HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two possessions into Marshall's homecoming game Saturday against Texas-San Antonio, the tone was set.
Those possessions ended with two tipped-pass interceptions, giving the Thundering Herd 10 quick points on two short fields. And with UTSA quarterback Eric Soza pressured like he hasn't been all season, the Herd was destined for an easy 34-10 victory.
A crowd announced at 28,837 watched the Herd's Conference USA opener at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on a stuffy afternoon.
How tough did the Herd make it for the Roadrunners, who entered with better-than-respectable offensive numbers? Consider the following:
It wasn't the most exciting game in many ways, but the Herd was plenty effective enough to keep the third-year UTSA program from threatening.
"Going into this game, they were averaging 500 yards and did it against good team," said MU coach Doc Holliday. "I didn't know how successful we would be at stopping them. Coach [Chuck] Heater and that defense did a tremendous job.
"We were able to take away their perimeter runs. The turnovers were huge for us and our defense continues to get better."
The Herd (3-2, 1-0) had three sacks and nine quarterback hurries, and threw 13 of the Roadrunners' 63 plays for a loss. Seven of Soza's passes were broken up, three by defensive linemen.
The carnage began shortly after UTSA won the toss and elected to receive. Soza threw a 15-yard pass for a first down and Evans Okotcha ran for two, but Soza's second-and-3 pass was tipped at the line. Then it was tipped again and Evan McKelvey took it in at the UTSA 42.
The Herd bogged down inside the 20 and Justin Haig hit the first of his two field goals, but the Herd offense got its chance for redemption. Gary Thompson and Ra'Shawde Myers took care of that, with the former tipping a Soza pass at the line and Myers snagging it just above the turf.