Marshall stayed turnover-free for much of the second half and that allowed the Herd to pull within striking distance to tie. Cato tossed a 38-yard touchdown to tight end Gator Hoskins to cut Ohio's lead to 31-24, then forced the Bobcats to punt on their next drive. But Marshall's drive lasted just one pass.
On first and 10 on the Marshall 17, Cato threw toward Demetrius Evans on the right sideline. Evans slipped on the route, and Devin Bass was all alone for the interception on the Herd 33. That set up a 29-yard Green field goal for a 34-24 lead and the ability to weather Cato's touchdown scramble with 29 seconds left.
"That's me," Cato said of the pick. "He slipped down, but I shouldn't have thrown the ball anyway. That was all on me."
Those turnovers blocked Marshall from a momentum-building win and a breakthrough against the Bobcats, who have had the Herd's number since 2011. It also cast a pall over a night where Cato's 367 yards on 30-of-45 passing gave him 7,109 for his career and pushed him to third in Herd career passing yards and fourth in career total offense with 7,267 yards.
They also set Marshall back going into this Saturday's visit to Blacksburg, Va., and Virginia Tech's even tougher defense. The Hokies and the Herd is among 13 teams tied for 12th in the FBS with seven turnovers gained.
"We just have to take the good out of this game and take it to that stadium," Marshall wide receiver Tommy Shuler said. "We started kind of slow, but we fought to the end."
It probably wouldn't hurt to remember some of the bad as well, namely those turnovers, as a warning for what slippery fingers could cost them.
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.