HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - When Rakeem Cato walked off the field after the Marshall football team lost on the last play to Middle Tennessee, he felt emotions he detested. He was disappointed and frustrated and it was evident in the sharp tone of his words to reporters in the minutes after the game.
He never wanted to feel that way again. So far, he hasn't.
Cato leads the Thundering Herd into Friday's noon game against East Carolina - a contest on CBS Sports Network that will decide the Conference USA East Division champion - wielding one of the hottest hands in college football. He'd like to see that streak continue versus the Pirates.
Since the calendar turned to November, no quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision has thrown for more touchdowns than Cato. He's tossed 17 in the last four games against just one interception. Second on the list is his adversary Friday, ECU quarterback Shane Carden, who's thrown 16 touchdowns and two interceptions.
It's Cato's way of ensuring the bad feelings after the MTSU loss don't return. He didn't like that he had to watch the game be decided, rather than have the ball in his hands.
"I just felt like I couldn't really do nothing," Cato said. "As an offense, I feel we have to be one point better than the next team. Our job is to score one point better than the team we're playing against. I feel like I couldn't do that.
"After that game, I wanted to leave no regrets on the field," he added. "Every time we play, I want to make sure we do everything right and that everything's crisp."
On top of his touchdowns, Cato has completed 60.6 percent of his passes in the last four games for 1,235 yards, the fourth-best November total in the FBS. Included in that four-game streak is a game-winning fourth-quarter drive at Tulsa, where Cato found Tommy Shuler for an 18-yard score.
Cato has thrown at least one touchdown in every game this season, extending his school-record streak to 29 straight games.
His 32 touchdowns this season with at least two games to go - the ECU game and the Herd's upcoming bowl game - is eighth best in program history.