The large number of penalties was memorable for several reasons.
Of course, they contributed to Marshall’s poor performance. Here is the itemized rundown:
1. Michael Janace offsides on 3rd-and-12, giving Southern Miss a 3rd-and-7. Very bad penalty, contributed to a touchdown.
1A. Personal foul on the kickoff, offset by a Southern Miss facemask foul.
1B. Offsides on the kickoff return team, if you can believe it. That foul was declined, as Troy Evans only made the 26.
2. In second quarter, Rashad Jackson’s illegal block. Evans returned the ball 10 yards to the MU 30, but the penalty went from the 18 to the 9. The Herd then goes 3-and-out, Kase Whitehead hits a short punt and it’s eventually 21-0.
3. Monterius Lovett is all over Dominique Sullivan for pass interference on second-and-goal from the MU 3. Automatic first down at the 2, just before the Eagles go up 21-0.
4. C.J. Crawford illegal block on the next kickoff return. Half the distance and the Herd starts from the 6. 3-and-out, blocket punt, argh.
5. Brandon Campbell false start No. 1, turning 2nd-and-4 into 2nd-and-9. Drive killer.
6. 3rd quarter, after A.J. Graham gets his first third down, Campbell commits false start No. 2. The Herd had no prayer when it got behind the stakes, so this was a drive-killer.
7. Jerome Kelson commits a personal foul on a kickoff, giving Southern Miss the ball at its 35.
8. Campbell gets the hat trick of false starts to start the fourth quarter. Herd has 1st-and-15.
9. Campbell then holds on a Graham scramble. Now it’s 1st-and-25.
10. Given new life after a USM personal foul, Alex Schooler clips, the 15-yard version. 1st-and-25.
11. Martin Ward commits a personal foul, and he deserved one the play before. After that, it’s 2nd-and-39.
12. Holding to start the Herd’s final drive, leading to a 3-and-out.
That’s 12 penalties for 112 yards, and it all hurt. Call it a breakdown in discipline, etc., and you’d be right.
But if you win by 25 points and rack up 130 yards on 11 penalties, I guess that means you’re aggressive. And it was the case with Southern Miss, who committed 5 personal fouls and my favorite, an unsportsmanlike conduct on the coin toss.
I won’t comment further, except to say this: The teams are starting to dislike each other. I did a column, 2009 I think, on how these rivalries needed a little time to brew from scratch, such as Furman, App State etc., back in the day … I think you’ll find this a good example.