Alston to start at running back for WVU


MIAMI, Fla. -- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen confirmed Sunday afternoon that Shawne Alston would start at running back in place of Dustin Garrison in the Discover Orange Bowl.

In his first media session since Garrison hurt his knee during practice Friday, Holgorsen said it was a disappointment not to have his true freshman running back for the game.

"I'll tell you, if we would have gave him the ball more throughout the course of the year, he'd probably be better than what he is right now to the point that he probably was going to be a 1,000-yard rusher," Holgorsen said.

Garrison ran for 742 yards and six touchdowns this season, and emerged from a trio of true freshman running backs to win the starting job. Another true freshman, Andrew Buie, is expected to get carries with Alston on Wednesday against Clemson.

Alston was the second-leading rusher on the team with 354 yards, and led the team with 10 touchdown runs. Though he is more of a power back, Alston has shown the capability this season to get the tough yards and bust through tackles.

"Shawne Alston gives us a lot of maturity as he has all year and Andrew Buie's as healthy and looks as good as he has since probably camp," says Holgorsen.

Meanwhile, the Mountaineers had another player get hurt. Redshirt freshman walk-on Connor Arlia broke his leg Saturday in a jet skiing accident during the team's beach party on Miami Beach. Arlia was a special teams contributor this season.