MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Steve Slaton was in high school the
last time he was out of his uniform, watching the game from the
sideline in the second half.
Slaton ran for 105 yards and two first-quarter scores and called
it a day as No. 6 West Virginia went to its bench often in a 52-3
win over Division I-AA Eastern Washington on Saturday.
"I think we played everybody who ever suited up in a
Mountaineer uniform," said West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez,
laughing. "Seriously, we probably played 80 guys."
Four of them were quarterbacks.
By the time West Virginia (2-0) built a 21-3 lead early in the
second quarter, Slaton and White were done for the day with a short
turnaround to Thursday night's home game against Maryland.
Slaton followed up a 31-carry, 203-yard effort last week against
Marshall with just eight carries Saturday, the fewest since he had
11 against Virginia Tech as a freshman last October.
"The point was really just to save me for Maryland," Slaton
said. "I hate to come out of any game. But as long as we win it
really doesn't matter.
"I think everybody wants to play, and this was a chance for
everybody to get in and see what they have to offer."
Eastern Washington (0-2) offered little.
The Eagles were a late addition to West Virginia's schedule
after Buffalo opted out of a contract with the Mountaineers in
February. Eastern Washington was paid $450,000.
West Virginia thanked the Eagles by outgaining them 591-185,
including 394 on the ground.
"If I was a West Virginia fan, I'd be awfully proud of the
product that you have," Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff said.
Slaton needed just two carries for his first score and he went
untouched on TD runs of 49 and 17 yards. He went to the bench
afterward and didn't return, removing his uniform after halftime.
White soon followed. On West Virginia's third series, he drove
the Mountaineers 65 yards with Owen Schmitt covering the final 7
for a score.
Brown threw a 5-yard TD pass to Brandon Myles just before
halftime and scored on a 7-yard run to start the second half for a
Sowers and Harrison added TD runs of 8 and 1 yards,
respectively, in the fourth quarter.
"That was one of our goals," Rodriguez said. "We've got to
get another guy ready, especially as much as we run Pat White."
Eastern Washington protected the ball this week, unlike last
week in a 56-17 loss at Oregon State in which the Eagles had four
first-half turnovers that led to scores. But they were no match for
a West Virginia defense using four new starters in the secondary
Eastern Washington crossed midfield twice, both in the first
half. Matt Nichols completed 13-of-25 passes for 90 yards before
being replaced early in the fourth quarter.
Much of the Eagles' offense came during a 15-play drive that led
to a short field goal early in the second quarter. Eastern
Washington ran eight plays from inside the 10 and twice was called
for delay of game inside the 5.
"For us, we're just trying to build for our nine-game (I-AA)
season," Wulff said. "That and it's a good payday for our
program. This kind of gave us a little flavor of how to play at a
high, high level."
Eastern Washington, playing a ranked opponent for only the
second time in school history, made just its fourth trip east
across the Mississippi River, the second time to Morgantown.
Eastern lost to Fairmont State in the 1967 NAIA championship game
at old Mountaineer Field.
The crowd of 59,504 was the largest ever to see Eastern
Washington play, topping a 2002 game at Arizona State by more than