No. 6 WVU cruises past I-AA Eastern Washington

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.

Pat White directed a second-quarter touchdown drive before the

QB parade began. Jarrett Brown threw for a TD and ran for another,

while Nate Sowers and Markell Harrison also ran for scores.

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

35-3 lead.

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

this season.

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