"What I'm really happy with is they did what we asked them to do," Holgorsen said. "We told them all week we had to become a smarter football team. We had one penalty and we had no turnovers."
Garrison scored on a 19-yard run in the second quarter and an 8-yard run in the third to put WVU ahead 45-10. Shawne Alston added 49 yards on six carries and scored on two 8-yard runs, the second for the game's final score.
The Falcons (3-2) played without their leading receiver, Eugene Cooper, and leading rusher, Anthon Samuel, and finished with 217 yards of offense and only 147 after taking a 10-3 lead.
"I'm proud of the way the kids hung in there and responded," said defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who played without injured starting linebacker Doug Rigg (wrist surgery). "The big thing I stressed with them in the second half was being able to finish. The first three or four games, we'd played pretty well in the first half, but hadn't been able to finish."Bowling Green also committed five turnovers that WVU turned into 24 points. The Mountaineers didn't force a turnover in three of their first four games.
Cornerback Keith Tandy had two of WVU's three interceptions and the defense finally recovered two fumbles. They entered the game as one of only eight teams nationally that had not recovered a fumble.
"Turnovers is the stat that matters more than anything," Holgorsen said. "You've got to be able to create them and not look at the other team and say, 'I hope they make a mistake and throw it right to me,' or, 'I hope they drop the ball.' You've got to be able to create them."
The Mountaineers weathered a weird and wild start. They kicked off to open the game and forced and recovered a fumble on the return, but could only get a field goal. The next kickoff was returned 77 yards to the 18-yard line and the Falcons scored on their first play with a pass from Matt Schilz to Ray Hutson.
The Bowling Green defense forced a three-and-out and punter Corey Smith's kick went just 14 yards. The Falcons needed five plays to get into the red zone and were at the 9 two plays after that. On first-and-goal, Hutson ran an end-around and then threw a pass to the end zone to receiver Alex Bayer, but the high arch gave Tandy time to recover and break up the play.
Stephen Stein kicked a 27-yard field goal for the 10-3 lead.
Garrison carried three times to get the ball to Bowling Green's 33 and Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass to Ivan McCartney. WVU's defense finally forced a punt and Smith completed a 32-yard pass to Tavon Austin on third-and-10 and then Garrison gained four yards on fourth-and-3 to set up Alston's first touchdown run and a 17-10 lead.
Bowling Green punted again and Garrison gained 21 yards on the final play of the quarter. WVU had 93 yards rushing, just nine fewer than the season-high total for an entire game. Smith made it 24-10 with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Nehlen, the grandson of former WVU and Bowling Green Coach Don Nehlen. It was Ryan Nehlen's first career touchdown.
Garrison went over 100 yards on his 16th carry, a 42-yard gain that came five plays before he broke a tackle and then cut left behind a blocker for a 19-yard touchdown and a 31-10 lead. Smith's third touchdown of the half was a 6-yard throw to Brad Starks to make it 38-10 before halftime. Garrison already had 233 yards, which then would have been the sixth-best total in school history.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.