"I sure as hell wasn't thinking about Virginia Tech at that point," Holliday said. "I've got confidence in Haig if it's inside the 25 that he can make it."
And when the kick sailed through with plenty of room to spare, it touched off a celebration that spilled off the Herd sideline and onto FAU's field. It was a significant win for Marshall, making it the only team left in Conference USA's East Division to be undefeated in conference play. The Herd is looking down at all of their East foes.
Holliday said no one deserved the opportunity more than Haig, who battled through back problems all last season. He admitted after the 2012 Houston game - where he kicked another game-winner - that his back spasms were so bad that he needed treatment several times a week and needed muscle relaxers in order to kick.
"He's a great kid and a tough kid," Holliday said. "He's a kid where you talk about going in a foxhole with, I'll crawl in a foxhole with Haig, and he sure deserved it after the adversity he faced down in Blacksburg."
Haig's teammates agree that he earned the opportunity and the praise that came with his success. Tight end Gator Hoskins said they see Haig's toughness every day.
"Every day in practice he goes hard," Hoskins said. "He's one of the leaders on the team and he got his chance and won us the game. He's a tough guy. Every day, Coach talks about Justin Haig. That just shows what he's been doing all season."
That he did it on his home turf made it even sweeter. Haig said his high school, American Heritage, sat in Delray Beach, just a few miles away from FAU's stadium. He figures he had about 25 people from his home town in the stands cheering him on. At 5-foot-8, he was far from the biggest player on the field, but had no problem in the biggest moment.
"People tend to look at people and say, 'Oh, he's short,' or 'He doesn't have a strong leg,'" Haig said. "I personally didn't get recruited by FAU because I was ... short? I don't know. But there's more to football."
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.