And while that last game was transpiring, Tulsa was sweating out a 49-42 win over Alabama-Birmingham at Legion Field.
The Golden Hurricane remains Conference USA's leader in total defense, but it showed its high-risk, high-reward characteristics. UAB quarterback Austin Brown was sacked seven times but pulled off several big passes - including a 75-yard touchdown pass on the game's first play from scrimmage.
"They gave up some big plays. They missed tackles, gave up a couple of big plays they don't normally give up," Holliday said. "And they turned the ball over a couple of times, had a blocked punt that gave UAB a short field, starting from the plus-5-yard line. And I tell you, UAB's got some players now."
And there's that tempo thing. Marshall's 92.4 scrimmage plays per game lead the country, but seven of the nation's top 10 offenses are squeezing off more than 80 snaps.
That is negating schemes and leaving defenses winded and frustrated. That helped Marshall get back within striking position against Purdue, and could help the Herd knock off Tulsa at home on Saturday.
"If you can line up, if you can make the proper read and hit the proper 'hot' [receiver], if you can protect, you've got a shot," Holliday said. "Against UAB last week, [Tulsa] gave up some big plays."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.