Dual Threat

West Virginia couldn't care less that it still isn't any closer to finding a starting quarterback.

The Mountaineers' duo of Adam Bednarik and Pat White went a combined 12 of 16 passing for 172 yards and rushed for 129 yards and two scores as WVU beat Wofford 35-7 Saturday.

Bednarik, a sophomore quarterback making his second career start, completed all six of his passes – including one to himself that came off a defensive lineman's hands – for 90 yards and rushed for 22.

White, listed as a co-starter by coach Rich Rodriguez, led WVU's longest drive of the year, a 14-play, 95-yard touchdown drive capped by Jason Gwaltney's one-yard scoring run. The redsirt freshman also ran for 107 yards and a touchdown, becoming just the ninth WVU quarterback ever to run for more than 100 yards in a game.

"They seem composed every game," Rodriguez said. "That's always the focal point and one of our luxuries is that Adam and Pat can both run pretty well. That's a weapon we have."

But it was the passing of the right-handed Bednarik and left-handed White that propelled WVU's offense. Both players repeatedly found open wideouts in key third down situations, allowing West Virginia to finish with an unexpected 5:34 edge in time of possession.

The Mountaineers converted 11 of 19 third downs – including three in White's 95-play drive – and turned a fourth and one into a touchdown when White avoided the rush and ran 48 yards for a score.

"He is a very athletic," Wofford head coach Mike Ayers said. "If he was on our team he could start and run everything. He's that good."

Rodriguez said before the game that he would continue to play any quarterback who was moving the offense. Bednarik was 4-4 in passing with two touchdowns in as many drives when Rodriguez put in White.

"Did I say that?" Rodriguez said. "Sometimes I am just trying to answer the question. But I would say that this was a different game. Getting up 14 points on these guys, not that they could not come back, but you felt comfortable. Our defense got a pretty good read on what they were doing."

Indeed. WVU forced four Wofford turnovers, one an interception by linebacker Jeff Noechel that setup Bednarik's three-yard touchdown run, the first of his career. It limited Division I-AA Wofford's unique "wingbone" offense to 78 yards on 45 carries – an average of just 1.73 yards per carry – and 154 yards overall. West Virginia had three sacks as the Terriers threw just 11 passes.

The Mountaineers held Syracuse to just 18 rushing and 103 total yards to rank first in the NCAA, and will likely maintain the top spot after hold Wofford to 154 total yards.

"The game plan was relatively simple," Rodriguez said. "It had to be because their offense is an assignment deal."

Bednarik also threw a touchdown pass, while White ran for one. All scores were career firsts for the quarterbacks because WVU did not score on offensive touchdown in its season-opening 15-7 win at Syracuse.

White also led a late first half drive that resulted in Pat McAfee's missed 32-yard field goal that, upon replay, appeared to be good. WVU led 21-0 by then.

Bednarik, considered the better passer, has taken the first offensive snaps in each of WVU's two games. White, the better runner, has played by the second quarter in both games. Rodriguez refuses to name a starter.

"The greatest advantage of a duel quarterback system is having the opponent prepare for both and not knowing whcih quarterback I will be," said Bednarik, who led three of WVU's five scoring drives. "When you have two, opponents are not sure who is going to be in there at certain times. It stretches the defense."

A third quarterback, reserve J.R. House, also took snaps with the game sealed. House, a 25-year old true freshman, played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for six years after setting the national high school record for career passing yardage with 14,457 yards from 1996-98 and the single-game record for touchdown passes with 10 in the 1998 West Virginia state championship.

West Virginia also played six different tailbacks in rushing for 339 yards. It was the first time WVU ran for more than 300 yards since an Oct. 13 31-19 win over Connecticut last season.

Jason Gwaltney, a highly-recruited freshman tailback, ran for 43 yards and scored his first college touchdown. Starting tailback Jason Colson ran for 44 yards and never fumbled a week after losing three fumbles inside the Syracuse red zone.

Brandon Myles led WVU with three catches for 57 yards. Michael Hobbs paced Wofford with 40 running yards. Terrier quarterback Josh Collier went five of nine for 70 yards with two interceptions. His longest was a 48-yard completion that set up Wofford's lone score on Hobbs' one-yard run.

Wofford was substituted as a WVU opponent when I-A Central Florida backed out of the game contract in February. The Mountaineers scrambled to sign Wofford, its second D-IAA foe in as many years.

West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez lost to Wofford as coach at Salem College in 1988. That was the first season for Terriers head coach Mike Ayers, now in his 18th year.

Hurricane Katrina survivors being housed in nearby Camp Dawson national guard base attended the game free of charge. Tickets were donated by the WVU athletic department.

"I have been here close to two weeks," said New Orleans native Romalice A. Fletcher, 45. "Everyone is filled with love and care. We're hooting and hollering and having a lot of fun. You're going to have to push me out. I have a job here already and the game is awesome."

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