Marshall, who is good friends with Oliver, has been supportive of him and encouraging even as he made a bid for playing time at the expense of Marshall’s. Thus, Marshall found such enjoyment Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium. In the last time he would ever play the Hurricanes, he led the Jackets to a win that broke Miami’s three-game winning streak in the series as well as an 8 of 9 run.
Marshall contributed a game-high 92 rushing yards and two touchdown runs, as well as 3-for-4 passing for 73 yards and a clutch 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brad Stewart. And he played nearly the entire game, closing it out by running down the final 6:53 with three third-down conversions to keep the ball away from the Hurricanes.
On top of beating Miami, it was Marshall’s final night game at Bobby Dodd Stadium and his final whiteout, two events that he has appreciated in his four seasons.
“Last white out game for me as a senior, so just that in general was super special, and just to go out and be able to seal the deal at the end, to get a win for the younger guys that were on the team last year that haven’t experienced a bowl,” he said. “And just to be able to go experience a bowl and actually be playing in one myself, it’s very special.”
After the game, such was his joy that, while feeling unburdened, he picked up another one. On the field, he put the 185-pound Oliver on his back and gave him a ride.
“It was great (to play the whole game),” Marshall said. “I think of the past couple weeks, coach Johnson was doing a good job looking out for me. I think Tobias did a great job stepping in and making plays and even when he got in (Saturday), I think he did a good job of staying cool and collected and made plays when he was in there. It felt good to be back out there.”
There are two games remaining in the regular season (Virginia at home for senior day this Saturday and then Georgia in Athens on Nov. 24) and, now a bowl game. His role in those games remains to be seen.
“I knocked a little bit of the rust off, just being a little bit beat up,” he said. “But I think there’s a lot to look forward in the next two weeks.”