Marshall's "baby back" backfield could be pared by one with the injury to Remi Watson.
The redshirt freshman went down after his best run, a career-long 26-yarder in the second quarter. As he was helped off the field, he put no weight on his right ankle.
Watson's injury could put the running game in the hands of true freshmen Kevin Grooms and Steward Butler, who combined for 124 yards on 32 carries and a touchdown, a 6-yarder by Grooms.
An even more worrisome injury came to punter Tyler Williams, whose leg was "turnstiled" by an onrushing Dexter McCoil late in the third quarter. To the dismay of the home crowd, McCoil received a 5-yard penalty for merely running into the kicker.
As Williams hobbled off, Justin Haig entered. A much more natural place-kicker, Haig got off a 41-yard punt with a zero-yard return. The Herd did not punt the rest of the day.
John Bruhin started at his usual right guard spot for the Herd, but Alex Schooler came in late in the first half and went the rest of the way.
Perhaps Tulsa showed the way in defending against Marshall's passing game by taking Tommy Shuler out of the game. A week after catching 19 passes for 200 yards against Purdue, Shuler was limited to 28 yards on seven catches.
His long play was 7 yards, and he lost 3 on another play when he had to hit the ground to catch a swing pass. On the other hand, Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson combined for 17 receptions and 251 yards, with two TDs for Wilson.
"They took Shuler away, but Dobson had a bunch of catches," Holliday said. "You can't take everybody away, and we were able to run the ball, too. I thought we did a pretty good job of mixing it up."
The final result, though: Wilson was flagged for offensive pass interference on an end-zone throw, and both Dobson and Wilson were denied on throws for the tying touchdown.
Dobson and Wilson gave the Herd two 100-yard receivers for the first time since 2009 (Chuck Walker 119, Cody Slate 114 vs. Southern Illinois). ... When Marshall committed two first-quarter turnovers, that gave the Herd six in a span of 41 minutes, 12 seconds - less than three quarters worth - going back to the second quarter of the Purdue game. The Herd gave up just three points off those turnovers, though. ... Marshall's record in homecoming games fell to 58-45-8, as its two-game winning streak was snapped. ... Tulsa remains one of two C-USA teams the Herd has not beaten, and the only one it has never defeated all-time. Central Florida has a seven-game streak against the Herd, following three MU wins when both inhabited the Mid-American Conference.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.