Cato has a veteran line, veteran running backs, a more physical tight-end crew and his old pal Tommy Shuler. How he and offensive coordinator Bill Legg integrate younger receivers will provide another of the day's subplots.
Miami coach Don Treadwell worries that the Herd will do just fine this year - and tonight.
"Overall, Marshall is a very, very explosive team, really across the board," he said. "On both sides of the ball, special teams, you name it. Many people that watch Marshall, it's a no-brainer - their offense is very explosive. Every game, they demonstrate their ability to move the football, they have a lot of athletes.
"But certainly, the catalyst is Cato, the quarterback. In my opinion, he's just phenomenal."
Miami will bring a not-so-new quarterback in Austin Boucher, a mobile sort who will stress Heater's 4-2-5 defense. Boucher operates behind two veteran linemen and a top receiver in Dawan Scott, but has several new starters. Two redshirt freshmen, a lineman and receiver Rokeem Williams, are among those.
"You'll kind of see a combination this year, across the board, of key veterans and a lot of youth, but then youth with experience," Treadwell said.
Marshall has some young-but-experienced players on its two-deep chart, which is littered by designated co-starters. But it also has a large, seemingly deep and talented senior class for once, players with long memories of games gone awry and seasons of what might have been.
That definitely includes the season that fizzled out nine long, long months ago.
"It's been so long from that ECU game, all the way to now," Bazzie said. "To end your season not where you want it to be, that sour taste is going to stay in your mouth for a while. And it's still there."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.