Cato Breaks Record, No. 25 @HerdFB Cruises Past FIU 45-13

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
Cato Breaks Record, No. 25 @HerdFB Cruises Past FIU 45-13

On a night that saw senior quarterback Rakeem Cato (Miami) break national and school records, the Marshall Thundering Herd took care of business again on the road, defeating the FIU Panthers 45-13 at Alfonso Field in Miami.

Marshall remains unbeaten at 7-0 and 3-0 in Conference USA, while FIU falls to 3-5 and 2-2 in conference play.

The Herd trailed for the first time this season after a one-yard rush by Alex McGough gave FIU a 7-0 lead with two minutes to go in the first quarter.

Marshall responded on the next drive with a record-breaking touchdown. With a one-yard toss to freshman tight end Ryan Yurachek (Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Cato broke the NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass. The score marked the senior quarterback’s 39th-straight game, surpassing Russell Wilson’s previous record of 38 from 2009-11. Junior running back Devon Johnson (Richlands, Va.) set up the touchdown -- the first of Yurachek’s career -- with a career-long 71-yard rush.

After FIU moved into Marshall territory, redshirt junior Ricardo Williams (Homestead, Fla.) blocked a Panthers field goal attempt, which gave the Herd its 22nd blocked kick under Doc Holliday.

Marshall worked quickly on its next drive, as Cato hit Justin Hunt (Memphis, Tenn.) with a 39-yard completion. Cato capped off the drive with a 13-yard pass to redshirt freshman Angelo Jean-Louis (Wellington, Fla.) and the Herd entered the half with a 14-7 lead.

In the second half, the Herd scored 10 consecutive points. Senior Justin Haig (Delray Beach, Fla.) hit a 35-yard field goal with 9:05 to go in the third quarter. Cato then connected with Johnson on a pass over the middle that Johnson turned into a 46-yard score and gave Marshall a 24-7 lead.

After a Jarquez Samuel (Valdosta,Ga.) interception gave Marshall field position at the FIU 27-yard line, Cato and Johnson connected again with a 27-yard pass to extend the lead to 31-7.

The Marshall defense decided to get in on the action as well. Sophomore Corey Tindal (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) picked off Alex McGough and returned the interception 30 yards to the house to make the score 38-7.

The Herd would then cap off its scoring with a six-play, 81-yard drive with a 61-yard touchdown run by Steward Butler (Lakeland, Fla.) to increase the lead to 45-7.

The Panthers scored late, with a four-yard pass from E.J. Hilliard to Clinton Taylor to make the score 45-13 after the point-after-touchdown was missed.

Cato also moved into first all-time at Marshall for touchdown responsibility with 120, surpassing Chad Pennington’s previous record of 119.
Marshall will return home next weekend to take on Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

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