BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - The hangover from Marshall's overtime loss to West Virginia never quite went away from its passing game on a disastrous Saturday night at a venue that becomes more haunted each visit.
The Thundering Herd lost for the eighth time in nine visits to Doyt L. Perry Stadium, and it wasn't any prettier than the others. Brian Anderson threw four interceptions as the Falcons won 44-28.
"You can't turn the ball over five times and expect to win," said MU coach Doc Holliday. "There's only about one or two teams in America who can do that, and we're not one of them. You have to credit Bowling Green, they played a very good game."
It wasn't just that Anderson threw four to the wrong team. Two were returned for touchdowns, another was taken 42 yards to set up another and a third such "pick-six" was negated by a penalty.
That wasn't the Herd's entire problem as it suffered its 14th consecutive loss in a nonconference road game, dating back to that 27-20 victory Sept. 20, 2003 at sixth-ranked Kansas State.
Marshall had enormous trouble dealing with Bowling Green's short passing game. Freshman Matt Schilz went 19-of-25 for 181 yards and a touchdown before the Herd pass rush started becoming uncorked.
Schilz sat down after fumbling to allow the Herd to tie the game at 28, allowing Aaron Pankratz to foil the Herd with screen passes, including a 47-yarder that set up Bryan Wright's 27-yard go-ahead field goal with 14:13 left.
The 20,515 fans on hand weren't so sure at the time, but BG was never threatened again, especially after Pankratz threw a 31-yard pass to Tyrone Pronty to give BG a 36-27 lead with 9:21 left. Just 44 seconds later, BooBoo Gates set the final score with his 29-yard interception return.
That pass went through Antavious Wilson's hands, but the other three interceptions didn't come near their targets. The most painful pick was probably the first - Marshall was down just 7-0 with third-and-12 at the BG 23-yard line when Dwayne Woods swiped a pass over the middle on the dead run and took it 78 yards.
Angelo Magnone was credited with a QB hurry on the play, which ended the first quarter.
Anderson misfired on his first four passes and finished just 20-of-44 for 191 yards. He was yanked in the second quarter after BG drove 16 yards to take a 21-0 lead on a 1-yard Schilz quarterback sneak.
Schilz went 19-of-25 for 181 yards and Pankratz went 5-of-8 for 111 and the score. Pankratz was intercepted in the end zone by debuting freshman Darryl Roberts, keeping the Herd within 31-28 with 10:56 left.