Shuler breaks reception record
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — About he only thing that could stop Marshall wide receiver Tommy Shuler at Purdue was the locker room door.
That's right, after setting Marshall's single game receptions record Saturday and racking up the most receptions ever given up to a single player by a Purdue defense, Shuler had to bang on the door to get his team to let him in after the game.
Shuler caught 19 passes for 200 yards. Unfortunately, he didn't find the end zone as the Thundering Herd went down swinging, 51-41, to the Boilermakers.
"That's just football," Shuler said. "Somebody's got to win and somebody's got to lose. I felt like we came out slugging today, but we have to learn how to play four quarters."
The performance broke the Marshall record of 15 receptions held by Josh Davis, Denero Marriott and David Foye.
It was also the most receptions by one wideout against Purdue since David Williams of Illinois caught 16 against the Boilers in 1985.
Shuler said he wants to continue to push himself, and individual records just set a new standard to reach.
"I just go out there and play pitch and catch," Shuler said. "I go out there and tell (quarterback Rakeem) Cato to find me."
Shuler found himself in man coverage for most of the game, which he said suited him fine.
"I thought it was good, I wanted man," he said. "I was able to go out there and find holes in the defense and make some plays."
One play Shuler didn't make involved some trickery on a two-point conversion attempt where the ball was pitched to him, and he tried to pass for the points.
The Boilermakers defense wasn't fooled, and Shuler was taken down. He said with a grin he won't be taking his quarterback's place anytime soon.
"It was called hoping to draw the defense up to me," he said. "The defense stayed disciplined and it didn't work."
Shuler broke his own personal best performance, when he caught 13 balls against Ohio two weeks ago, again in a losing effort.
Cato said eventually defenses are going to have to start paying more attention to the 5-foot-8 sophomore, who has provided a consistent offensive spark for the Thundering Herd.
"I don't think there's a defense in college that can stop him," Cato said. "Sooner or later they're going to find out about him and have to double him up or try something else to slow him down.
"Until then, I'm going to keep going to him."
Head coach Doc Holliday put the whole effort into perspective.
"All of that yardage is great ... You don't win the football game, it doesn't mean a whole lot," he said.
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