Marshall Football Postgame Notes
Marshall 59, ECU 28
Nov. 29, 2013
Marshall is headed for its first Conference USA title game appearance in nine league seasons, and first conference title game since winning the Mid-American Conference title game in 2002.
Marshall's 9-3 record marks the Herd's first nine-win season since the 2002 team went 11-2, winning the Mid-American Conference title and the GMAC Bowl.
Marshall's five-game winning streak is the longest since the 6-6 2004 team won five consecutive games.
Marshall's 7-1 C-USA record is a Herd record. The best previous mark, in nine C-USA seasons, was 5-3 in 2011.
Marshall is unbeaten at home (6-0) for the first time since going 6-0 in 2002.
Marshall is 5-0 in November.
Coach Doc Holliday's four Herd teams are a combined 15-4 in late-season games (after Oct. 28).
Marshall game captains - chosen weekly by coach Doc Holliday and staff - for the East Carolina game are tight end Gator Hoskins, quarterback Rakeem Cato, defensive tackle James Rouse and cornerback Monterius Lovett. Nineteen players - eight offense; 11 defense - have been captains through 12 games (11 of those 19 players selected multiple times). Cato and center Chris Jasperse share the most selections on offense (seven each). Rouse leads the defense with six, followed by Lovett with five. This is Hoskins' third selection.
Redshirt junior kicker Justin Haig's 42-yard field goal to open the scoring was his longest of the season, and third-longest of his Herd career (45 vs. Houston, 44 versus Southern Miss last season).
Junior wide receiver Tommy Shuler's 147 total game yards takes him to 2,279 yards for his career, and into 11th place on Herd all-time list, passing Ricky Carter (2,157). He also moved into 17th on single-season list, at 1,019 yards. Shuler's 1,138 yards last season rank No. 11.
Marshall's 17 points in the first quarter are the most allowed by East Carolina since Nov. 5, 2011, versus No. 24 Southern Miss.
Senior tight end Gator Hoskins' touchdown catch (9:33, second quarter) is the 26th in his Herd career, tying College Football Hall of Famer Mike Barber for third place on the Marshall all-time list (behind Randy Moss and Darius Watts). It is Hoskins' 13th touchdown catch in 2013, tying him for fifth place on the single-season list with James Williams (1999) and Brian Dowler (1991).
Junior quarterback Rakeem Cato's game total of 278 yards (272 passing, 6 rushing) moves him into third place for Marshall career total offense, at 9,891 yards, passing Michael Payton's 9,704 (1989-92). The top two are Chad Pennington (13,048) and Byron Leftwich (12,084).
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Gary Thompson's two interceptions are the first time a Herd player has had two in one game since Rashad Jackson's two versus East Carolina in 2011.
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Gary Thompson's third-quarter interception for a touchdown was the Herd's first pick-to-touchdown by a defensive lineman since defensive end Johnathan Goddard scored on a 23-yard interception on Oct. 9, 2004, in a 16-13 Marshall win at Ohio's Peden Stadium.
Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Gary Thompson's interception return for a touchdown is the third for Marshall this season (Raheem Waiters, Monterius Lovett), marking the first time the Herd has three interceptions for scores since 2004, when Chris Royal, Robert Terrell and Johnathan Goddard scored touchdowns on picks.
Junior wide receiver Tommy Shuler's 147 receiving yards are the second-highest total of his career, trailing only his 200-yard day (on 19 catches) last season at Purdue.
Redshirt senior running back Essray Taliaferro (26 carries, 161 yards) had his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season and sixth of his career (had 130 last season at ECU). Taliaferro's 100-yard game is Marshall's 10th 100-yard rushing performance this season, tops in Conference USA.