Both found the experience of their returns to the gridiron extra exhilarating. Rouse's next act in a game comes before Saturday's game against Gardner-Webb, when he witnesses the coin toss as one of the Herd's four captains.
Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
"I was really nervous at first, before the game," Rouse said. "I got settled in after a couple of drives and it felt good to be out there."
Smith echoed that theme: "Man, it was a blessing to get back out on that field. That's all it is, a blessing to get back out there and show these people what I've got."
By all accounts, Rouse's contribution to the Herd's defensive domination of the RedHawks went well beyond his one, er, two tackles, one which resulted in a 1-yard loss. Several times he helped push the Miami line back, opening lanes for linebackers such as Jermaine Holmes to blow through and smother ball carriers.
Smith's 70 yards on seven punt returns and 75 yards on three catches were more noticeable, especially his 54-yard TD reception of a Rakeem Cato bomb. Playing outside at the "X" position, Smith zoomed by Miami's best cover corner, Dayonne Nunley.
Cato's pass didn't lack for altitude or distance. Accordingly, Smith didn't lack for confidence.
"He can throw anything, I'm going to go get it," Smith said, mimicking a Moss mantra.
If the Miami game is an indication, Smith and Rouse are going to have big senior seasons, statkeepers are going to have to pay extra attention. The Marshall crew has five more games to get that down; statkeepers in other stadiums have a challenge.
One thing to remember: Smith is not eager to make his first college tackle, for it probably means an interception or a fumbled punt is involved.
Rouse would make a statistical trade, though.
"That's what my Dad said, they kept on mixing up the names," he said, then joked: "Hopefully, I got a couple catches."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.