GREENVILLE, N.C. - Blake Frohnapfel knew the drill, and performed it well for 111/2 games - take your second-team reps, get your mop-up duty when you can and know you are one injury away from being thrust into the game, no matter the stakes.
For the redshirt freshman, he only had Marshall's season on his shoulders. No biggie.
Frohnapfel, who replaced the injured Rakeem Cato, performed well in the Thundering Herd's 65-59 double-overtime loss to East Carolina Friday afternoon.
"Always being the backup, it's something that you're prepared for the whole year," Frohnapfel said. "You never really know when your chance is going to come, you're always watching film and all that. Tonight I tried everything I could, but we couldn't come up with the win."
Oh, he came up with a few tricks when he entered, including a 51-yard rushing touchdown on a fake handoff to Essray Taliaferro. The CBS Sports crew and any number of media members were fooled badly, following Taliaferro into the pile.
Of course, the East Carolina defense was sucked in worse than anybody, which is why the 6-foot-6 Frohnapfel took off like Tim Tebow, No. 15 and all. He scored the longest rushing touchdown against ECU this season.
"I kind of figured somebody was going to run me down; there was no way I was going to make it," Frohnapfel said with a laugh. "I was lucky enough to make it the whole way."
Passing-wise, he went 12 of 15 for 101 yards, engineering what could have been a bowl-clinching drive, and it was a beauty - 15 plays, 75 yards, chewing up 5 minutes, 21 seconds. Taking a 52-45 lead, the Herd left ECU with 1:50 left after the kickoff, with just one timeout.
His ability with the zone read caught ECU's defense unprepared. After all, there was zero video of Frohnapfel or the zone read for Herd foes to break down.
Frohnapfel drew high marks from coach Doc Holliday. Don't look for a quarterback controversy just yet, but Holliday has a few months to plot how he can give Cato a break, creatively.
"He brings a dimension to this offense, and we've got to play him more," Holliday said.
Frohnapfel was the man who delivered Tommy Shuler's record 107th reception of the season, giving the sophomore the Herd's single-season mark. With 110, Shuler broke Mike Barber's record of 106, set in 1987.
Shuler finished with 14 receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and also picked up six other first downs.
In just two seasons, Shuler already has 124 career receptions, 16th place on MU's all-time list. But those numbers are little consolation for Shuler, who won't have a 13th game to add to them.
"It's kind of hard right now," Shuler said.
Aaron Dobson finished his career tied for fourth on MU's career TD list, tied with Troy Brown at 24. He recorded that 24th TD pass in the first five minutes of the game, easily beating a defender on a jump ball.