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DEVON JOHNSON moved from fullback to tight end this season and showed flashes during preseason scrimmages that he could flourish in the role. It hadn't translated to the regular season, though, as he caught only one 10-yard pass in the Herd's first four games.
He matched that total with a catch against UTSA, but with the extra garnish of six points. Johnson scored the Herd's first touchdown of the game, a 17-yard pass from quarterback Rakeem Cato.
"Devon Johnson made a play today, and he has to continue to get better and play," Holliday said. "Gator (Hoskins) has been banged up, so Devon played a little bit more today."
Several different players got involved in the Marshall passing game against UTSA. Craig Wilkins returned from injury and caught four passes for 53 yards, Jazz King caught a 40-yard pass and freshman Justin Hunt got some work as well. That's just fine with junior Tommy Shuler. Marshall's leading receiver tied a season low with five catches, but he felt he had more space to work since the defenders had to focus more on his teammates.
"I love it," Shuler said. "The more help, the more teams have to worry about it, so I love it. I'm glad they all got their feet wet in the game, so when they get in crucial spots, we know they can make a big play in the game."
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MARSHALL'S OFFENSIVE LINE already had lost one component when Holliday announced Tuesday that redshirt junior Josh Lovell had left the team. Then guard Grady Kerr and tackle Jordan Jeffries did not dress for the UTSA game due to unspecified injuries.
According to the participation report released after the game, the offensive line depth the Herd enjoyed earlier this season completely disappeared versus the Roadrunners. No lineman outside of the starters played in the game.
Despite that, Holliday felt the group held its own. The Herd gained 404 yards of total offense, though Cato was sacked five times.
"That offensive line, (Coach Alex Mirabal) does a good job with them," Holliday said. "We felt going in that (center Chris) Jasperse and the two guards had a great challenge (with the interior defensive line) because they're extremely physical and hard to knock off the ball. At times, I thought we got that done."
Holliday wasn't sure, however, how long Kerr and Jeffries would be out.
"I don't know," Holliday said. "We'll have to get with the doctors and all that. I worry a little about Jordan."
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.