Cato likes wins better than records
HUNTINGTON — With three touchdown passes Saturday, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato continued to chase Fresno State passer Derek Carr on the list of consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
Cato has thrown a TD pass in 27 consecutive games. Carr sat at 28 straight games with a TD pass entering Saturday night’s game at Wyoming.
The NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass is held by current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw 38 while playing for N.C. State and later Wisconsin.
On Saturday in the Thundering Herd’s 56-14 victory over UAB, Cato broke the Marshall record of 26 set in 1997 and 1998 by Chad Pennington, with whom Cato is a friend and an admirer.
Cato said he is honored to be mentioned in the same breath with Pennington, but doesn’t think much about displacing the former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins quarterback in the record book.
Cato has 75 career touchdown passes, good for third place at Marshall behind Pennington (115) and Byron Leftwich (89).
“Never,” Cato said when asked if he pays attention to the record book. “I honestly can’t tell you how many touchdown passes I have. My focus is on winning. That’s all that matters.”
WORDS FROM A SPARROW: Marshall senior defensive tackle Brandon Sparrow wasn’t terribly surprised to see the Herd with three running backs gaiing more than 100 yards apiece Saturday.
Steward Butler gained 139. Essray Taliaferro picked up 118. Kevin Grooms rushed for 108.
“They’ve been tearing it up in practice,” Sparrow said. “All of them can run. I’m proud of them.”
TOP MU ATHLETES: Soccer star Daniel Withrowand track and field sensation Vanessa Jules were honored on the field during Saturday’s game.
Withrow, a goalkeeper with the Columbus Crew, is Marshall’s male athlete of the year. Jules, an All-American in the heptathlon, is MU’s female athlete of the year.
SHULER, TALIAFERRO CLIMBING: Marshall wide receiver Tommy Shuler caught six passes Saturday to break a tie with Ricky Carter (1992-95) and give him 182 for his career, good for eighth place in Herd history. Antavious Wilson is seventh on the list with 187 receptions.
Running back Essray Taliaferro ran for 118 yards, his third consecutive 100-yard game. The last Herd back to run for 100 yards in four straight games was Darius Marshall in 2009 against Virginia Tech, Bowling Green, Memphis and East Carolina.
FIRST QUARTER STREAK ENDS: Darrin Reaves’ 2-yard touchdown run represented the first points scored against Marshall in the first quarter since the season-opener against Miami (Ohio). The Herd had outscored opponents 59-0 in the opening quarter since the Miami game.
BLOCK PARTY: Marshall had a field goal attempt blocked Saturday, continuing a trend of blocked kicks this season. The Herd has had two extra points, a punt and a field goal blocked.
“We’ll work on it,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. “We’ll go out and work on it. (Kicker) Justin Haig will come back to work just like he always does.”
WHERE’S STAN? Former Marshall head coach Stan Parrish was a topic of conversation Saturday after being named as the interim coach at Eastern Michigan.
Since coming from Wabash College to lead Marshall to 6-5 and 7-4-1 seasons in 1984 and 1985 respectively the well-traveled Parrish has been a head coach at Kansas State, Ball State and Eastern Michigan, as well as an assistant at Rutgers, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Siena Heights (Mich.) and with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also has coached at Purdue.
Parrish is the rare coach who has won a national championship and a Super Bowl, having captured a national title with Michigan in 1997 and a Super Bowl win with Tampa Bay in 2003.
Parrish led EMU to a 35-32 victory over Western Michigan in overtime Saturday.
ROUNDING UP: After four possessions Saturday, Marshall had 243 yards on 14 plays in just 3:48 of the game, averaging 17.4 yards per play, to take a 28-7 lead. ... The Herd has outrushed eight of its last 11 foes. ... UAB actually rushed for more yards (288) Saturday than it did last season (209) when it beat Marshall 38-31. ... The Herd’s victory over UAB evened Holliday’s record with the Herd at 23-23 in four seasons. ... Marshall ran for 382 yards. It hasn’t rushed for 400 yards since gaining 576 against Detroit Tech Nov. 8, 1940.
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