Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato tossed three touchdowns in the first quarter to get the Thundering Herd off to a great start against a struggling Tulsa program. Then, after Tulsa had taken advantage of Marshall’s mistakes to storm back for a 34-31 lead in the fourth quarter, Cato once again helped save the day with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Shuler to put Marshall back on top for good. Cato threw five touchdowns and Marshall overcame five turnovers to pick up a key win in Conference USA play, 45-34.
Cato completed 33 of 58 pass attempts for 456 yards and five touchdowns and Marshall needed it. The Herd lost four fumbles and Cato was intercepted once but Tulsa was not able to finish off the rally in the second half. Marshall led 31-14 at halftime but Tulsa tied the game at 31-31 with a 17-point third quarter. The Golden Hurricane then took their first lead of the game with a Carl Salazar field goal but Cato led Marshall down field and regained the lead that had slipped away. Devon Smith and Shuler each had 100-yard receiving games and combined for three touchdowns.
The victory for Marshall keeps them in a good position in the Conference USA East Division. With the win Marshall is tied for first place in the division with East Carolina with identical 5-1 Conference USA records. The two will play in the regular season finale in Huntington, West Virginia on Friday, November 29.