Marshall held off a Miami (Ohio) comeback attempt and scored a 42-27 win the season opener at Oxford, Ohio.
It looked as if the Thundering Herd would have an easy time for a while. They bolted to a 28-3 halftime lead.
The Red Hawks made it interesting by scoring 17 unanswered points in the third period, but MU held on to get the victory.
Marshall QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Rakeem Cato threw three touchdown passes in the first half.
He connected on an 11-yard TD pass to Eric Frohnapfel with 7:20 left in the first quarter.
Tommy Shuler caught a three-yard toss for six as the lead went to 14-0.
Frohnapfel had his second scoring reception of the day on a one-yard pass from Cato early in the second stanza.
Miami kicked a field goal, but Devon Johnson ran two yards for a score late in the half.
The Hawks scored twice in less than two minutes in the third quarter. Andrew Hendrix threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Alex Welch and a Patterson field goal made it 28-13.
Hendrix connected with Dawan Scott on a three-yard scoring pass in the final seconds of the third period. It was 28-20.
Johnson’s 27-yard TD run with 8:37 to play put the Herd up 35-20.
Each team scored once more. Hendrix threw a 40-yard scoring pass to Williams.
Cato punched the ball over from two yards out to clinch the win for Marshall.
Johnson ran for 152 yards on 19 carries for MU.
Cato was 20-32 for 261 yards and three touchdowns.
Hendrix passed for 318 yards and three scores for the Red Hawks.
A.J. Leggett had 10 tackles for the Herd. D.J. Hunter had a pair of sacks.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.