the 51st anniversary of the Marshall plane crash, dubbed as the ‘75 Game’ by fans, named for the 75 people who perished that night.
This was the first time the Herd lost the 75 Game since the 2011 season, a 59-17 road loss to Tulsa.
The Blazers (7-3, 5-1 CUSA West) hit the ground running on the first drive of the game, with the passing offense carving up the Marshall defense.
The drive was capped off by running back DeWayne McBride running the ball in from the 3-yard line for a touchdown.
On the other side of the football, the Marshall offense had trouble getting things going, not getting much yardage on the ground or through the air.
The Blazers got their second touchdown with a minute to go in the first quarter when McBride ran the ball in from 15 yards.
Desperate for some offense, the Green and White found their chance on their last drive of the half.
Quarterback Grant Wells found wide receiver Jayden Harrison on a 36-yard pass to cut the UAB lead by half.
Marshall tied the game with four minutes to go in the third when Wells connected with Corey Gammage for 17-yards.
However, the Blazers took the lead back the very next drive when quarterback Dylan Hopkins punched the ball in from the 1-yard line.
Facing a loss, the Thundering Herd had one last chance with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but a Wells pass was intercepted with 90 seconds to go, sealing the victory for UAB.
Wells was the only quarterback under center for the Herd, recording a stat line of 22 completions on 39 attempts for 232 yards.
Likewise, Hopkins was the only passer for the Blazers with a stat line of 13-18 for 250 yards.
On the ground, Marshall was led by Rasheen Ali, who had 41 yards on 16 carries.
On the Blazers’ side, McBride led the ground attack with 108 yards on 25 rushes.
In receiving, Gammage led Marshall with 67 yards on eight catches, while the Blazers had a pair of 100-yard receivers in Trea Shropshire and Gerrit Prince.
The Thundering Herd will be back in action at 3:30 p.m. Saturday when they travel to face the Charlotte 49ers.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.