"I was ready to get the ball finally," Alston said. "Sitting on the sideline all that time was no fun."
Alston popped up to check himself out and realized nothing was wrong after taking that first hit.
"It was different," he said. "It felt good for a change."
He'd gain six yards on a third-and-2 later, but just two yards on a fourth-and-2 and then one yard on a third-and-2 before a punt.
"I don't know if I changed things, but I attempted to change things," he said. "Every week it's going to get better."
The 16th-ranked Mountaineers (3-0) could use it Saturday night against No. 2 LSU (3-0). In last year's loss in Baton Rouge, La., WVU was 2-for-13 on third down and 0-for-3 when the offense needed two yards or fewer for a first down.
Quarterback Geno Smith threw an interception, Ryan Clarke ran for no gain and Smith sneaked for no gain, that on a key third-and-2 late in the fourth quarter of the 20-14 loss.
The Tigers, who play their first game at Mountaineer Field at 8 p.m. on ABC, are allowing just 47.4 yards per game and 1.6 per carry. Both are the third-best averages in the country.
The Mountaineers are No. 107 in rushing offense (78.7 yards per game) and average 2.6 yards per carry, but they've gotten the first down five times on the seven third downs when they need three yards or fewer.
Holgorsen vowed last week the offensive line would play better and finish blocks against the Terrapins to create gaps for the running game. WVU rushed for 92 yards, including 51 on seven carries by Buie. He had a 10-yard touchdown run and Vernard Roberts added a 9-yard run while center Joe Madsen was named the team's offensive player of the week.
Holgorsen said they proved their point, but acknowledged a different challenge faced his team this week.
"They have as good a defensive line as anybody does in the country," Holgorsen said. "They've got eight or nine guys they roll in there and they all look the same to me. I know we're not going to be able to wear them down because of their depth. We just have to execute and do the best we can to hang on."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.