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West Virginia and Slaton Roll Over Maryland

September 15, 2006|From the Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen had already regretted his decision to pull a scholarship offer to Steve Slaton two years ago.

After seeing the sophomore running back play in person for No. 5 West Virginia, Friedgen now says he believes he missed out on one of the nation's top players.

Slaton rushed for 167 of his 195 yards in the first half and the Mountaineers forced two turnovers in a 28-0 first-quarter blitz on the way to a 45-24 victory over Maryland on Thursday night.

"It was supposed to be a big test and I think I did well," Slaton said.

He scored twice in the opening quarter of his first time playing against Maryland, the school that offered him a scholarship, then withdrew it because Friedgen said he felt he already had enough running backs.

"He's a great player. What more can I say?" Friedgen said. "He's got great speed. He's a fine young man and I hope he wins the Heisman."

Slaton, who has 503 yards this season, used Maryland's snub as incentive.

He had 149 yards against the Terrapins in the first quarter when West Virginia scored on all four possessions.

Slaton had early scoring runs of 38 and 37 yards.

"Steve looked like a human joystick out there, like he was playing a video game," West Virginia center Dan Mozes said.

Pat White threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, and Darius Reynaud scored twice, including a 96-yard kickoff return, for the Mountaineers (3-0), who extended their winning streak to 10 games, second in the nation to Texas Christian's 12 in a row.

West Virginia took a 38-10 halftime lead in beating Maryland (2-1) for the third year in a row, the first time that has happened since 1996-98.

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