Marshall Stays Perfect with Win over BYU

Updated 12/27/1999
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    HARRY ATKINS
    AP Sports Writer

    PONTIAC, Mich. (Dec. 27)(AP) -- Doug Chapman wanted everyone to know Marshall can play with the big boys. Now they know.

    Chapman scored three touchdowns and Marshall's defense did the rest as the No. 11 Thundering Herd completed an undefeated season by beating BYU 21-3 on Monday in the Motor City Bowl.

    ``It was a dream come true for the whole team,'' Chapman said.

    Chapman, who rushed for 133 yards, ran for two TDs and hooked up on a pass play with Chad Pennington for another as Marshall (13-0) remained one of three unbeaten Division I teams in the country.

    ``Doug stepped up,'' Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. ``In every big ballgame we've had, Doug Chapman's done some great running.''

    Marshall, 35-4 since moving up to Division I, has played in the Motor City Bowl all three years. It lost the inaugural game and won the last two.

    ``So many heroes today,'' Pruett said. ``It's unbelievable.''

    BYU (8-4), co-champions of the Mountain West Conference, got its lone score on Owen Pochman's 28-yard field goal in the first quarter. It was all Marshall after that and the Mid-American Conference champions broke the game open with two touchdowns in a 1:44 span during the second half.

    ``We just kept believing something would happen,'' BYU defensive end Setema Gali said. ``There's miracles that happen out there in games. Unfortunately, not for us today.''

    The game had been billed as a shootout between Pennington and BYU's Keven Feterik.

    But Pennington, who came in with 3,799 yards passing and 37 TD tosses, completed 17 of 28 passes for 207 yards with one interception.

    Feterik, who passed for 3,554 yards and 25 TDs this season, could never escape the pressure from Marshall's quick defenders. He was 6-of-11 for 125 yards before being forced from the game early in the third quarter with a deep shoulder bruise.

    ``It was pretty hard,'' Feterik said. ``I threw about three more passes after I got hurt. It just kept getting worse.''

    Freshman Bret Engemann and Charlie Peterson finished for the Cougars, but they were no more successful than Feterik.

    Marshall finished with 354 yards while holding BYU to 204 yards. The Cougars had minus-16 yards rushing.

    ``Number one, we were unable to make plays,'' BYU coach LaVell Edwards said. ``They made a couple. That was the difference in the ballgame.''

    The Cougars drove 57 yards in 10 plays on their second possession and took a 3-0 lead on Pochman's field goal.

    It looked like it might be BYU's day when Billy Malashevich missed a field goal early in the second quarter for Marshall, but the Cougars' luck soon went sour.

    Pennington's underthrown pass was intercepted by Jared Lee at the BYU 30 shortly after the first of Malashevich's three misses, but Marshall's Nate Poole forced Lee to fumble on the return attempt and Lanier Washington recovered for Marshall.

    Given new life, Pennington and Chapman hooked up on a 30-yard touchdown pass play with 8:18 left in the half _ on the first snap _ to give the Herd a 7-3 lead.

    ``Credit Marshall. They did a nice job,'' Edwards said. ``We get the interception, fumble it right back. Next play, they score.''

    Chapman caught the ball in traffic at the 25, made a nice move at the 10 and angled across the goal line.

    Chapman, the game's Most Valuable Player, broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage, springing himself for an 87-yard TD run with 51 seconds left in the third quarter.

    ``I was running and hoping to God nobody caught me,'' Chapman said. ``I was getting tired, starting to cramp during the run.''

    It was the longest play in the three-year history of this bowl. The old mark was an 80-yard pass from Pennington to Randy Moss against Mississippi in 1997.

    ``He made a great run on the touchdown,'' Pruett said. ``If you saw the replay, he was hit two or three times, stepped over a guy. It was just a great run. He's going to be a great pro.''

    A 16-yard interception return by Rogers Beckett set Marshall up at the BYU 1 and Chapman dove in for the score two plays later for final score with 14:07 left in the fourth quarter.