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Marshall wins St. Petersburg Bowl at the Trop

Tropicana Field played host to some college football on Saturday afternoon, as Marshall outlasted Connecticut, 16-10, in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Nick Smith booted three field goals, and freshman quarterback Chase Litton threw for 218 yards and a touchdown for the Thundering Herd (10-3), which reached double digits in victories and captured a bowl win for the third consecutive season. Overall, Marshall has won its past five bowl games, going back to the 2009 season.

UConn (6-7), making its first bowl appearance since after the 2010 season, suffered the loss to finish the season below the .500 mark.

A defensive struggle wasn't surprising, considering both teams entered the game ranked in the top 20 in the nation in points allowed per game. Marshall limited UConn to 213 yards of offense, including only 86 through the air.

Litton, a local product out of Tampa's Wharton High School, gave the Thundering Herd an early 7-0 lead with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Yurachek. But UConn tied the score later in the first quarter on Ron Johnson's 8-yard touchdown run. The kickers provided the rest of the scoring, with Smith hitting from 21, 28 and 32 yards, and the Huskies' Bobby Puyol converting from 52.

Following Smith's final field goal, with 1 minute and 49 seconds to play, UConn got one more chance but drove only as far as its own 41-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB.
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