And so it's on to Purdue, where the Herd must pursue and tackle a lot better. The Boilermakers (2-1), who were off last weekend, previously rolled up 392 rushing yards in a 54-16 win over Eastern Michigan.
EMU used two turnovers to close a lead to 13-9, but the Boilermakers struck quickly to lead 33-9 at the half and 47-9 with 11:14 left in the game. They scored on runs of 40, 87, 56 and 15 yards, and on Caleb TerBush passes of 18 and 80 yards.
Purdue (2-1) is getting a few votes in both major polls, perhaps as much on the strength of its lone loss, 20-17 at Notre Dame. TerBush's 17-yard TD pass to Antavian Edison tied the game with 2:17 left, but the Fighting Irish drove for a late field goal to win.
For what to expect, Taylor said, "Hard-nosed running. A lot of rollout, they're going to pull a lineman out with them. A lot of slide protection; that's what you're going to get with them. They're big, they move pretty well, they finish blocks and everything. We're going to have to take care of business up front."
Even more hard-nosed is the Purdue's defensive front, led by tackles Kawann Short and Bruce Gaston. Short, a 6-foot-3, 315-pounder with three sacks and four tackles for loss already, is rated a potential NFL first-round draft pick. Gaston has two tackles for loss.
Marshall coach Doc Holliday sent word to the media that no, he did not call for a faked extra-point kick with the Herd up 41-31. Holder Blake Frohnapfel "coned" the football and it squirted away, and he did what he could to salvage the play.
No receivers went to the end zone until they realized the play went awry. Frohnapfel essentially threw to extended arms (probably those of brother Eric), but did not connect.
In postgame remarks, Holliday muddied the issue by mentioning that a successful 2-point conversion would have given the Herd a 12-point lead, forcing Rice to score two touchdowns instead of one touchdown, a 2-point conversion and a field goal.
Walk-ons Eric Douglas and Lorenzo Steele have left the Marshall program. Steele was a 5-foot-8, 170-pound redshirt freshman cornerback; Douglas was a freshman from Parkersburg listed at 5-5, 130.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.