Recap: Marshall vs. Southern Miss
Huntington, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - Rakeem Cato completed 21-of-28 passes for 262 yards and five touchdowns, as the Marshall Thundering Herd cruised to a 61-13 win over the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in Conference USA action at Edwards Stadium.
With his prolific passing day, Cato tied Chad Pennington's school record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (26). Tommy Shuler finished with 10 catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, and Davonte Allen also caught a pair of TDs to help the Thundering Herd (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) extend their longest home winning streak since 2008 to six in a row. On the ground, Kevin Grooms ran for 109 yards and a TD, while Essray Taliaferro had 108 rushing yards and a score.
The Golden Eagles (0-8, 0-4) suffered their 20th straight loss, the longest active losing streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Nick Mullens completed 24-of-48 passes for 323 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Markese Triplett caught four passes for 123 yards and a score in defeat.
Southern Miss fumbled the ball away on the game's opening possession, and Marshall capitalized on its first play from scrimmage as Cato found Gator Hoskins for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
The Thundering Herd offense needed only three plays on its next possession to find the end zone again, as Cato connected with Craig Wilkins for a 15-yard scoring strike.
Cato would tack on two more first-quarter TD passes; a 23-yarder to Allen at the four-minute mark, and a one-yarder to Shuler with 19 seconds to play in the opening frame.
USM finally got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter on Mullens' 81-yard scoring strike to Triplett. A 39-yard field goal from Corey Acosta made it a 28-10 game with three and a half minutes to play in the half.
However, Marshall put together a 13-play drive just before intermission, and Cato ended the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Shuler with 27 seconds on the clock to send the home team into the locker room with a 35-10 cushion.
The Thundering Herd began to pull away in the third quarter. Taliaferro scored on an eight-yard run, and Grooms tacked on a 75-yard rushing TD midway through the quarter to put Marshall ahead comfortably.
After a 33-yard field goal from Acosta late in the third, Marshall added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to account for the final margin. Allen scored his second TD of the day on a 40-yard pass from Blake Frohnapfel with 11:48 to play, and Steward Butler found the end zone on a 59-yard run with 8:46 remaining.
Marshall totaled 636 yards of offense on the day, and the Herd were particularly dominant on the ground, averaging 11.3 yards per carry as a team.Game Notes