Shawne Alston Delivers When Called Upon - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Shawne Alston Delivers When Called Upon


Shawne Alston has provided a nice change of pace for the West Virginia running game this season. Dustin Garrison, Vernard Roberts and Andrew Buie will make the sexy runs while Alston has no problem running right up the middle and plowing through the defense.

Alston can thank mother nature for her hand in his recent big game at Rutgers. The poor conditions helped Alston go over the century mark rushing the ball. He carried it 14 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

"I knew the opportunities would be there," Alston said. "I didn't know how many. But, I knew I had to take advantage of it. With Ryan Clarke down I knew that I would be playing a lot in the fullback spot. I knew I had to take advantage of my opportunities."

"He played well and he played hard," Head Coach Dana Holgorsen said. "He was the fastest guy on the football field, but I think the conditions set him up. Where it slowed everyone down, it sped him up for whatever reason."

Alston has quietly asserted himself as one of the reliable players on the offense. It earned him a team captain honor prior to his big game against Rutgers.

"He has been getting better over the last couple of weeks," Holgorsen said. "He has played well. There is a reason we named him a captain last week prior to the game, and then he went in and played like one."

Alston racked up nearly half of his 110 yards on one play. He took the handoff from Geno Smith to the outside, made one cut upfield and 52 yards later he hit paydirt.

"(Matt) Lindamood had a good block sealing the edge and then Stedman Bailey kicked the corner out and I just ran," Alston chuckled. "I thought somebody was going to catch me, but I was just running. All of my teammates talk all the time about how I am not fast enough to break a big run, so that was pretty cool."

"Weather neutralizes everything and there are a lot of guys that are fast and that slows them down," Holgorsen said. "He is the type of player that is able to plow through some of that stuff due to him being a different kind of back."

Alston's performance was just the right kind of game he needed at the right time for his team. It was a game that featured six lead changes in the first half. Alston's two touchdowns were huge for the Mountaineers.

"It's a really good thing," Alston said. "I always have confidence in myself, but now I've got an extra boost of confidence."

So does his team. The Mountaineers shutout Rutgers 20-0 in the second half to improve to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big East. West Virginia once again controls its own destiny regarding a BCS bowl bid after Syracuse lost to Louisville.

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