That confidence allows the two to work through things when they don't go perfectly and to keep differences of opinion a debate and not an argument. They can talk to each other about why a pass went astray and discuss each other's preferences for a particular play or route. They can disagree and they can work it out.
"That's great," Shuler said. "That's football. We'll be on the field and we'll have a little debate. I'll be like, 'I think you should throw the ball here,' and he'll say, 'Nah, I should throw the ball right here.' So we'll go home and we'll take the debate to the house.
"Then we go back and watch film and take the debate to the film room, just to know that, on Saturday, we'll be on the same page," he added. "Having that debate is great because we're both looking at football and both understanding the game together."
And the two say their devotion to football and their diligence in studying it are among their strongest bonds. They enjoy watching film and poring over the finer points of the game. And that's led to Cato sitting second in C-USA and 26th in the country in passing yards per game (269.3) and Shuler sitting first in the conference and seventh nationally in receptions per game (8.3).
"He understands film very well and understands all the coverages," Cato said. "It's not me just telling him what all the coverages are. He understands the coverages."
Marshall Coach Doc Holliday understands his fortune in what he has with Cato and Shuler. He admits that, in the first couple of years in his Herd tenure, there were players on his roster that didn't seem to love the process of playing winning football. They didn't enjoy the preparation for game day as much as game day itself. That's not the case anymore, he said, and Cato and Shuler are prime examples of that.
"I think for the most part, we've got a lot of guys who do love it right now, but those two kids, they take liking football to a different level," he said. "They eat, sleep and drink it. It's given them a way out. It's given them an opportunity to make something of themselves. They understand that."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.