There was another curious move. The Taliaferro TD was followed by a personal foul, which had Marshall kicking off at the 50-yard line. No onside kick there.
The Herd tried its onside kick with 5:35 left after Cato's TD pass to Devon "Moo Moo" Smith. And after Holliday went for the single extra point to trail by 17. Again.
Speaking of Smith, he shied away from catching a few punts and the Herd paid for it dearly in field position.
MU's last three possessions started inside the 10-yard line, thanks to three punts that were allowed to roll. The Herd started on its 7-, 8- and 8-yard line, the latter more or less forcing a kneel-down with 14 seconds left.
Even Jame Farrimond's first punt of the third quarter was downed at the 17, a 56-yarder helped by failure to field the ball on the fly.
Between that and no forced turnovers, Marshall never started a drive beyond its 35-yard line. Nine times it started from its 25 or inside.
Game MVP Luke Turner's quarterback rating is likely the highest in the FBS, unless you account for that pesky minimum-attempts requirement.
With the halfback-option TD pass of 35 yards and his 8-yard jump pass TD out of the Wildcat formation, he is 3 of 4 passing this season for 100 yards and three touchdowns. That translates to a 532.5 NCAA rating.
"Oh, my gosh, that would be phenomenal," said McHargue, who entered with a humble 123.98. "He was kidding about it. They came off the field after the [first] touchdown and I was getting joking high-fives from guys saying, 'great job,' because I was on the sidelines for the last six plays.
"I said, 'You can stay in this package for the rest of the game if you score like this.' "
Hey, the school only has 3,000-plus undergraduates. "I'm not sure every student wasn't there today," joked Rice coach David Bailiff.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.