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Ben Fields: Holliday gets roughed up during loss

Sep. 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — You know it's been a tough day for a football team when the head coach has to get stitches.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday came out to address the media Saturday following Purdue's 51-41 defeat of the Thundering Herd with a gaping cut on the right side of his face.

It happened in the third quarter when linebacker Jeremiah Taylor blocked a Purdue punt, and Herd linebacker Derek Mitchell returned it for a touchdown. Holliday collided with a referee on the play, and got a huge cut and a penalty for his trouble.

"I don't know (exactly what happened)," Holliday said. "I ran into a big official, or he was bigger than I was, anyway."

Marshall was assessed a delay of game penalty for Holliday's collision with the ref.

The play itself gave the Herd a huge boost, as it cut the lead to 42-28 on a comeback from being down 42-14 at the half.

"We thought coming in that we could maybe block a punt," Holliday said. "To get in there and get a touchdown out of it, that helped us a bunch."

NO VAN: The number one running back on the depth chart at the beginning of the season, Travon Van made the switch to cornerback last week.

However, Van didn't make the trip to Purdue.

Holliday said Van was injured.

"He's hurt. He's got a deal where he just couldn't play," Holliday said. "I don't want to get into what it was, but he's got an injury.

RECORDS FALLING: Not only did Tommy Shuler set the Marshall record for receptions in a game with 19, while Rakeem Cato was shattering personal bests, but a few other records fell in the clash between the Herd and the Boilers.

Purdue's Ricardo Allen got his fourth career interception return for a touchdown, breaking a mark held by former Purdue player and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Rod Woodson.

Boilermaker corner Josh Johnson also returned a pick for a touchdown, tying the Purdue record for interceptions returned for a touchdown in a game.

Cato's 45 completions against Purdue broke the record for completed passes given up by the Boilermakers, the previous mark being 39 by Illinois quarterback Jack Trudeau in 1985.

CHUCK THE ROCK?: Marshall's Rakeem Cato has eclipsed the 400-yard mark on three separate occasions through five games this season.

The Herd's record in those three games? 0-3.

Cato's 439-yard performance reset his own career-high and tied for 10th all-time on the Marshall single-game list with Stan Hill, who threw for 439 against Akron in 2004.

200-YARD CLUB: With 19 receptions and 200 yards, Tommy Shuler became the seventh Marshall receiver in history to break the 200-yard plateau.

He joins Randy Moss, Josh Davis, Andre Motley, Troy Brown, Denero Marriott and Mike Barber in that category.

His 19 receptions also broke the former Marshall single-game record of 15 receptions, set by Marriott, Davis and David Foye.

QUICK START: Antavious Wilson's 4-yard touchdown catch from Rakeem Cato with 6:27 left in the first quarter marked the first time all season the Boilermakers were scored on in the opening period.

Ben Fields is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2773 or befields@herald-dispatch.com.

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