EAST HARTFORD, Conn. Rasheed Marshall rushed for 110 yards and threw a touchdown pass and Mike Lorello had two interceptions Wednesday night to lead West Virginia to a 31-19 victory over Connecticut in the Mountaineers' Big East opener.
Marshall, who is closing in on the all-time rushing mark for Big East quarterbacks, repeatedly rescued an offense that sputtered for almost three quarters.
With leading rusher Kay-Jay Harris sidelined with injuries, Marshall and Jayson Colson kept the 17th-ranked Mountaineers' ground game going, racking up 309 yards rushing. Colson finished with 111 yards and one TD.
West Virginia (5-1, 1-0) also capitalized on defense. Lorello intercepted a pass that bounced off the foot of UConn receiver Keron Henry and ran it in 21 yards for 17-6 lead late in the third quarter.
On the next possession, Marshall hit Chris Henry for a 49-yard TD pass to extend the lead to 18 and send most of the 40,000 fans streaming for the exits.
Lorello intercepted UConn quarterback Dan Orlovsky again midway through the fourth quarter, killing another drive.
The Huskies (4-2, 1-2), who were second in the league in scoring offense (30.6) behind West Virginia (35.6), were held without a touchdown until the fourth quarter but made it interesting in the closing minutes.
Orlovsky hit Henry for a 17-yard score with under 7 minutes remaining. After Mountaineers running back Pernell Williams tacked on a 13-yard TD run, Orlovsky found Matt Cutaia for a 2-yard strike with 2:18 left in the game.
They were the few bright spots for UConn, which joined the Big East this season, three years after becoming a Division I-A program.
Marshall was 12-of-21 for 138 yards and was picked off once.
He became the first West Virginia quarterback to both rush and throw for more than 100 yards since Major Harris in 1987.
Marshall has 1,518 career rushing yards, 44 yards shy of the all-time quarterback rushing mark held by Syracuse's Donovan McNabb.
Orlovsky was 24-of-47 for 268 yards and threw for two scores but was intercepted three times.
Peninsula Clarion ©2015. All Rights Reserved.