MORGANTOWN - The last time Marshall was this prolific on offense, the results weren't any better than the 69-34 loss Saturday to West Virginia.
But the 545 total yards and 34 points were bright spots for the Thundering Herd, nonetheless.
"We're trying to score 31 points or better every game. That's our goal. We did that today," said quarterback Rakeem Cato. "We came out with a loss, but we're addressing that. We saw some good things, some bad things. Look at the film [today] and go on from there."
It was the first time in five years the Herd has racked up that much yardage and first time in eight years since it has done so against a Division I-A/FBS foe. But you may want to brace yourself for those last times.
Marshall recorded 562 total yards on Sept. 15, 2007 against New Hampshire, but its debilitated defense was soundly defeated 48-35. Worse: Marshall gained 554 total yards on Nov. 5, 2004 at Akron, that 31-28 defeat that lives in the depths of infamy.
It's better for Herd fans to consider the offensive positives, and how a whopping 19 players contributed to the stat sheet. Yep, 19 - seven different ball carriers and 13 different pass-catchers, with Travon Van doing both.
"You saw that we've got a lot of people who can make plays," said tight end C.J. Crawford. "Me, Gator [Hoskins], Froh [Eric Frohnapfel] made plays, all the receivers got touches. We've just got to do better, score in the red zone, no more field goals."
Actually, Marshall scored four touchdowns in six trips inside the WVU 20-yard line, settling for field goals the other two times. The Herd also was hurt by two touchdown-erasing penalties and two turnovers.
Those mishaps came in the second half after WVU took a 48-17 lead, but they still hurt. That began with the only sack the Herd yielded, the strip by Terence Garvin. After Garvin battled the ball out of Cato's hand, Isaiah Bruce returned it 43 yards for a defensive score.
Two touchdown-negating holding penalties were called against Marshall on the same drive. The first one had the Herd livid.
Hoskins took a pass outside, went around an Antavious Wilson block and outran the WVU defense for a 52-yard score. Wilson was flagged for holding, however.
"Nah. It was a [legitimate] pancake block," Van said. "It was a great block and Gator outran everybody."
Said MU coach Doc Holliday: "I'll be anxious to see that on film."
Wide receiver Aaron Dobson missed the last 21/2 quarters with a hip injury. That didn't help the Herd's cause, as he had four catches for 72 yards, including a 40-yard bomb.
As it turns out, that was his last tangible contribution.
"It was on the deep ball I caught. I just came down on it wrong," Dobson said of his injury. "I finished that drive and came out for the [next] drive. It was hard for me to get in and out of my routes. It was just messing with me, so that's when they iced me for the rest of the half.
"I tried to come out for the second half and I couldn't really run like I wanted to, so they decided to sit me out."