MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Kay-Jay Harris had a record day to help validate West Virginia's ranking.
Harris smashed a Big East Conference record by rushing for 337 yards as No. 11 West Virginia trounced East Carolina, 56-23, in the season opener for both teams.
The senior scored four touchdowns, including runs of 76 and 51 yards, as he became the first Big East player to eclipse 300 yards. Miami's Edgerrin James held the record with 299 yards against UCLA in 1998.
"Kay-Jay ran pretty well today and he had some nice holes," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "He's a talented guy and when he breaks loose, he's a tough guy to bring down."
"My offensive line did a hell of a job," Harris said. "First person I ever saw was the safety. The offensive line did exactly what they're supposed to do. They're living up to the hype."
So is West Virginia, which opened the season with its highest preseason ranking in school history. The Mountaineers are the class of the weakened Big East Conference and are targeting a BCS berth.
Harris broke the previous school record of 291 yards by Kerry Marbury in 1971. Harris ran for 223 yards in the first half, breaking Armin Mahrt's record from 1922.
"Kay-Jay Harris is a tremendous back," East Carolina coach John Thompson said. "They caught us off guard and out of position."
Jason Colson scored the first of his two touchdowns on a one-yard run less than three minutes into the first quarter. Colson also scored from 15 yards out in the second period, when West Virginia scored 28 points.
Adam "Pac Man" Jones' 75-yard punt return was sandwiched between two touchdowns by Harris, the second making the score 42-3.
Despite the blowout victory, Rodriguez found several faults with his team's performance.
"It was a frustrating game, to be honest," he said. "I don't think we played particularly well in all three phases of the game. It's good to run the ball, but that wasn't our best performance."
Rasheed Marshall struggled in the passing game for the Mountaineers. The senior was 6-of-15 for 143 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
East Carolina's James Pinkney threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns, but much of that came when the game was already decided. He also threw two interceptions.