Herd feels frustration
HUNTINGTON -- Following Saturday's 45-38 loss to Tulsa, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato and running back Kevin Grooms stood outside of the media room and just stared at the paper in front of them.
It was the final statistic sheet from the game.
There wasn't much they could say to each other -- just one word.
"We looked at each other like 'How?' How is this possible and we keep losing," Cato said. "We have great talent on the field and we can match up with anybody in college football. We just have to know. We've got to stop talking about it and we have to do it and get the job done. We've got to win the ballgame at all times. There's no more room for losing."
The stat sheet left the pair of Herd offensive standouts searching for answers.
Marshall finished with 572 yards in the contest -- 232 more yards than Tulsa, which ended with 340 in the game.
The Herd averaged 1.5 more yards per play, finished 13-of-19 on third downs and even saw more balance by incorporating a rushing attack that ended with 169 yards.
Marshall had two 100-yard receivers, a rushing attack that finished with three guys over 40 yards each on the ground, led by Grooms' 71 yards.
Still, it was a loss -- and that was too much for the two to fathom or accept.
"We know we're better because if you look at the game and how the game just went, nobody can stop us on the offensive side ...," Grooms said. "It's frustrating. It just hurts right now with the 'L'. We have to come together and get better. We've got to."
As the team heads into its off week, it is a pivotal time.
The Herd is reeling at 2-4 after suffering back-to-back losses in which they heavily outgained the opponent, but fell victim to self-inflicted wounds. Before Tulsa, Marshall outgained Purdue in a loss.
Both Cato and Grooms said the focus of the next week is to sharpen their skills, but it's much more mental than physical.
"No team just came in here and just flat-out beat us. You're not going to beat us," Cato said. "Mentally, we're strong, we're tough. We just have to get over that hump all together. We're beating ourselves every week. From me, from everyone on the team, from a turnover standpoint, and from everything, we just need to find a way to connect with each other and just get over that hump."
The Herd now has two weeks to figure the issues out before an Oct. 20 matchup with Southern Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss.