It started the same way Saturday, with the Herd taking a 31-10 halftime lead. Cato threw touchdown passes of 19 yards to Antavious Wilson, 5 yards to Shuler and the best-looking pass of the day, a 46-yard strike to Davonte Allen.
Houston scored on a 3-yard pass from Jones to Shane Ros and Hogan's 32-yard field goal with 1:55 left. At 24-10, that gave the Herd plenty of time to score again - and for Grooms to hit the highlight reel.
On third-and-6, Cato was chased out of the pocket by the oft-gambling Cougars. After moving left, he finally looked right and fired the ball across the field to Grooms. The freshman took the throw, got behind blockers and bounced toward Cato's side, then outran the Houston defense down the left sideline.
Cato was mildly disappointed that the pass was slightly backward and therefore an official running play, but he certainly enjoyed it.
"I was back just watching, relaxing," Cato said. "Should have had some popcorn. It was amazing."
Cato scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter, but that was the only time the Herd crossed the goal line in the second half - that in spite of gaining 282 yards and going 8 of 12 on third downs.
The trouble began on Marshall's first possession after halftime. Cato threw his second interception, taken by Adrian McDonald at the Houston 7 and returned 32 yards.
Houston scored on the next possession, thanks to a miraculous fourth-and-1 conversion from the Marshall 22. Jones fumbled the snap, picked it up, ran a few steps and just heaved a skyward prayer, a ball that was caught by Deontay Greenberry on the sidelines at the Marshall 8-yard line.
After Cato's touchdown run, the Cougars hit Marshall with a "Music City Miracle" lateral on the kickoff return, with Kenneth Farrow taking it and running 60 yards to the Herd 19. On the next play, Shane Ros was untouched on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Early in the fourth quarter, Xavier Maxwell scored on a 58-yard bubble screen and Greenberry tied it at 38 with a 7-yard TD reception. Marshall then drove 73 yards on 14 plays, only to settle for a Haig 26-yard field goal and a 41-38 lead with 5:44 left. The Cougars tried to go ahead and run down the clock, but came up short on both goals.
"The way that game was at halftime, we have to finish it," Holliday said. "Bottom line is we won the game. The seniors went out the right way."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.