Sometimes, you need to forgive and forgo any punitive damages. That’s what FIU needed to do in the second quarter to preserve cornerback Richard Leonard’s school-record tying fifth interception of the season.
Leonard picked off Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato at the FIU 2 and began racing for what looked like a possible game-tying touchdown, given the blocking and space. A flag dropped on FIU junior cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon for a block in the back.
Leonard got to the Marshall 8 when a horse-collar tackle by Marshall’s Justin Hunt brought him down. FIU declined the horse-collar penalty.
Why? Because if both penalties were accepted, the offsetting penalties would cause the down to be replayed and possession would revert to Marshall. Instead, with only the FIU penalty enforced and it being a post-interception penalty, FIU retained possession of the ball but started on its own 7.
Suite solution to bad weather
Despite a press release claim from earlier this month that all the FIU Stadium suites were sold, FIU athletics found two suites to house the radio broadcast teams. Thus, they were protected from the weather broadcast abortion that struck the FIU broadcast during the last home game, a win against FAU.
The FIU broadcast team was housed, appropriately, in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication suite. Ironically, on a lovely, cloudless night, the FIU radio team decided to set up outside the suite.
From its 2008 opening until the Oct. 2 FAU game, visiting radio teams worked from under a tent, outside atop the stands. FIU radio has worked from there since the 2012 season. The Oct. 2 halftime storm blew off tarpaulin and soaked equipment, ending FIU’s broadcast.
Redshirt freshman gets start at LB
Redshirt freshman Jordan Guest started at outside linebacker for FIU in place of freshman Anthony Wint, who suffered what might be a season-ending left knee ligament injury against Texas-San Antonio. Saturday was the first game Wint didn’t start.
Central duo feels right at home
Marshall senior quarterback and Central High graduate Rakeem Cato had his moments in the first half with two touchdown passes and breaking the NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Cato’s best friend, Marshall senior wide receiver and Central High graduate Tommy Shuler, had his senior moment in front of his native people on a punt return.
Shuler burst up the middle for 34 yards on the return and celebrated for another 15 or 20 yards. It’s unclear whether the boos that came from the FIU side were for the celebration or for Shuler being the main reason Cato de-committed from FIU in 2011.
FIU, Marshall name their captains
FIU’s captains for the game were sophomore tight end Jonnu Smith, fifth-year senior safety Demarkus Perkins, junior linebacker Davison Colimon and junior defensive end Michael Wakefield. Marshall’s captains were senior quarterback Rakeem Cato, senior wide receiver Tommy Shuler, senior linebacker Neville Hewitt and fifth-year senior cornerback Darryl Roberts.
FIU won the toss and deferred until the second half. Marshall received the opening kickoff for the first time this season.