"I've seen Kevin do a lot of really good things all season," said offensive coordinator Bill Legg. "Early in the season, he and Steward, neither one had a complete grasp of pass protection and routes that fit with it. But as the season's gone along, we've kept pushing them in practice. They make a mistake here and there, but we coached them up on their mistakes, JuJuan [Seider, position coach] has done a great job, and now they're to the point they don't mess those up very often.
"Handing them the football has never been the issue."
Taliaferro gained just 66 yards on his 18 carries, but those were just as vital. He had half of those rushes on one drive, gaining 44 yards in a long march that gave the Herd a 38-17 lead in the third quarter. He then had six carries in the fourth-quarter drive that resulted in a field goal, putting Marshall ahead 41-38.
The 5-7, 181-pound junior from Washington now has 31 carries for 123 yards, scoring a TD late in the 59-24 rout of Southern Mississippi. He has touched the ball in only three games, but the coaches know he's around.
"He's a kid who could have played for us all year, but you can't get everybody ready [week to week]," Legg said. "We started the season with six running backs, any one of them we trusted to play, but you can't get six ready. You're pushing to get three ready.
"Tally gives you the same maturity within the system, because he's been here a couple of years. Even though the system has been tweaked and turned a little bit over time, he understands the base principles probably better at this point, still, than the other guys."
Among other injured players, Holliday ruled Andre Snipes-Booker out, and noted that receiver Aaron Dobson and guard Alex Schooler have returned to practice.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.