For the first time in its six-year history, the 2013 Military Bowl was held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Maryland’s capital city of Annapolis. In an easily understood decision, the game’s selection committee jumped at the chance to send an invite to the Maryland Terrapins, giving their fan base a mere 30-mile drive in order to be a part of the festivities. However, when the contest came to an end, the celebration was held on the opponent’s sideline.
The Marshall Thundering Herd, led by quarterback Rakeem Cato’s 42 total touchdowns, received their invitation to the bowl after a 9-4 season which ended with a loss in the Conference USA Championship Game to the Rice Owls. All year long, offense was the name of the game for the Herd. Things were no different on Friday night as they racked up 476 total yards of offense along the way to defeating Maryland by a final score of 31-20.
Following the victory, Cato was honored as MVP of the game. Completing 28-of-44 pass attempts for 337 yards and three scores, the junior signal caller held true to his season-long form. Finishing the 14-game campaign with 10 wins and more than 4,200 yards of total offense under his belt, Cato will be carrying plenty of momentum into his senior year.
Football fans around Huntington, W.Va., home of the Thundering Herd, should be very excited about the possibilities of 2014. With Cato at the helm, a conference title and maybe even an undefeated season could definitely be viewed as realistic goals.