MU Notebook: Herd duo garners awards
Marshall football players Tommy Shuler and Gator Hoskins were honored Monday for their outstanding weekend performances in the 51-41 loss to Purdue.
Tommy Shuler was named as the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after catching 19 passes for 200 yards against Purdue.
Shuler’s receptions were a Marshall single-game record, a Purdue opponent’s single-game record and the high mark for an FBS player in 2012. The figure also tied for the all-time high for a C-USA player, matching Houston’s James Cleveland, who caught 19 passes in the C-USA Championship Game against East Carolina in 2009.
“It’s just a blessing,” Shuler said. “Every week I’m catching an amount of balls and we keep going offensively. I just feel like God is giving me a way to utilize my abilities. It’s my blessing.”
In addition to the receptions mark, Shuler also became the seventh Marshall player all-time to crack the 200-yard receiving barrier.
It was the first time a Marshall receiver hit the 200-yard mark in a decade — since Josh Davis accounted for 264 yards receiving against Appalachian State.
Shuler now leads the nation in receptions with 51.
Hoskins gained a national honor as the National Tight End of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
The junior from Gainesville, Fla., caught four passes for 42 yards with three going for touchdowns.
With the three scores on Saturday, Hoskins is now tied for fourth nationally in receiving touchdowns with six.
His three touchdowns were the most by a Marshall receiver since Davis caught three touchdown passes against Kent State on Oct. 11, 2003.
Hoskins’ first score was a 12-yard pass from Cato that knotted the score 14-14 on the second play of the second quarter.
After Purdue scored the next 28 points — 14 on interception returns for touchdowns — Hoskins led the Herd rally in the second half when he outjumped a defender for a 28-yard score.
Hoskins’ 1-yard touchdown reception brought Marshall within 10 at 45-35 with 12:53 left.
What’s especially impressive about both performances is they were against a Purdue defense that was top 20 nationally in pass defense.
Shuler’s 200 yards receiving accounted for more yards than the Boilermakers had averaged allowing in the passing game to opposition coming in (184.3 yards per game prior to Saturday).
Hoskins’ three touchdown catches eclipsed the number of touchdowns that Purdue had given up through the air all season. Going into last week’s game, the Boilermakers had allowed just one passing touchdown.