Well, at least one Gator from Gainesville had a happy Saturday. At the expense of FIU, however.
A hat trick of touchdown catches by Marshall senior tight end Gator Hoskins, from Gainesville Eastside High, gave him a Marshall-record 25 for his career. The semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end, caught six passes for 137 yards and three touchdown catches, all on the same route into the deep middle.
Miami Central High graduate Tommy Shuler caught six passes to push this season’s total to 80 catches. Shuler is the first receiver in Marshall history — a history that includes NFL great Randy Moss and NFL long-timers Mike Barber and Troy Brown — with two 80-catch seasons. Shuler caught a Marshall record with 110 catches last year.
Redshirt junior quarterback Jake Medlock has drawn more notice lately for his punting. Medlock averaged 43.2 yards on his nine punts Saturday night with a long of 61 yards that actually was still rolling when FIU’s Michael Wakefield downed it.
Medlock didn’t practice all week after injuring a throwing hand finger last week against UTEP.
Sophomore Jeremiah McKinnon played regular snaps at cornerback Saturday. McKinnon started the opener against Maryland, then was benched for the next game after leaving Maryland wide receiver Sheldon Diggs wide open on a touchdown bomb. He didn’t even practice for a few weeks.
“He wasn’t suspended, but he was not going to play,” FIU coach Ron Turner said. “He’s done what we asked. He wasn’t practicing well or doing what we wanted off the field.”
McKinnon’s absence also hurt FIU’s special teams as he was arguably FIU’s best tackler on special teams last season.
The official announced attendance was 15,891. Actual attendance? About a fifth of that. At kickoff, the Marshall fans on the south side of the field outnumbered the FIU fans on the north side of the field and in the student section.
FIU lost redshirt junior center Donald Senat to a knee injury in the second quarter. Turner said Senat needed to undergo an MRI but was questionable for Friday’s season closer against FAU.
Redshirt junior Michael Montero took over at center for the rest of the game.