HUNTINGTON -- Rakeem Cato threw for 234 yards and five touchdowns as Marshall knifed through Southern Mississippi in the first half, taking a 35-10 halftime lead.
It took just 1 minutes, 13 seconds for Cato to throw a touchdown in his 26th consecutive game, tying the record set by Chad Pennington over the 1997 and 1998 seasons. As it happened, Pennington and the 1998 team were honored during a second-quarter break.
He started with a 27-yard toss down the middle to Gator Hoskins on the first play after the Thundering Herd recovered a fumble. He went 15 yards to Justin Wilkins, 23 to Davonte Allen and 1 and 9 yards to Tommy Shuler.
Cato was 9 of 10, 149 yards with four touchdowns after the first quarter. Marshall had a 168-46 advantage in total yards at that point.
Southern Miss got on the board with 7:05 left with an 81-yard pass from freshman Nick Mullens to Markese Triplett. The Golden Eagles had just forced a touchback at the end of an Essray Taliaferro 57-yard run when Emmanuel Johnson poked the ball away at the 4-yard line.
Corey Acosta made it 21-10 with 3:30 left, ending a streak of six missed field goals in a row. Cato answered with his fifth touchdown, the second to Shuler, in the final m inute.