The redshirt freshman said as much after the game. Marshall led the team with 129 all-purpose yards in the demolition of the Scarlet Knights.
“I made some catches and got to return it a little bit,” he said. “I leave it out there as a player. This is helping my confidence a lot. It’s helping me grow.”
Marshall was the deep main on every Rutgers punt Saturday, something that hadn’t been the case in the previous five games of the season. He only had a chance to return two punts, gaining 45 yards. He added one kickoff return for 26 yards and three receptions for 58 yards.
The Middletown, Ohio, product is still working his way into the offense after redshirting as a true freshman. He splits time with sophomore Dontre Wilson at the H-back position and in the return game. He saw some snaps on the outside at wide receiver against Rutgers, allowing Marshall and Wilson to be on the field at the same time.
After a poor week of practice due to some minor injuries, offensive coordinator Tom Herman was pleasantly surprised to see Marshall perform so well against the Knights.
“He played well. I thought he was a little banged up. He didn’t have a great week of practice. I’m not telling you anything I don’t tell him. It was good to see him come out and actually play full speed and show what he’s capable of,” Herman said. “I think that’s the tip of the iceberg for him. He’s got a very high ceiling as far as the talent and development is concerned.”
Marshall now has 291 all-purpose yards on the year, placing him seventh on the team. Saturday was by far his most productive outing as his three catches were a career high. His 58 receiving yards, highlighted by a nice 31-yard catch on a crossing route, is the most he has contributed to the offense so far this season.
“He’s definitely come on pretty strong this year,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “He’s kind of a different dude. He works hard every day, and you can see it in his play.”
The biggest obstacle to Marshall’s continued to success may not be anything he does, but rather the sheer number of skill players the buckeyes have at their disposal.
“Who are you going to take off the field,” Herman said. “That’s the question you always ask yourself. We have two really good tight ends, too. Somebody has to come off the field. We have three really good tailbacks. Somebody has to come off the field. I think what we’re doing is you’re seeing the depth at the skill positions and the ability to rotate guys in. I don’t’ see that changing much unless people or players’ performance indicate that they’re head and shoulders above the guy that you’re taking off the field.”
If Marshall continues to have the kinds of games he had against Rutgers he wont be falling out of that rotation any time soon.
“It’s a big fight (to get the ball) but I feel like that’s a good thing because everybody who gets it makes something happen with it,” he said.
“Every day I go out there and work as hard as I can to get better and hopefully it will continue to pay off.”