HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – On the heels of Sunday’s ascent to 15th in the Associated Press poll, Marshall Football racked up the honors on Monday.
The Thundering Herd (7-0 overall, 4-0 Conference USA) was named the Football Writers Association of America’s National Team of the Week for the second time in its history (2003), following a 42-14 win over Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
The win came on the 50th anniversary of the Southern Airways Flight 932 crash that claimed the lives of all 75 on board. 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 later that day.
On the field, freshman quarterback Grant Wells , above, 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 touchdowns. 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 was by Byron Leftwich in 2001.
Wells was also honored individually Monday, as he was named to the Davey O’Brien Midseason Watch List, an award given to the nation’s top quarterback. Wells (Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week) and Robert LeFevre (C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week) below, also picked up hardware from the league office Monday, while the former was Athlon’s pick for its National Offensive Freshman of the Week as well.
COURTESY MARSHALL ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS