When the Blazers got the ball back after a short punt (that may have been tipped), they needed just five plays to travel 64 yards. Change-of-pace back Bashr Coles delivered the big play, a 39-yard run to the Marshall 20. Reaves traveled the final 4 for a 14-7 lead.
Tyler Williams' next punt was certainly blocked, though it managed to go forward 20 yards. Still, UAB took over on its 48 and took just 1:23 to make it 21-7, ending with a 33-yard pass from Brown to Patrick Hearn. How well Baxter would have covered the play we'll never know, as he took a tumble on the turf.
That play came on the first play of the second quarter, and the Herd spent the rest of that time treading water. Cato was flushed out of the pocket on fourth-and-4 at the UAB 25, finally taking a low-percentage shot for Davonte Allen in the end zone. Allen couldn't bring it down, but cornerback Cornelius Richards did.
The Herd's last possession of the half was even more agonizing. Three Grooms runs gave the Herd fourth-and-inches from its 44, and Watson took the handoff to pick up the first down. But UAB defensive end Chris Rabb submarined under his blocker and took out Watson's legs early.
With UAB taking over the MU 44, a Ty Long field goal seemed almost automatic. He hit from 27 yards with 9 seconds left to set the 24-7 halftime score. Marshall was outgained at that point 174-121, and finished with a deficit of 406-337.
Contact Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.