Rasheed Leads Mountaineers Over Temple

Rasheed Marshall completed 14 of 19 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns and added 81 yards on 12 rushes to lead the Mountaineers to a businesslike 42-21 victory over the hapless Temple Owls in Morgantown on Saturday. The win moved the Mountaineers to 4-0 in the conference and 8-1 overall.

Kay Jay Harris, seeing his most significant action in four games, scored four touchdowns for West Virginia, three in the first half, as the Mountaineers overcame a monster effort by Temple quarterback Walter Washington.

West Virginia won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Mountaineers wanted to take the wind in the first half, and after Temple elected to receive, Coach Rodriguez did just that.

West Virginia's coverage woes carried over from previous games, as Temple's Jamil Porter took the opening kickoff at the goal line and raced through WVU's kick coverage to the Temple 38-yard line to start the game. Washington led the Owls right down the field against the Mountaineer defense, with the Mountaineers missing tackles left and right. WVU stiffened and stuffed the Owls for a one-yard loss on third and goal, and Bobby Wallace elected to attempt a field goal. Ryan Lux's 22-yard attempt was wide left and the scoreboard was yet to be dented.

The Mountaineer offense then showed they would be a force to be reckoned with, as Marshall ran and threw WVU effortlessly down the field. Eddie Jackson, making the start for the suspended Chris Henry, caught a pass for eight yards on the second play of the game to set the tone. Three plays later Marshall hit Miquelle Henderson on a screen and run for 28 yards down to the Temple 20 yard line. Jason Colson carried twice for seven yards to bring up third and one from the Temple 13-yard line. Marshall hit a wide open Jackson at the Temple two but Jackson fumbled while fighting towards the end zone at the one, and the Owls recovered at the WVU four yard-line.

The WVU defense was up to the task on the next drive, as Temple gained just three plays for a total of seven yards. Mike McLaughlin shanked the punt and WVU took over at the Temple 29-yard line.

Marshall ran for 22 yards on first down to the Temple, and then Kay Jay Harris entered the game for his first action. Harris carried off right tackle for two yards on first down. On second down Marshall tossed to a wide open Harris, who had slipped out of the backfield, and Harris waltzed into the end zone to give WVU the lead at 7-0 with 3:55 left in the first quarter.

The Mountaineer defense stepped up again on the next drive as Jahmile Addae stepped in front of a Walter Washington pass at the WVU 20 and returned the ball 47 yards to the Temple 33-yard line. Two plays later Marshall lofted a perfect pass to Kay Jay Harris on a wheel route to beat an Owl blitz and the senior raced untouched for 29 yards to give the Mountaineers an easy 14-0 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter.

Temple was not about to quit, however, and Washington began to assert himself in the second quarter. On Temple's third play, Washington hit Phil Goodman on a 54-yard pass with Jahmile Addae bringing him down at the WVU one-yard line. Two plays later Washington bowled over from one yard out to cut the lead to 14-7.

The Mountaineers were forced to punt after three downs and Temple was back in business with 12:25 remaining. With the momentum fully in the Owls' favor, Washington marched Temple right down the field. Facing their first third down of the drive, a third and four from the WVU 18, Washington ran off right tackle into the end zone to tie the score at 14.

Temple attempted an onside kick on the next play, but Mike Henshaw recovered easily to give the Mountaineers possession at the Temple 48. Aided by good field position, the Mountaineers mounted an eight-play drive that ended with Harris rumbling over the goal line from two yards out. The score, his third of the day, gave the Mountaineers the lead for good at 21-14 with 6:35 remaining in the half.

West Virginia put the game away in the third quarter. The Mountaineers scored on three of their next four drives to take a 42-14 lead with just over eight minutes to go in the game.

Kay Jay Harris scored his fourth touchdown of the game on the Mountaineers' opening drive of the second half. The key play on the drive was a Harris 35-yard jaunt that moved the ball to the Temple 15. Chris Henry made his presence felt on the next drive. After catching a round of boos despite making his first catch of the day, Henry made an excellent move at the Temple 20 yard line which left a defender in the dust, and hauled in Marshall's perfect strike to complete the 40-yard scoring play. Henry's score movee the lead to 35-14 and left the Owls in a big hole from which their methodical offense had little hope of recovering.

Three drives later, Pernell Williams bowled over a Temple cornerback for his first score of the game to extend the lead to 42-14 with 8:05 remaining. The physical Williams, who finished with 72 yards on 16 carries, was again impressive, earning praise from head coach Rich Rodriguez.

"It's going to be tough to keep him out of the lineup," Rodriguez said following the game.

Temple scored a meaningless touchdown with 1:33 remaining to close out the scoring at 42-21, and although the Owls piled up 237 yards on the ground, WVU appeared to be in control thorough most of the contest.

Harris finished the game with 68 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, and two catches for 34 yards and two scores. Jason Colson carried five times for 19 yards in the first quarter before leaving with a sprained ankle.

Eddie Jackson caught a career high five passes for 52 yards. Henry caught two passes for 46 yards and a score, while free safety Jahmile Addae finished with ten tackles and an interception for the Mountaineer defense.

Up next for the Mountaineers is a grudge match against the double-dealing Eagles of Boston College, in what figures to be a game with even more ill feelings than usual. BC and WVU has turned into something of a grudge match over the years, and with the stakes of a Big East championship and a trip to a BCS bowl on the line, it won't be surprising to see the two teams scrapping for all they are worth.

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