GAMEDAY College Football

West Virginia 65, Towson 7

By JOHN RABY
AP Sports Writer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Tony Mathis rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, CJ Donaldson ran for 101 yards and three scores, and West Virginia breezed to a 65-7 victory over Towson.

On a day when West Virginia held a ceremony to honor some of its greatest offensive players, the Mountaineers (1-2) put together their best showing in a year, although it didn't quite make up for opening the season with close losses to No. 23 Pittsburgh and Kansas.

West Virginia piled up 624 yards of offense, scored touchdowns on six of its seven first-half possessions and led its Championship Subdivision opponent 45-7 at halftime before pulling back with a short week before its next game.

Johnson, a freshman, had his second 100-yard rushing effort of the season and pushed his TD total to six. He had just nine carries, an average of 11.2-yards per attempt. He also blocked a punt in the opener against Pitt.

Mathis exceeded his career total for touchdowns. He had one TD in 23 previous games.

West Virginia had 316 rushing yards. Its six rushing touchdowns were the most since it had seven both against Connecticut and Western Michigan in 2007.

JT Daniels completed 16 of 24 passes for 174 yards in the first half, including a 2-yard TD pass to Kaden Prather. Daniels was replaced by Garrett Greene, Will Crowder and Nicco Marchiol in the second half.

Numerous other players saw their first significant action on both sides of the ball for West Virginia, including wide receivers Cortez Braham and Jeremiah Aaron. Braham had five catches for 60 yards and Aaron caught four passes for 29 yards, including his first career TD catch, a 5-yarder from Crowder in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman Preston Fox caught a 26-yard TD from Marchiol to close the scoring.

HAPPY RETURNS

The only scoring for Towson (2-1) came on D'Ago Hunter's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter. It was Hunter's second career kickoff return for a TD. Hunter had 246 all-purpose yards.

HALL OF FAME RECOGNITION

Ex-WVU quarterback Geno Smith and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were inducted into West Virginia's Sports Hall of Fame before the game. Bailey was recognized along with inductees from other sports at the end of the first quarter. Smith, now the Seattle Seahawks' starting quarterback, and Austin, a member of the Buffalo Bills' practice squad, did not attend. The three were members of the 2011 team that beat Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl and all three set multiple school offensive records in 2012.

In the second quarter, basketball coach Bob Huggins received a lengthy ovation after being introduced. Huggins was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame a week ago.

THE TAKEAWAY

Towson: The Tigers, who have 50 new players on their roster, were limited to 180 yards of offense and held the ball for just 19 minutes. Towson had averaged 193 rushing yards over its first two games.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers' defense showed significant improvement statistically after the team's first 0-2 start since 1979. Entering Saturday, West Virginia's 401.5 yards and 46.5 points allowed per game had ranked toward the bottom of the Bowl Subdivision.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter TowsonWVU
WVU TD 11:27 Kaden Prather 2 yard TD pass from JT Daniels (Casey Legg Extra Point) 0 7
Towson TD 11:14 D'Ago Hunter 96 yard kick return for TD (Keegan Vaughan Extra Point) 7 7
WVU TD 5:40 Tony Mathis Jr. 3 yard TD run (Casey Legg Extra Point) 7 14
WVU TD 3:40 CJ Donaldson 82 yard TD run (Casey Legg Extra Point) 7 21
Second Quarter TowsonWVU
WVU TD 12:59 CJ Donaldson 3 yard TD run (Casey Legg Extra Point) 7 28
WVU TD 5:59 Tony Mathis Jr. 2 yard TD run (Casey Legg Extra Point) 7 35
WVU FG 2:42 Casey Legg 26 yard field goal 7 38
WVU TD 0:06 CJ Donaldson 1 yard TD run (Casey Legg Extra Point) 7 45
Third Quarter TowsonWVU
WVU TD 8:21 Garrett Greene 11 yard TD run (Parker Grothaus Kick Failed) 7 51
Fourth Quarter TowsonWVU
WVU TD 11:12 Jeremiah Aaron 5 yard TD pass from Will Crowder (Parker Grothaus Extra Point) 7 58
WVU TD 4:42 Preston Fox 26 yard TD pass from Nicco Marchiol (Parker Grothaus Extra Point) 7 65
Team Stats
  Towson West Virginia
First downs 12 33
  Rushing 6 17
  Passing 5 14
  Penalty 1 2
3rd Down Efficiency 4-14, 29% 9-15, 60%
4th down efficiency 2-3, 67% 5-5, 100%
Rushes-Yards 32-82 45-316
Passing Yards 98 308
Return Yards 227 26
Completions-Attempts-Int 10-23-0 27-40-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-17 1-6
Punts 6 0
Fumbles Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties - Yards 7-65 5-34
Towson Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Pigrome 7 14 59 0 0
N. Kent 3 5 39 0 0
S. Smith III 0 4 0 0 0
West Virginia Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Daniels 16 24 174 1 0
W. Crowder 6 6 57 1 0
G. Greene 3 6 45 0 0
N. Marchiol 2 4 32 1 0
Towson Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
D. Matthews 7 38 5.4 0
S. Smith III 5 16 3.2 0
D. Hunter 3 11 3.7 0
N. Kent 3 9 3.0 0
J. Bangda 3 6 2.0 0
C. Murray 5 6 1.2 0
S. Reynolds 1 3 3.0 0
T. Pigrome 5 -7 -1.4 0
West Virginia Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Mathis Jr. 17 104 6.1 2
C. Donaldson 9 101 11.2 3
G. Greene 3 59 19.7 1
J. Anderson 6 33 5.5 0
J. Johnson Jr. 8 21 2.6 0
W. Crowder 1 4 4.0 0
J. Daniels 1 -6 -6.0 0
Towson Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. James 5 44 8.8 0
M. Jackson 1 25 25.0 0
D. Hunter 1 8 8.0 0
L. Londono 1 8 8.0 0
D. Thompson IV 1 7 7.0 0
M. Akuchie 1 6 6.0 0
West Virginia Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Braham 5 60 12.0 0
S. James 2 53 26.5 0
K. Prather 6 51 8.5 1
B. Ford-Wheaton 4 47 11.8 0
R. Smith 3 35 11.7 0
P. Fox 2 32 16.0 1
J. Aaron 4 29 7.3 1
M. O'Laughlin 1 1 1.0 0
Towson Interceptions
Player Int Yards
West Virginia Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Towson Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
R. Williams 6 242 40.3
West Virginia Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
Towson Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
West Virginia Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Fox 1 27 27.0
R. Smith 1 -1 -1.0
Towson Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Hunter 8 227 28.4
S. Alsheimer 1 0 0
West Virginia Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Towson Missed FG
Player Length
West Virginia Missed FG
Player Length




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