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Marshall relies on defense to beat UConn in St. Petersburg Bowl

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It was nice enough that Chase Litton got to come home.

It was even nicer that he got to bring the Marshall defense along with him.

Then he and his Marshall teammates shut down the UConn offense in Saturday’s St. Petersburg Bowl, winning a 16-10 victory over the Huskies.

Litton, a graduate of nearby Wharton High School in Tampa, has had a fine true freshman season for the Thundering Herd. He threw four touchdown passes in his first game, and he won his first seven starts, and he finished with 2,387 yards.

Litton continued that run Saturday, throwing for 218 yards and a touchdown. But the real stars were on the Marshall defense, which held UConn to 213 yards of total offense. The Huskies gained 127 on the ground and 86 through the air.

Marshall, under coach Doc Holiday, finished 10-3, the third straight 10-win season for the Herd. UConn finished 6-7.

The Huskies were close, primarily because of their own defense, which kept forcing Marshall into field goals after drives of 65, 85 and 80 yards. But Marshall’s defense was even better in the victory.

For UConn, Bryant Shirreffs had 86 yards passing and 75 yards rushing.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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