Florida International coach Mario Cristobal expected special teams would be the deciding factor in his team's final game of the season. Turns out it was a key factor in a tough defeat.
A blocked punt midway through the fourth quarter set up Marshall's go-ahead field goal and Rakeem Cato threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns to help the Thundering Herd beat Florida International 20-10 in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl on Tuesday night.
Cato threw TD passes of 31 and 35 yards to Aaron Dobson, the latter putting the game away in the closing seconds. Warner's 39-yard field goal set up by a blocked punt snapped a 10-10 with 5:16 remaining.
''When a game is tough like that, and it's real tight like that, special teams become a critical part of it,'' Cristobal said. ''Certainly, they made the play on special teams that changed the game a lot to get a field goal with a blocked punt. At the end, of course, the extra seven points is what made it the final score, but those three points were cri...