Allen just wanted that TD to stand. "I just tried to hurry up and get off the field so we can kick [the extra point]," he said.
I'm not sure if Johnson, one of the more physically mature true freshmen you'll see, will stay at fullback after 2012. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound native of Richlands, Va., could still have a future back across the line of scrimmage.
Nonetheless, he's having fun playing a little special teams and lining up in two-back sets. The 9-yard touchdown, which gave Marshall its 31-7 lead, was a nice reward.
Johnson returned the favor after Cortez Carter ended Memphis' offensive day by clobbering quarterback Jacob Karam on fourth down. With 21/2 minutes still remaining, he and Steward Butler were sent out with one order: Run for a first down or two.
Butler pounded out 8 yards on third-and-7, and then gained 18 more. Take two knees, game over, drive home safely.
"That was fun," Johnson said. "Stew looked at me and said, 'Let's go. Make a hole.' I was like, 'I got you.' I just hit the hole and hit 45 [Anthony Brown] a couple of times, and Stew broke free."
Considering the pronounced depression of the fan base after the 54-17 rout by UCF, I thought MU was fortunate to have 18,000 in the stands for the Memphis game. (22,041? Uh, no.) This coming Saturday, I will be reminded why I've quit getting bent of shape over an empty patch of metal.
Next up for the Herd is the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which in this space will not be referred to on first reference as UAB (another rant, another day). As in 2006, 2008 and 2010, the game will not take place on the school's attractive, modern campus.
It will take place at the razor-wire-ringed Legion Field, 10-15 minutes west in a not-so-modern neighborhood. Repeated reports say hot water in the locker rooms at the 85-year-old stadium has gone the way of the Auburn-Alabama game.
This month marks the 1-year anniversary of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees essentially telling UAB supporters: "No stadium for you. Learn to love Legion Field. It's your home forever." The backlash lives on at freeuab.com.
As for Saturday's game, everything points to the crowd being the lowest in my four visits. The Blazers are 2-7, the 3:30 p.m. Central kick time means darkness (and falling temps) by halftime, basketball season has started at UAB and, like their counterparts at MU and West Virginia, the student body has no doubt bailed.
And that other pesky detail: Top-ranked Alabama plays No. 15 Texas A&M an hour earlier.
Much like the Rice game in September, Herd players will have to create their own energy.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.