HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Rakeem Cato threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and Kevin Grooms added a pair of scores on the ground as Marshall eased past winless Southern Mississippi 59-24 Saturday night.
Cato completed 22 of 31 first-half attempts as the Thundering Herd (3-4, 2-1 Conference USA) built a 31-17 halftime lead on 374 yards of total offense.
The first passing touchdown came early in the second quarter. Cato connected with Antavious Wilson on a wide receiver screen for a 14-yard touchdown, giving Marshall a 17-3 lead.
Southern Mississippi (0-7, 0-3) responded with Kalan Reed's 19-yard interception return for a score, but Grooms answered three plays later with a 64-yard TD to put the Thundering Herd up 24-10.
Cato connected with Tommy Shuler for touchdown passes on consecutive possessions in the second half, and Grooms scored from 11 yards out, extending Marshall's lead to 45-17 at the end of the third quarter.
|MRSHL||Justin Haig 44 yd FG|
|USM||Corey Acosta 51 yd FG|
|MRSHL||Remi Watson 3 yd run (Justin Haig kick)|
|MRSHL||Antavious Wilson 14 yd pass from Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig kick)|
|USM||Kalan Reed 19 yd interception return (Corey Acosta kick)|
|MRSHL||Kevin Grooms 64 yd run (Justin Haig kick)|
|USM||Desmond Johnson 22 yd run (Corey Acosta kick)|
|MRSHL||Tommy Shuler 25 yd pass from Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig kick)|
|MRSHL||Tommy Shuler 1 yd pass from Rakeem Cato (Justin Haig kick)|
|MRSHL||Kevin Grooms 11 yd run (Justin Haig kick)|
|MRSHL||Steward Butler 54 yd run (Justin Haig kick)|
|MRSHL||Essray Taliaferro 1 yd run (Justin Haig kick)|
|USM||Arsenio Favor 12 yd run (Corey Acosta kick)|
|Third Down Efficiency||5-11||5-15|
|Fourth Down Efficiency||0-0||0-1|
|Kick Return Yds||71||153|
|Punt Return Yds||15||0|
|Time of Poss.||29:37||30:23|
|MRSHL: Kevin Grooms 12-119, Steward Butler 7-71, Remi Watson 10-56, Essray Taliaferro 6-26, Blake Frohnapfel 2-7, Rakeem Cato 1-3, Team 4--7|
|USM: Kendrick Hardy 8-50, Desmond Johnson 4-39, Jeremy Hester 6-31, Arsenio Favor 4-25, Ricky Lloyd 3-25, Jalen Richard 7-20, Tyre Bracken 2-14, Anthony Alford 10-12|
|MRSHL: Rakeem Cato 31-42-340-1, Blake Frohnapfel 1-1-14-0|
|USM: Anthony Alford 9-21-65-0, Ricky Lloyd 4-7-37-1, Arsenio Favor 4-5-13-0|
|MRSHL: Tommy Shuler 11-111, Antavious Wilson 6-96, Aaron Dobson 5-63, Demetrius Evans 2-21, Jermaine Kelson 2-18, Gator Hoskins 2-15, Jazz King 1-14, Davonte Allen 1-11, Remi Watson 1-4, Devon Johnson 1-1|
|USM: Francisco Llanos 5-25, Justin Burdette 4-17, Quentin Pierce 2-39, Tracy Lampley 2-13, Justin Sims 1-11, Dominique Sullivan 1-6, D.J. Thompson 1-6, Jalen Richard 1--2|
|Marshall||1st Conference USA East||7-1||9-4|
|Southern Mississippi||5th Conference USA East||1-7||1-11|