HUNTINGTON - After Marshall fell to Ohio 27-24 in the "Battle of the Bell" here on Saturday night, the most intriguing aspect of the postgame press conference centered on Thundering Herd quarterback Rakeem Cato.
Rather, it centered on his arm. And whether it was still attached to his body.
Cato threw an unbelievable 65 times in the game, completing 44 for 432 yards with three touchdowns and one pick.
Sixty-five passes. Some kids get carpal tunnel from texting.
"I never thought I'd throw that many times," Cato said afterward, "but I felt good. Left it all on the field."
Indeed, he did. The guy not only threw for 432, he was the team's leading rusher with 32 yards. Which is the rub. It's why Marshall is 1-2 today instead of 2-1. It's why the Thundering Herd is now staring at 1-4 before the Tulsa home game on Oct. 6.
Doc Holliday, his coaches and the rest of the offense have to help their true sophomore. At this level of college football, you cannot put it all on a true sophomore.
Look at Saturday night's winning team. Ohio rushed for 199 yards; it passed for 200. Marshall passed for 432; it rushed for 59.
"We've been a very balanced football team," said Ohio coach Frank Solich. "We have a wide-open offense capable of throwing 50 times a game if we want to do that, but we really don't want to do that."
Marshall shouldn't either.
"We had to do whatever to try and win," Holliday said. "I'm proud of [Cato]. He's hurting right now. We take what the defense gives us. If we continue to move the ball, I don't care how. But at some point you've got to be able to run the ball."
That point was Saturday. Travon Van could net but 15 yards. His long gain: 6 yards.