MORGANTOWN - Running back Dustin Garrison set West Virginia's freshman rushing record with 291 yards in Saturday's 55-10 victory against Bowling Green.
Garrison, who had 65 yards in the first four games of the season and did not run the ball against Maryland, beat the mark set in 2005 by former quarterback Pat White.
"I think we found a running back," Coach Dana Holgorsen said.
The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Garrison, from 2010 Class 5A state champion Pearland High in Texas, shares the second-best total in school history with Kerry Marbury, who did it against Temple in 1972. Kay-Jay Harris is the only one better than them with 337 yards against East Carolina in 2004.
"I've been patient all along and working hard for my shot," he said. "I finally goy my chance to go out and prove it."
Garrison, who ran for 2,842 in 16 games for Pearland last year, carried 32 times against Bowling Green (3-2). It was the most carries by a Mountaineers player since Steve Slaton had 33 against Marshall in 2006.
Garrison ran the ball 406 times as a high school senior.
"If you look at 16 games of high school film last year, they look just like that," Holgorsen said. "He's used to 200-yard games. I think he gets better the more you give it to him. The more he plays, the better he probably gets."
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THE 16th-RANKED Mountaineers, who were one of eight teams that had not recovered a fumble this season, forced and recovered one on Bowling State's kickoff return to start the game. The Falcons lost another fumble and threw three interceptions the rest of the way.
"The weather helped us a little bit," defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel said. "But that was good to see again. I think if you look real close you'd see we could have had a few more that we didn't get."
The Falcons fumbled five times, but only lost two. WVU still turned the five turnovers into 24 points and the only time they didn't score after a turnover was when an interception preceded the end of the first half. WVU is 60-4 since 2002 when it wins the turnover battle.
"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."
Senior cornerback Keith Tandy had two interceptions - his first two of the season and 10th and 11th in his career. His were the first by someone other than a WVU safety this season.
"Should have been three," Holgorsen said. "It was probably a matter of time with him."