6:06pm: Sportsline with Tony Caridi

Cato C-USA Offensive Player of the Year

IRVING, Texas — Backing up his league MVP season in 2012, Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato was named Conference USA’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year.

Cato has put together a stellar 2013 season even as the offense evolved into a more balanced attack with the emergence of tailback Essray Taliaferro and the running game. Cato is fourth in the country and leads C-USA with 36 touchdown passes. That ranks fourth in Marshall history, three behind the all-time mark set by Chad Pennington in 1997.

A junior in his third season as a starter, Cato has thrown for 3,579 yards and completed 59 percent of his pass attempts. He has also rushed for 279 yards and six touchdowns for The Herd.

With Cato running the offense, The Herd is once again one of the top scoring offenses in the country—ranking seventh in FBS scoring 43 points per game and 13th in total offense (503.2 yards).

Marshall closes the season against Maryland in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27.

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