College Football: East Carolina 19, Marshall 16, OT
Associated PressGREENVILLE ó Redemption and revenge highlighted East Carolina’s 19-16 overtime win against Marshall on Saturday.
The Pirates (6-3, 4-1 Conference USA) avenged last year’s loss to the Thundering Herd and Ben Hartman redeemed himself in overtime with the winning field goal.
Hartman missed a 42-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in regulation, but he made up for the mistake with a 27-yard game-winner.
“It’s good to get a second chance,” said Hartman, who also booted the game-winner in last week’s 13-10 overtime win against Central Florida. “Fortunately, for me, I got a second chance.”
Hartman kicked three field goals, including a 51-yarder in the first half, his longest of the season.
East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said he didn’t want to overcoach Hartman moments before his overtime attempt.
“I told him to treat it like it was the first field goal of the game,” Holtz said.
Marshall (4-5, 3-2) tied the game with 1:33 left on Mark Cann’s 34-yard touchdown pass to Cody Slate, their second touchdown connection of the game.
“We knew going into the game that it was going to be a defensive struggle,” Marshall coach Mark Snyder said. “We had a couple of early turnovers and missed field goals, and they didn’t.
“All of a sudden, the tide turned. We got a turnover, and they missed a field goal.”
The Pirates exacted revenge on the Herd and took sole possession of first in the Conference USA’s East Division. Marshall dashed East Carolina’s conference title hopes when the Thundering Herd defeated the Pirates 26-7 in Huntington, W.Va., last year.
“The schools are tied together because of history, and geographically, they’re the closest,” Holtz said. “I would consider this a rivalry, one of the bigger ones (in C-USA).”
The Pirates put themselves in the driver’s seat for a chance to play the winner of C-USA’s West Division winner. Tulsa, which had a bye this weekend, leads the West at 5-0 in the conference.
Marshall’s Darius Marshall rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries.
Pat Pinkney, who keyed East Carolina’s season-opening upsets of Virginia Tech and West Virginia, returned to the starting job and went 26-for-37 for 287 yards and one touchdown. Rob Kass started East Carolina’s victory over Central Florida last week.
Pinkney’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Davon Drew capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with less than two minutes in the half to take a 13-3 lead.
“This is one of those games that you get a lot off your shoulders with a win,” Drew said.