MORGANTOWN - Dustin Garrison knew the numbers were mounting. He had more important things to think about, however, than the specifics of what they were.
For instance, when he cracked 100 yards rushing early in the second quarter he probably had an idea. He might have been aware even that he was approaching 200 yards and halftime hadn't arrived.
But Garrison had no idea that he was close to 300 yards before the fourth quarter of West Virginia's game with Bowling Green on Saturday had reached the halfway point.
"After a while they finally started telling me,'' Garrison said. "And then they told me I was at 291 and [running backs coach Robert] Gillespie told me to get out. And I was like, 'Really? You don't want me to get nine more yards?' And he said, 'No. Just get out.'"
And why not? By that point Garrison and the Mountaineers were long past proving the point that they could run the football.
In fact, his 291 yards on 32 carries - tied for the second-best single-game total in school history - was more than enough of a message to future opponents that simply trying to stop West Virginia's passing game won't be enough to curtail this offense. It might have been during the early weeks of the season, but no more.
"When Garrison is running like that it has to get frustrating for the defense,'' said West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. "That's what's great about this offense. Once everybody gets clicking and everything gets rolling, I think we can be special.''
If there was a time for West Virginia's offense to be rounding into a more balanced unit, this would be it. After a 4-1 start in the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Mountaineers begin Big East play Saturday with a noon game at home against Connecticut (2-3).
So how do those seven upcoming Big East defensive coordinators approach a game with West Virginia now?
"Oh, I'm expecting to see everything,'' Smith said. "Pretty much everyone has already showed us everything they can. They've press-manned us and we've put up yards in the passing game. They've zoned us and we ran the ball. We're going to take whatever they give us.''