What's disappointing for Marshall is, still, the Thundering Herd was in the game until the end. The game was terrific, played before a very nice crowd of 33,436, on a beautiful day. Those fans were vocal.
And MU's opportunity was there. The chance at respect was there. Fans and opposing teams know Ohio went to State College and defeated Penn State. Holliday's program could have taken a nice step.
MU's coaches could have helped. They could have rolled the dice a little more. It was Ohio that went deep on fourth-and-5 for a score.
Marshall could have taken a shot downfield in the first half on a third-and-1. Instead there was a pitch back to Van, a loss of a yard and a punt. MU, with momentum slipping in the first half, could have gambled on a fourth-and-1 at its own 41 in the first half. And it certainly could have given Cato a shot at the end of the first half with 43 seconds left instead of running out the clock. That was, understandably, met with a chorus of boos.
In sum, sometimes you just gotta go for it. Especially when you're trying to make a mark.
After the game, Marshall fans streamed out disappointed. The home team's beleaguered defense showed some progress. At times it looked downright physical, playing against a talented, experienced team and fine quarterback in Tyler Tettleton.
Yet MU lost. The opportunity was lost.
The good news: Cato's arm is intact.
That arm just needs some help.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.