On ESPN's Thursday Night Game of the Week, the #16 ranked Marshall Thundering Herd held off a stubborn Toledo Rocket squad 38-13 before a sellout crowd at Marshall Stadium.
It was a battle of two outstanding quarterbacks, both of whom put up big numbers. Marshall's Chad Pennington, a Heisman candidate, completed 27 of 37 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns. Toledo sophomore Tavares Bolden, making only his second career start, was successful on 27 of 53 passes for 344 yards and one touchdown. Both quarterbacks threw two interceptions.
Pennington's 8-yard scoring pass to David Foye gave Marshall a 7-0 first quarter lead. Pennington hooked up with James Williams from 25 yards out early in the second quarter to extend the margin to 14-3. Doug Chapman's 19-yard TD run made it 21-3 Marshall at the 11:01 mark in the second frame.
Toledo fought back, scoring first on a four-yard pass from Bolden to Lyle Green, to make it 21-10. The teams traded field goals before the half for a 24-13 Marshall advantage at intermission.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Pennington connected with Williams again from 15 yards out. Chapman closed out the scoring with a three-yard TD with 2:21 left in the game.
Marshall's Nate Poole led all receivers with eight catches for 158 yards. UT's Lyle Green nabbed eight receptions for 69 yards and Mel Long grabbed seven passes for 154 yards.
Marshall improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the MAC East Division while Toledo fell to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the MAC West.
The MAC schedule on Saturday includes the following games:
Bowling Green at Akron, noon, FOX Sports Net Regional
Northern Illinois at Central Michigan, 1:00
Miami at Kent, 2:00
Buffalo at Western Michigan, 6:00
Ohio at Eastern Michigan, 6:00, Ohio Sports Network
Ball State is idle this week