Any second-guessing on that call from the outside wasn't echoed by Cato, who had thrown for 228 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against the Hokies.
"I play quarterback and listen to my coaches," Cato said. "Whatever the coaches are telling me to do, that's what I'm doing."
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THE HERD'S DEFENSE had a big hand Saturday in keeping the game close. The Hokies gained 382 yards against Marshall, the most they've gained on an FBS opponent this season, but the Herd racked up two first-half interceptions from Neville Hewitt and Monterius Lovett, 10 tackles for loss, led by Alex Bazzie's pair, and two sacks. James Rouse and Ra'Shawde Myers combined for one and Gary Thompson added a solo sack.
"It was a physical game, a physical four quarters, and more at the end," defensive lineman James Rouse said. "The defense has improved, but it's still too many (points) at the end of the day. We should have gotten the win and we didn't."
There still were areas for improvement. Virginia Tech gained 201 yards rushing against a Marshall team allowing an average of 67 per game entering Saturday. And while the Hokies converted just two of 16 third downs, they converted three of four fourth downs.
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ESSRAY TALIAFERRO saw his most extensive action of the season against Virginia Tech. He recorded his second career 100-yard game with his 105 yards on a season-high 26 carries. Among the running backs, Remi Watson and Steward Butler each carried the ball just once for a total of minus-4 yards. Cato was Marshall's second leading rusher with 46 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
"The biggest part of that, our decision at running back, had to do more with protection than anything else (Saturday)," Holliday said. "You better be able to stick your nose up in the 'A' gap and block a blitzing backer. Taliaferro does that a little better than the other two young kids."
Kevin Grooms, who carried the ball 15 times for 35 yards against Ohio, was in full pads in Blacksburg but also wore a walking boot on his left leg and did not enter the game.
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.