Junior tailback John Holifield rushed 27 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns to lead West Virginia to a 24-9 victory over Virginia Tech yesterday at Morgantown, W.Va.

Mountaineers quarterback Tony Reda, in his first start of the season, completed 14 of 33 passes for 205 yards and one score.

West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen, whose team made 12 tackles for losses, said, "I think our defensive line is starting to become dominant. The last two games, teams haven't been able to shove the ball down our throats."

Virginia Tech (1-4), which hasn't won in Morgantown since 1967, struck first, 2:12 after the opening kickoff when quarterback Todd Greenwood hit wide receiver Desmar Becton on a 53-yard pass play to make it 6-0.

But the Mountaineers (3-1-1) took a 7-6 lead on their first possession when Holifield scored from three yards out.

West Virginia, trailing by 9-7, went ahead with 12:11 left in the second quarter when Reda hit Brian Krawchyk on a 24-yard pass play. The Mountaineers' lead went to 21-9 with one second left in the third quarter when Holifield scored from 17 yards.