"He's going to get a lot of work this week at center," said Herd coach Doc Holliday. "The week before we didn't get him any work at center, because we had to play him at guard because we lost Lovell and Bruhin. [Dees] is a young guy, so unless he can practice you get a little nervous about putting him in the game [at center]. So he was not the backup center last week; it was [James] Allen, who worked there all week."
If all goes well, Marshall fans will look back at Cato's late-game interception against Ohio with a shrug, knowing it was a hard lesson in his development. As anybody connected with the team will point out, that pass was inches from getting above Ohio's Jelani Moseley and reaching its intended receiver, C.J. Crawford, possibly for a touchdown.
"From everything I've read and heard from people, he handled himself very well after the loss and in the interviews," Holliday said. "Unfortunately, that is part of the maturing process. It probably happened to Byron [Leftwich] and probably to Chad [Pennington]. Hopefully it won't happen to Cato anymore. It's part of it and I feel he handled himself very well."
Yes, it happened to Marshall's two biggest-name QBs. Pennington suffered that safety for intentional grounding against Montana in 1995; Leftwich couldn't complete that end-zone shot in the 2001 Mid-American Conference championship game.
And finally, a word about the Herd's eight-game hex deep in the heart of Texas. Holliday seems to have rid his memory of one of those losses - not that it's a bad thing.
"I've been to Texas once and got beat by a pretty daggone good Houston team," he said. "They won 12 games last year and beat Penn State in a bowl game."
Uh, oh. He forgot about the Herd's seventh loss of the 2010 season, a 31-17 setback at Southern Methodist, in Dallas. The Herd was held to 50 rushing yards, gave up 202 yards to SMU runner Zach Line and fell behind 24-0 at halftime.
Afterward, Holliday lit his team up as he probably has not done before or since. Perhaps his tirade was so intense it clouded his memory
Which, again, is not a bad thing.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.