HUNTINGTON — Marshall still isn’t bowl eligible, and now might be without its best two players.

Tight end Cody Slate and running back Darius Marshall both were injured in Saturday’s 27-20 loss to Southern Miss. Both were on crutches by the end of the game.

Slate appeared to suffer a severe right knee injury at the end of a six-yard reception with 4:38 left in the first quarter. He lay on the turf before being helped to the sideline, where he had his leg iced.

“At this point and juncture, it does not look good,” Marshall coach Mark Snyder said. “We’ll know more coming out here Tuesday or Wednesday or whenever.

“I was standing there when he took the shot and he took it right on the MCL. I mean, he took a helmet right to the knee. We’ll see after the X-rays, but ... ”

Marshall, meanwhile, looked to have his left ankle injured after a loss of one yard in the third quarter. The junior was used sparingly throughout the game and appeared to be limping a few times before he went out for good.

“Darius’ is serious, but maybe not season-ending,” Snyder said.

Slate had two catches for 25 yards while Marshall ran 11 times for a season-low 22 yards.

The Herd (5-5, 3-3) now must wait at least one more week to reach the sixth win that has eluded Snyder since he arrived in 2005. Everything looked good until a late-game meltdown against UCF on Nov. 1.

Against Southern Miss (6-4, 4-2), special teams cost the Herd dearly.

Southern Miss’ first touchdown drive was extended when Michael Janac was flagged for running into punter Peter Boehme. The series ended on Tory Harrison’s 1-yard TD run to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 6:19 left in the first.

A 27-yard field goal by Craig Ratanamorn and a 29-yard touchdown catch by Aaron Dobson — the first of his career — put the Herd ahead 10-7. But Tracy Lampley returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown to put Southern Miss back on top 14-10.

Ratanamorn’s 46-yard field goal made it 14-13, where it would stay until the Eagles took advantage of another Marshall mistake on special teams.

The Eagles were forced to punt on fourth-and-1 from their 20-yard line, but DeQuan Bembry fumbled the kick. Jamie Collins recovered for Southern Miss at the 39, and on the next play, quarterback Martevious Young hit a wide-open Damion Fletcher on a wheel route for a touchdown and 20-13 lead.

Lampley finished with a school-record 211 return yards.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that special teams really cost us tonight,” Snyder said. “I can think of at least 14 points that we gave up on special teams. That’s just unacceptable.”

Southern Miss had its moments as well. The East Division leader pending tonight’s East Carolina-Tulsa outcome was also flagged for roughing the kicker that led to Dobson’s touchdown. Kicker Daniel Hrapmann had an extra point attempt blocked by Janac and missed a 46-yard field goal.

“We didn’t make it look good, but they are not going to put a ‘U’ (for ugly) next to the ‘W’ in our win column,” Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said.

“Yeah, there was (mistakes on both sides), but ours were costly,” Snyder said. “Ours were turned into (more) points.”

Marshall tied the game at 20-20 when Terrell Edwards-Maye scored on a 1-yard run with 9:47 to play.

The Eagles took the lead for good when Young hit DeAndre Brown for a 36-yard touchdown with 6:54 left.

Marshall had two chances to tie the game, but quarterback Brian Anderson’s two interceptions came on the last two drives. On the first, he overthrew Antavious Wilson and was picked off by Justin Wilson at the Southern Miss 2.

The second came on a desperation pass on fourth-and-16 at the Eagle 38. Again, Justin Wilson got the interception to ice the game with 16.7 seconds to play.

Anderson completed 29 of 52 passes for a season-high 337 yards. Wilson had a Marshall season-high 13 receptions for 153 yards. Tight end Lee Smith caught six balls for 77 yards.

Fletcher was held to 55 yards on 13 carries.

Marshall plays its final home game of the season next Saturday against SMU. Kickoff will be 4:30 p.m.

SMU leads the West Division after Houston was upset by UCF.

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