LANDOVER, Md. -- For the second consecutive week, West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen criticized himself for an emotional reaction that led to a questionable decision.
The No. 8 Mountaineers defeated FCS program James Madison on Saturday, 42-12, but gave the Dukes a short field on the first drive of the third quarter.
James Madison trailed 28-3, but found itself at WVU's goal line with a chance to get back in the game.
"Last (game) we should have kicked the field goal," Holgorsen said Saturday. "This time we should have punted it."
In the season-opener against Marshall, the Mountaineers started with two touchdowns before Holgorsen tried to score a touchdown instead of a field goal on fourth-and-goal at the Marshall 3-yard line.
It didn't work and Holgorsen's admittedly "stubborn" call set up Marshall's 98-yard touchdown drive that made the score 13-7.
After scoring touchdowns on the first four drives on Saturday, the Mountaineers followed with a three-and-out and a drive that reached the JMU 40 before the end of the half.
The first drive of the second half met a third-and-1 at the JMU 48, but running back Shawne Alston lost a yard and Holgorsen decided to go for the first down again.
"If you look at what the stats say, once you cross midfield, you're supposed to go for it more often than you'd not go for it," he said. "You've got to be able to get a yard. Our short yardage game, it was third-and-1 and we lost a yard and I got mad again and decided to run another play and see how we'd respond."
Alston ran again and gained a yard, but came up short of the first down as Holgorsen slouched on the sideline. Not everyone was bummed out, though.
"I was excited," safety Darwin Cook said. "I wanted to see what we could do with our backs against the wall. You don't want to see the offense go off the field or anything like that, but I knew it was a great chance for us to grow up and learn."
WVU let Marshall convert three third downs on its 14-play touchdown drive that followed the failed fourth-and-goal. JMU converted a third-and-5 with a 20-yard run as quarterback Justin Thorpe scrambled and escaped. That brought the ball to WVU's 3.