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Marshall Football Postgame Notes

Dec. 7, 2013

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The Marshall game captains - chosen weekly by coach Doc Holliday and staff - for the Conference USA Championship Game at Rice were tight end Gator Hoskins, quarterback Rakeem Cato, defensive tackle James Rouse and cornerback Monterius Lovett. They were captains for a second straight week. Nineteen players - eight offense, 11 defense - have been captains through 13 games (11 of those 19 players have been selected multiple times). Cato has the most selections (eight). Rouse leads the defense with seven, followed by Lovett with six. This is Hoskins' fourth selection.

Senior cornerback Derrick Thomas made his first start of year for Marshall, in place of Darryl Roberts (injured), who had started all 12 games.

The temperature was 35 degrees at kickoff, marking the coldest Conference USA title game in its nine-year history. The previous coldest temperature was 46 degrees at Tulsa in 2008.

Rice's opening touchdown for 7-0 lead is fifth time in seven Marshall road games that Herd opponent has scored first (Ohio, Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee, FIU, Rice).

Rice's two leads of 34-10 lead (:24 third quarter) and 41-17 (8:09 fourth quarter) are Marshall's largest scoreboard deficits of this season.

Justin Haig's 27-yard field goal (12:21 second quarter) gave him 100 kick points for the year, the first Herd kicker to reach 100 since Tim Openlander had 130 in 1996 (last Division I-AA season). Haig finished with 99 points in 2012.

Junior quarterback Rakeem Cato was 24-of-41 for the game, and his 24 completions take him to 270 in 2013 and into eighth place on the single-season list, passing Michael Payton (1992). Cato's 408 completions in 2012 is the school record. His 3,579 passing yards (265 for the game) is No. 7 on single-season list, passing Chad Pennington (3,480, 1997). Cato threw for 4,201 yards last season, which ranks third on the single-season list.

Junior wide receiver Tommy Shuler had eight receptions, giving him 97 this season to rank No. 4 in Herd's record books, passing Sean Doctor (96 in 1987), Darius Watts (91 in 2001) and Randy Moss (90 in 1997) on the single-season Herd list. Shuler now has two of the top five receptions seasons in Herd history. His 110 last season is the school record. Mike Barber (106 in 1987) ranks No.2, and Troy Brown (101 in 1992) ranks third.

Junior quarterback Rakeem Cato's early fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Essray Taliaferro extended Cato's streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 31, tying Derek Carr of Fresno State for the lead among active FBS quarterbacks. Carr plays tonight (Saturday) in the Mountain West Conference Championship against Utah State.