No sulking for MarrowWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: This is the 12th installment of a weekly series in which staff writer Mike Bauman will follow sixth-year Toledo senior cornerback Desmond Marrow for the 2011 season.
There’s no time to pout for sixth-year University of Toledo senior cornerback Desmond Marrow. After a disappointing setback in a 63-60 defeat Nov. 1 against Northern Illinois, he’ll suit up one last time in the Glass Bowl on Nov. 8, the first of his final three regular season games at UT.
“We were just saying that we’ve got to forget about it,” Marrow said about the mood in the locker room after the Huskies won. “We’ve got to move on. We’ve still got things to take care of. Like, we still control our destiny in a sense. We’ve got to win these three games and then hope for a little bit of things to happen for us in our favor. But if we don’t win these three games, then none of that matters, anyway.”
Toledo will face Western Michigan on Senior Night in the Glass Bowl on Nov. 8 before hitting the road to take on Central Michigan (Nov. 18) and Ball State (Nov. 25) the final two weeks of the season. The NIU loss put UT in a first-place tie with NIU in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division as both teams now sport 4-1 conference records. To reach the MAC Championship at Ford Field on Dec. 2, the Rockets must win out and hope the Huskies lose at least one of their remaining three games, two of which are at home.
The lone road contest left for NIU is at Bowling Green on Nov. 8, putting Marrow and his teammates in a unique position with their archrival Falcons.
“Well — best case scenario — we actually have to root for BG next week, which is kind of awkward,” Marrow said. “We need BG to win to help us out, but we can’t really depend on them. We should’ve taken care of business [Nov. 1].”
Despite several injuries and lineup changes this year, the Toledo defense ranked fourth in the MAC in total defense heading into its matchup with Northern Illinois. However, Marrow and co. had no answer for NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish and the Huskies’ offense, which racked up 532 yards of total offense and scored seven touchdowns. Harnish found Perez Ashford on a four-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds left to lift NIU to its second-straight victory over UT, who have now lost three of the last four meetings in the series.
“I don’t know what it was,” Marrow said of key mistakes that helped Northern Illinois put points on the board. “Maybe it was the moment; people not used to the moment. We also had different guys in different spots because of certain situations, but bottom line is we’ve still got to go out there and we’ve got to make plays.”
In a conference known for producing talented quarterbacks, Toledo will have to regroup quickly for its game against the Western Michigan Broncos, who are led by the offensive tandem of quarterback Alex Carder and wide receiver Jordan White. Through nine games, Carder led the MAC in passing yards per game (273) and threw for 18 touchdowns, while White led the conference in receiving yards per game (129.3) and receptions per game (10.6) with nine receiving touchdowns in 2011. For Marrow, facing White will be challenging and fun. He and White exchanged numbers a few years back and have kept in touch.
“It’s my last game [at home], and then I’m pretty cool with Jordan,” Marrow said. “We talk back and forth, and he plays receiver and I play DB, so I’ll definitely be seeing him a lot throughout the night.”
The task will be tough given that the Rockets rank second to last in the MAC in pass defense (248.6 yards per game). However, UT is tied for second in the conference with 10 interceptions this season. Two of those have come from Marrow, who is tied for the team lead in that category with fellow senior cornerback Taikwon Paige. In a 37-24 win at Western Michigan last year, Marrow recorded the first two interceptions of his collegiate career, returning one for a touchdown.
“It will definitely be emotional, actually being my final game — like, 100 percent sure at UT in the home stadium,” Marrow said. “[I’ll] just try not to let the emotions get the best of me, just go out there and play well because we still need to win. Once all the festivities are done pregame, we’ve still got a game to play.”