1:00 PM ET, November 6, 2004
MILAN PUSKAR STADIUM, MORGANTOWN, WV
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia's group of quality rushers has the Mountaineers one win away from their first Bowl Championship Series berth.
Kay-Jay Harris caught two scoring passes and ran for two other touchdowns to lead West Virginia (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) to a 42-21 victory over Temple on Saturday.
West Virginia starter Jason Colson's streak of three straight 100-yard games was snapped when he injured his ankle and didn't play in the second half.
But it didn't slow the Mountaineers (8-1, 4-0 Big East).
Harris, quarterback Rasheed Marshall and freshman Pernell Williams combined for 221 yards to keep the Mountaineers unbeaten in the conference.
"Jason Colson was nicked up, so it was good that Pernell and Kay-Jay had pretty good days," said West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez. "It's going to be hard to keep Pernell Williams off the field. I can promise you that."
Thanks to Syracuse's 38-31 double-overtime win over Pittsburgh, West Virginia can clinch at least a share of a second straight conference championship and its first BCS berth next week with a win at home over No. 24 Boston College. WVU finishes the regular season at Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night.
Just a week ago, the Mountaineers were in disarray after nearly squandering a big lead to Rutgers and having wide receiver Chris Henry get ejected for two unsportsmanlike penalties.
"Everything is falling into place right now," Marshall said. "Everybody's spirits are high. People were down last week, but people (now) are having fun and scoring touchdowns."
Marshall had first-half TD tosses of 5 and 29 yards to Harris, who also had two short scoring runs. Harris tied his personal best for TDs set earlier this season against East Carolina.
Henry, benched for the first half Saturday as punishment for last week's actions, caught a 40-yard TD pass from Marshall late in the third quarter for a 35-14 lead. Henry's catch tied Reggie Rembert's single-season school record of 11 TD receptions.
Henry, who has been known for posturing in the end zone, flipped the ball around his body after the scoring catch. The ball hit a Temple player, but Henry, motioning that it was meant for the referee, wasn't flagged.
"I wasn't sure what he was doing," Rodriguez said. "But an official actually came to me and said, 'Coach, he was throwing the ball to me.' I went to Chris and said, 'See there, that's what I mean. As soon as you score, you're a marked man _ you'd better know how to handle it."'
West Virginia struggled again on defense, allowing an opponent to surpass 400 yards of offense for the second straight game. But while Temple (1-8, 0-4) moved the ball well, it couldn't convert its opportunities into scores.
The Owls missed two field goals, Walter Washington was sacked four times in the second half and he was limited to 16 of his 117 yards rushing after halftime.
Washington, playing through tonsillitis and a sore shoulder, went 16-of-24 for 206 yards.
"I had a fever and couldn't sleep this morning," Washington said. "I knew I was going to play regardless. I haven't thrown that much in the last two weeks. It was hard for me to get into the flow of the offense, but I gave it my best shot."
Washington's two scoring runs gave him a conference-best 12 rushing touchdowns this season. The 240-pound Washington moved within 35 yards of Marshall's Big East single-season QB rushing record of 666 yards set in 2002.
"Walter Washington is a load," Rodriguez said. "We had guys in position to make plays. We just didn't tackle."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-12||7-12|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
|TD||3:52||KAY-JAY HARRIS 5 YD PASS FROM RASHEED MARSHALL (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 29 yards.
|TD||1:37||KAY-JAY HARRIS 29 YD PASS FROM RASHEED MARSHALL (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 33 yards.
|TD||13:47||WALTER WASHINGTON 1 YD RUN (RYAN LUX KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||9:40||WALTER WASHINGTON 18 YD RUN (RYAN LUX KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 51 yards.
|TD||6:35||KAY-JAY HARRIS 2 YD RUN (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 48 yards.
|TD||11:31||KAY-JAY HARRIS 4 YD RUN (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 67 yards.
|TD||1:58||CHRIS HENRY 40 YD PASS FROM RASHEED MARSHALL (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 89 yards.
|TD||8:05||PERNELL WILLIAMS 6 YD RUN (BRAD COOPER KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 24 yards.
|TD||1:33||PHIL GOODMAN 33 YD PASS FROM WALTER WASHINGTON (RYAN LUX KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 79 yards.