By John Antonik for MSNsportsNET.com
September 10, 2005
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Backup quarterback Pat White ran for 107 yards and a touchdown to lead West Virginia to a 35-7 victory over I-AA Wofford Saturday at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.
The redshirt freshman ran 48 yards for a touchdown to begin the fourth quarter and also completed 6 of 10 passes for 82 yards. West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez used White and starter Adam Bednarik intermittently for three quarters before third string quarterback J.R. House finished the game late.
“We did what we were supposed to do,” said Rodriguez. “We didn’t have to show much offensively and were able to keep things close to the vest.”
Bednarik completed all six of his pass attempts for 90 yards and ran six times for 22 yards. Eleven different West Virginia players carried the football. West Virginia compiled 339 yards on the ground and 172 through the air for 511 total yards. The Mountaineers also did not commit a turnover.
All three of West Virginia’s first-half scoring drives were at least 10 plays and covered 68 yards or longer.
“Not that they couldn’t come back but I felt comfortable,” said Rodriguez after his team got up by 14 points. “I wish we could have gotten more young players in if we would have been ahead more, but we got so many young players in there to begin with.”
Several true freshmen found their names in the box score again this week. Jason Gwaltney carried 10 times for 43 yards and scored a touchdown, Steve Slaton ran 8 times for 42 yards and caught a pass for 14 yards, and Jeremy Bruce made a diving 22-yard catch in the third quarter.
After an exchange of possessions to open the game, West Virginia (2-0) pieced together a 10-play, 68-yard drive behind the efficient play of Bednarik. On a third and seven from the WVU 46, Bednarik was able to break free for an 11 yard gain. Two plays later, the sophomore kept the chains moving with a short keeper on third and one, and eventually found Darius Reynaud down the seam for a pretty 27-yard touchdown pass.
West Virginia’s second scoring drive covered 74 yards on 10 plays. Bednarik found Vaughn Rivers down the near sideline for 22 yards to the Wofford 47, and Pernell Williams got through a crease up the middle for 19 yards to the Terrier 26. Colson followed with an 11 yard run and Williams finished the drive by running it in from the five.
Backup quarterback Pat White led West Virginia’s third TD drive, this one covering 95 yards in 14 plays. On third and four at the Wofford 11, White slipped free for 14 yards to the 25. A White to Steve Slaton pass for 14 yards moved the ball to the 42, and another White pass to Dwayne Thompson moved the ball 14 yards to the Wofford 29. On third and 10, White hooked up with Brandon Myles for 21 yards to the Wofford eight. Three Jason Gwaltney runs got the ball into the end zone, the last coming from a yard away.
Wofford’s best opportunity to score in the first half was thwarted on the Mountaineer 17 when a blitzing Eric Wicks sacked Collier and forced a fumble that Craig Wilson recovered at the 25.
Resuming possession with just 37 seconds left, West Virginia moved the ball 61 yards to get into position for a half-ending field goal, but Pat McAfee’s 32-yard try was ruled just outside the left cross bar by the back judge.
West Virginia was back in business at the start of the third quarter when Jeff Noechel’s interception gave the Mountaineers the football at the Wofford 40. After a pair of runs netted 13 yards, Bednarik completed a slip screen to Myles for 22 yards to the Wofford five. Two plays later, Bednarik called his own number and scored from the three.
Wofford finally crossed the goal line with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter when Michael Hobbs scored from the one. The TD was set up when Collier broke contain and found Shiel Wood running behind Jahmile Addae for a 48-yard completion to the West Virginia 13.
“We tried to keep their offense on the boundaries and eat up the clock but we couldn’t do that,” said Wofford coach Mike Ayers. “From an offensive standpoint we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. We had some opportunities but we couldn’t make it happen.”
Wofford (1-1) managed 78 yards rushing on 45 carries and three different quarterbacks completed 6 of 12 passes for 76 yards.
“The game plan defensively was relatively simple,” Rodriguez said. “It has to be because of their (wish bone) offense. We had guys missing tackles early that they made against Syracuse. You need to make those tackles because that can come back to hurt you.”
The Mountaineers return to action next Saturday against 1-1 Maryland at College Park.
WV – Reynaud 27 pass from Bednarik (McAfee kick)
Rushing: WO – Hobbs 13-40, Dunn 5-14, Johnson 2-13, Ware 5-9, Berry 1-8, Collier 12-3, Romero 1-3, Domonousky 1-0, Young 1-0, Widmyer 4-minus 12, Total 45-78; WV – White 11-107, Colson 11-44, Gwaltney 10-43, Slaton 8-42, Dorsey 7-29, Williams 5-28, Bednarik 6-22, Reynaud 1-10, Schmitt 3-7, Rivers 1-4, House 1-3, Total 64-339.
Passing: WO – Collier 5-9-2-70-0, Widmyer 1-2-0-6-0, Romero 0-1-0-0-0, Total 6-12-2-76-0; WV – White 6-10-0-82-0, Bednarik 6-6-0-90-1, House 0-2-0-0-0, Total 12-18-0-172-1.
Receiving: WO – Wood 2-54, Berry 2-15, Dunn 1-4, Garland 1-3, Total 6-76; WV – Myles 3-57, Gwaltney 2-11, Reynaud 1-27, Rivers 1-22, Bruce 1-22, Thompson 1-14, Slaton 1-14, Williams 1-4, Bednarik 1-1, Total 12-172.
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