Rakeem Cato has thrown a pair of touchdown passes, including a 11 yard strike to Gator Hoskins in the third quarter and Marshall has scored 14 unanswered to tie Southern Miss at 17 apiece in the third quarter. Cato has looked like a seasoned veteran more often than not tossing 17 of 28 for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Austin Davis has tossed two touchdowns and became the all-time leading passer in Southern Miss in an outstanding first half against The Herd. Davis has thrown touchdowns of 13 and 90 yards putting Southern Miss in the lead 17-10 after one half of action.
Davis passed future NFL Hall of Famer Brett Farve who previously held the record with 7,695 yards in his career with Southern Miss. Davis finished the first half 16 of 22 for 221 yards and two touchdown passes.
Marshall got on the scoreboard first thanks to a 32 yard field goal from Tyler Warner. The score capped off a 12 play 64 yard drive. Rakeem Cato began to really assert himself as the leader of the offense completing 8 of 12 for 64 yards in the first quarter.
The Thundering Herd defense forced the Golden Eagles to go three and out of their first offensive series which included a Vinny Curry sack. However, the next time the Eagles got the ball Austin Davis marched them down the field on a 13 play 74 yard drive the culminated with a 13 yard touchdown pass to put Southern Miss in the lead 7-3.
The Golden Eagles extend their lead to 10-in the second quarter. The Eagles started the 11 play scoring 3 drive on its own 41 yard line. Austin Davis completed a pair of passes on two separate 3rd and 12 situations to keep the drive alive. However, Marshall’s defense dug in its heals when Southern Miss got into the redzone. Marshall stuff two rushing attempts by Jamal Woodyard. On 3rd down, George Carpenter came on the blitz and picked up his first sack of the season forcing Southern Miss to settle for a 36 yard field goal from Danny Hrapmann field goal.
Marshall’s offense got the momentum back following a 35 yard return by Andre Booker to the Herd 45 yard line. However, the drive came to a grinding halt when Rakeem Cato was pressured and cocked to throw and the ball slipped out of his hand. Ronnie Thompson registered his first interception of his career giving the Golden Eagles the ball near mid-field.
However, Southern Miss would give the ball right back to Marshall with 7:45 left in the half. Davis completed a pass to Tracey Lampley, but Marshall’s Omar Brown forced the football from Lampley’s grasp and George Carpenter was there to pounce on it for The Herd.
Marshall couldn’t do anything with the opportunity giving the ball right back to Southern Miss on a punt. On the first play of the drive Austin Davis reached back and heaved a 90 yard touchdown pass to Francisco Llanos giving the Golden Eagles a 17-3 advantage with 5:30 left in the first half.
Late in the first half, Marshall got back into the game. Following a defensive stop Marshall got the football back on the Golden Eagle 45 yard line. Rakeem Cato was an efficient 3-for-4 moving Marshall down the field. Cato connected with Aaron Dobson on a ten yard fade pass to the corner of the endzone for Marshall’s first score of the season and got The Herd back in the game down 17-10.
Dobson fought off pass interference by the Golden Eagle defender, kept control of the ball and got a foot down for the score.
Coming out for the start of the second half, Southern Miss coughed up the football on the first drive of the half giving Marshall the football on the Southern Miss 35 yard line. Marshall took advantage of the Golden Eagle miscue. On 3rd and 7, Rakeem Cato avoided the Southern Miss rush and picked up a crucial first down. Two plays later, Cato hit Gator Hoskins from 11 yards out tying the game at 17 apiece. It was the first touchdown catch for Hoskins in his Thundering Herd career.