"That's the way you're supposed to play defense," Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said. "(Defensive Coordinator Chuck Heater) and those guys have done a tremendous job with that defense. We've got good players. We've added some faces out there that made some plays today. I think they'll continue to get better as we go along."
One of those new faces was linebacker Neville Hewitt. A junior transfer from Georgia Military College, he started Saturday's game at weak side linebacker and tied Holmes for the team lead with eight tackles, assisting on a tackle for loss.
Hewitt wasn't here for that dreadful defensive season of 2012, but he's spent the preseason working with many players who were there and who were craving the opportunity to change a nation's perceptions of their talent. It was that talent Marshall brought in, both on the coaching staff and on the field, which spurred Hewitt to sign with the Herd. He loved being a part of that turnaround Saturday, especially the way the defense played in the second half.
"We went into the locker room and the offense was talking, saying they were going to come out and they were going to score," Hewitt said. "They came out and did what they said and we felt we had to go out there and do the same thing. (Miami) wouldn't get anything else.
"They got those two big plays and that's all they got," he added. "They shouldn't have even gotten those two plays."
The 239 yards of total offense the Herd allowed Saturday were the fewest it's given up since it held Florida International to 251 yards in its 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl win. That also marked the last time Marshall held an opponent scoreless in the second half. The RedHawks had eight drives of three plays or fewer, converted just two of 13 third downs and neither of its two fourth downs.
Now, Waiters said, the next step is to match that dominance Saturday when the Herd hosts Gardner-Webb at 6:30 p.m.
"It felt awesome, just coming out and going three and out on most of our downs and getting all those stops," Waiters said. "Everybody played great defense and we're going to go out and do it again next week."
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.