HUNTINGTON - No, there isn't any truth to the joke that Marshall's top three tight ends caught more passes during the season opener last weekend than they did all of preseason camp.
It only seemed that way.
When Eric Frohnapfel caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Rakeem Cato with 54 seconds left, the Thundering Herd had long been vanquished by West Virginia. But the score finished a productive day for Frohnapfel, C.J. Crawford and Gator Hoskins, the MU tight ends who combined for 12 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
OK, it wasn't quite that good. The stat sheets show the trio compiled 11 receptions, 132 yards and Frohnapfel's TD. Frohnapfel had a 24-yard catch, the longest of the bunch.
Except for the one that didn't count, a 52-yarder by Hoskins. He scurried around a block by Antavious Wilson and outran the Mountaineers down the sideline.
All that running was for naught, as Wilson was flagged for holding. That flag came right in front of the Marshall sideline, near the 50-yard line, so Herd coach Doc Holliday, fellow players and coaches had a pretty good look at it.
And they were furious. And animated. Holliday couldn't believe it, and he shared his opinions with the head linesman.
Emotions cooled, but a day later team members reviewed the video and didn't like the call any better.
"I actually watched 'Tay' the whole time," said receiver Aaron Dobson, who sat out the second half. "He just pancaked him, man, it was a good block. I guess the ref saw something different."
Hoskins, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound junior from Gainesville, Fla., had a fourth career touchdown and career-long gain negated. He, too, expressed frustration in a calm, measured manner.
"That'll kind of make you mad," Hoskins said. "I think it was a great block; he drove the man to the ground. I can't see the holding, but I'm not a ref out there."
Still, Hoskins gained 24 yards on a pair of catches. Crawford had 48 yards on three catches, and 6-foot-6 Frohnapfel had a team-leading six receptions for 60 yards and that one score.
That came with a bit of improvisation, as offensive coordinator Bill Legg relates.