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West Virgina rushes past East Carolina

Sep 22, 2007 - 10:47 PM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- East Carolina could not slow down West Virginia's high-powered ground game this time around.

The fifth-ranked Mountaineers rumbled for 340 rushing yards Saturday en route to a 48-7 thrashing of the Pirates.

The Pirates (1-3) had been the only team to hold the Mountaineers (4-0) under 200 yards rushing in each of the past two seasons.

But West Virginia had no such problems Saturday, surpassing 300 yards rushing for the 16th time in its last 20 games.

"I was very pleased with the way we played today in all three phases," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "I think we executed schemes well against a pretty good football team."

Steve Slaton rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries in less than three quarters of action.

The junior Heisman Trophy candidate put the Mountaineers ahead, 10-0, midway through the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run. The drive was highlighted by a 64-yard scamper by wide receiver Darius Reynaud.

Quarterback Pat White made it 17-0 with a 13-yard run early in the second quarter. Also a Heisman hopeful, White then hooked up Reynaud on a 12-yard TD pass to help the Mountaineers open a commanding 27-0 lead at the half.

White completed 20-of-22 passes for 186 yards and a pair of TDs. The junior also rushed nine times for 44 yards and a pair of scores.

White's second TD pass was for 14 yards to Reynaud on West Virginia's first drive of the second half. His second rushing score was for four yards with 4:27 left in the third quarter, making it 41-0.

"Pat was extraordinary," Rodriguez said. "He was the sharpest you could be today."

Reynaud caught five passes for 54 yards and a pair of scores.

Reserve halfback Ed Collington closed out West Virginia's scoring with a four-yard rushing TD with just over five minutes remaining.

"West Virginia was really impressive today," East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. "I thought they played a great game. From an offensive standpoint, I was really impressed with the way Pat White played. Just standing on that field, I was really impressed with him."

East Carolina avoided the shutout with a late three-yard TD run by Craig Johnson. The Pirates were outgained, 545-178, in total offense.

"This was the best overall performance we have had in several years," said Rodriguez of his defense. "I'm looking forward to watching the film and seeing where we can improve."