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New position means starting job for Herd's Hunter

Two Marshall players changed positions prior to Saturday's game versus Western Carolina, and that led to a new starting job for one of them. Redshirt freshman D.J. Hunter, who had been Dominick LeGrande's backup at strong safety, started the Western Carolina game at strong-side linebacker. That job was Raheem Waiters' against West Virginia University.

Hunter recorded six tackles in his first start at linebacker.

"We're trying to get our best players on the field," Head Coach Doc Holliday said. "Whether offensively or defensively, a coach needs to do a great job of getting your best 11 and he's one of our best 11, so he needed ot play."

Freshman Devon Johnson, who had been a linebacker, was working with the tight ends during Saturday's pre-game, but came in as a fullback in the first half.

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HOLLIDAY SAID after Saturday's game that freshman corner A.J. Leggett was done for the season following shoulder surgery this past week and will redshirt. Leggett, a South Miami High graduate, was rated the ninth-best corner in the 2012 recruiting class by He was seen before Saturday's game with his right arm in a sling.

Offensive linemen Josh Lovell (left leg) and Garrett Scott (left leg) also were held out of Saturday's game due to injury, though Holliday said both will practice Sunday. Holliday said that Lovell probably could have played if needed Saturday, but Scott probably couldn't have.

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The Herd, which finished the night with 615 yards, had 514 yards at the end of the third quarter. It's the first time since 2003 that Marshall's offense recorded back-to-back 500-yard games. That season, the Herd gained 548 yards in a 41-21 win over Western Michigan on Oct. 25, then gained 573 yards in a 42-24 win over Akron on Nov. 1.

Saturday night's total was the most Marshall had gained since the Herd racked up 604 yards against Kent State on Oct. 11, 2003.

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Quarterback Rakeem Cato, who threw for 377 yards, eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for the second straight game. Cato threw for 413 yards last week versus West Virginia University. It was the first time a Marshall quarterback went for back-to-back 300-yard games since Stan Hill threw for 439 yards against Akron on Nov. 5, 2004 and 348 yards versus Bowling Green on Nov. 12, 2004. -- Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at or 304-348-1712. His blog is at


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