MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez
feared a lethargic performance against a Division I-AA opponent
would come between games against rivals Maryland and Virginia Tech.
His suspicions were correct. But that still didn't bother the
Rasheed Marshall, forced to throw because West Virginia (No. 7 ESPN/USAToday; No. 6 AP) couldn't
get its running game going, had two touchdown passes to Chris Henry
in the Mountaineers' 45-10 victory over James Madison
"It was a very uninspired, unemotional,
going-through-the-motions football performance," Rodriguez said.
"I don't think we should apologize for any win, but our guys know
we have to play a lot better."
Especially next week at former Big East rival Virginia Tech, one
of the unbeaten Mountaineers' biggest hurdles left this season.
West Virginia's defense came up with enough big plays, scoring
one touchdown and setting up another, to help lift the offense.
But for most of the game, James Madison (2-1) matched West
Virginia (4-0) yard for yard.
"That was part of the problem, looking past this to play
Virginia Tech," said West Virginia cornerback Adam Jones. "Good
teams play bad and win. Hopefully you all will see a different team
The Dukes, boasting one of I-AA's top defenses, limited the
Mountaineers to 171 yards on the ground, 140 yards below their
"I thought our quickness would bother them up front, and it
did," said James Madison coach Mickey Matthews.
James Madison's eight-man front often forced West Virginia to
pass, and Marshall completed 17 of 22 passes for 184 yards. He even
had completions to backup quarterbacks Charles Hales and Dwayne
Marshall tied a career high for completions and Henry tied a
career high with seven catches for 74 yards.
"I do not really like playing teams like this because there is
always something negative that comes of it. The focus was not
there," Marshall said.
Hales also threw a scoring pass, but his fourth-quarter fumble
was returned 35 yards by defensive tackle Brandon Beach for James
Madison's only touchdown.
Henry has caught TD passes in each game this season. He had a
5-yard scoring reception late in the second quarter.
Fourteen seconds later, West Virginia's Adam Lehnortt picked up
an Antoine Bolton fumble and returned it 21 yards for a 21-0
Henry also caught a 3-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia kept most of its offensive starters in for all but
the final seven minutes.
"I was disappointed we didn't get to play more of the younger
guys," Rodriguez said. "We kept some of the upperclassmen in
there just to get to get out of that funk we were in on both sides
of the ball."
James Madison has been outscored 135-10 in its last three
contests against I-A teams and is 3-13 all-time against them.
The Dukes were a replacement on West Virginia's schedule when
Miami moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference along with Virginia
Tech this season.
West Virginia was coming off an overtime win over Maryland, and
Rodriguez had warned his team several times during the week to keep
its intensity high against James Madison.
"You can talk about it all you want," Rodriguez said. "Those
18, 19, 20 year olds sometimes won't take it to heart. It was a
Forecasting college football's coaching carousel: Hugh Freeze, Steve Sarkisian, Jim Harbaugh and more
Who will stay, who will go? Here's a look at which college football coaches could be moving this offseason.
Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm expects to return to team Wednesday
Purdue coach Jeff Brohm expects to return to the team Wednesday after recovering from the coronavirus.
Missouri Tigers WR Maurice Massey dismissed following arrest
Missouri wide receiver Maurice Massey, who opted out of the 2020 season, was dismissed by the school on Monday after he was arrested Sunday.
Capital One Fan Vote: Which unbeaten team outside the top four has best playoff chance?
Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, Wisconsin and BYU are the top-ranked undefeated teams not in the AP top four right now. Of those four, which has the best playoff chance? Let us know in the Capital One Fan Vote.
Milton leads Michigan with two TDs in win vs. Minnesota
Joe Milton completes 15 of 22 passes, while throwing for a touchdown and running for another in Michigan's 49-24 win vs. Minnesota.
Big Ten football overreactions: Michigan a title contender, Penn State overrated and Rutgers is decent?
With the Big Ten's first week in the books, let's look at what questions were answered and what we should, and shouldn't, overreact to from every opening game.