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(Saturday, November 21st)
Final Score: Marshall 34, SMU 31
Huntington, WV (Sports Network) - Brian Anderson threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns and the Marshall Thundering Herd hung on to defeat the SMU Mustangs, 34-31, in Conference USA action at Edwards Stadium.
With the win, Marshall (6-5, 4-3 C-USA) became bowl eligible for the first time under coach Mark Snyder. Aaron Dobson was the team's main threat through the air, as he grabbed four balls for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Martin Ward ran for 136 yards and a score on 25 carries, while Terrell Edwards-Maye added 113 yards and a touchdown on 22 totes.
Kyle Padron was 18-of-32 for 225 yards and two touchdowns for the Mustangs (6-5, 5-2), who lost their grip on the West Division race. SMU is now tied with Houston, which owns the tie-breaker by virtue of its win over the Ponies earlier this season. Emmanuel Sanders grabbed eight passes for 94 yards and a score, while Shawnbrey McNeal gained 82 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
The Mustangs started the game's scoring when McNeal surged one-yard for a touchdown in the first quarter.
The Herd knotted things up later in the first quarter courtesy of a one-yard touchdown run by Ward.
The two teams traded field goals in the second half, entering the break knotted at 10-10.
Marshall came out quickly in the second half and captured a 17-10 lead on the strength of an eight-yard touchdown run by Edwards-Maye.
SMU countered just minutes later, as Sanders hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Padron.
The Herd had an answer of its own, as Anderson hooked up with Dobson on a 40- yard scoring strike.
Craig Ratanamorn extended Marshall's lead to 27-17 midway through the fourth quarter with a 42-yard field goal.
The Ponies refused to go away and pulled within three on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Padron to Aldrick Robinson.
Marshall, though, would add what turned out to be the game winning score, a 16-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to Dobson with just over two minutes left to play.
Zach Line scored on a nine-yard run with 39 seconds left for SMU, but wasn't enough.
11/21 21:31:18 ET