HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall has the second-leading rusher in Conference USA, but as a team the Herd ranks ninth in the 12-team league.
"I'd like to run the ball a little better than we are," Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said at his weekly press conference Tuesday inside the Big Green room at Edwards Stadium.
Holliday's Herd (1-1) visits Ohio University (2-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
The Bobcats, losers of six straight games in The Battle for the Bell, are 3-point favorites at Peden Stadium, a 24,000-seat venue that should be at capacity for this non-conference matchup.
In last year's meeting in Huntington, Marshall generated a measly 96 yards on the ground, but narrowly escaped with a 24-23 win.
That was a different time and a different backfield. The only three Herd players to accumulate any rushing yardage were Andre Booker (47 yards), Martin Ward (45 yards) and Brian Anderson (4 yards).
Booker is now buried on the depth chart at wide receiver and Ward is the third- or fourth-string running back behind sophomore Tron Martinez and freshman Travon Van.
Anderson graduated and has been succeeded by Cato.
Martinez has 145 yards on 27 carries through two games, which puts him only behind Southern Methodist's Zach Line in Conference USA rushing yardage.
Van, however, has struggled to start his collegiate career.
"I think the actual players running the ball are good," Holliday said. "Travon has got to slow down a little bit, but he'll get better and better as he goes."
Van had 10 carries against WVU on Sept. 4, but totaled just 1 yard.
He rebounded with 31 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards in a win over Southern Mississippi last weekend.
"He had a couple nice plays Saturday," Holliday said of Van. "He's starting to get the feel. He was banged up a little bit the week before last. He was back to full speed last week and he'll be full speed this week."
Van ranks No. 28 in Conference USA in rushing, and his 1.48 yards-per-carry average is the lowest of any non-quarterback in the league.
Martinez has a long rush of 22 yards and six of 12 yards or longer, but Van's longest run in two games is 7 yards.
What does the 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back need to do to improve?