HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg can tell his quarterback Rakeem Cato is growing up by looking at the list of receivers from last Saturday's game against West Virginia.
The sophomore found 13 different receivers against the Mountaineers. The closest the Thundering Herd (0-1) has come to that feat since 2002 was on Sept. 9, 2006, when Bernard Morris and Jimmy Skinner combined to find 12 different receivers in a 54-31 win over Hofstra.
Legg said the sophomore's nine games as Marshall's starting quarterback in 2011 has allowed him to become more comfortable and seek that many receivers.
"The thing he's doing is he's learning to take what the defense gives him," Legg said. "By no stretch of the imagination were any of us perfect on Saturday, including him. But the progress he's made from last year to this year and the progress I just know he's going to continue to make is going to allow us the opportunity to be successful on offense."
Cato's 413 yards against the Mountaineers was the third best passing day in the Football Bowl Subdivision last Saturday. He completed 38 of 54 passes and said he could tell he made a lot of Herd offensive players happy by keeping them involved.
"I think I did pretty good on that, knowing all my receivers walked off the field catching the ball and running backs were catching the ball, knowing everyone had a smile on their face and that they did what they can do," he said. "That's where trust comes in."
Legg trusts that Cato will continue developing as a passer as the season progresses. Marshall hosts Football Championship Subdivision member Western Carolina (1-0) at 7 p.m. Saturday (Fox College Sports Atlantic telecast).
"If you've got a great bus driver, you have a chance," he said. "Now if you put some guys around him, which I think we have, then that makes the opportunities that much better."
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WESTERN CAROLINA quarterback Troy Mitchell wasn't the only true freshman who had a big game in his college debut.