West Virginia 27,

Syracuse 6

-- Rasheed Marshall told a teammate at the start of the season he thought he would break Donovan McNabb's Big East rushing record for quarterbacks -- against Syracuse.

Marshall was right on the mark.

He rushed for 87 yards and threw three touchdown passes to lead No. 15 West Virginia over the Orange, 27-6, Thursday night.

"Just playing against Syracuse, that being his former school, it makes it that much better," Marshall said. "There is an extra sweetness to it."

Marshall's 87 rushing yards gave him 1,605 for his career, breaking McNabb's mark of 1,561. In 2002, Marshall set the single-season mark of 666, formerly held by Michael Vick at Virginia Tech.

"Being mentioned in the same sentence as Vick or McNabb, those guys you see on Sundays making plays," Marshall said. "Just to be in the same category and surpassing them is great."

Chris Henry caught two touchdown passes against the Orange for the second straight season, and Jason Colson had 113 yards against the league's worst rushing defense. West Virginia amassed 279 yards on the ground.

"They have got some great backs. But Rasheed is the best one," Syracuse Coach Paul Pasqualoni said.

The Mountaineers (6-1, 2-0) took sole possession of first place in the conference by scoring the first 17 points and stopping four Syracuse drives inside the red zone without points.

Syracuse (3-4, 1-1) now must win three of its final four games to become bowl eligible. Each loss by the Orange has been to a ranked team.

"Every single week is a challenge playing the schedule we have," Pasqualoni said.

Walter Reyes, Syracuse's leading rusher, was ill and missed his first game since the start of his freshman season, a streak of 42 contests. Reyes wore a jacket and a towel over his head on the sideline.

"He was in bed all day with an antibiotic. There was no way he could play because he was sick as a dog," Pasqualoni said.

Reyes's replacement, Damien Rhodes, breathed life into the sluggish Orange with a two-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter to cut the deficit to 17-6.

But Syracuse, which managed just 66 yards rushing, turned the ball over twice on downs inside the West Virginia 20 in the fourth quarter.

Syracuse's Chris Thorner gets a grip on West Virginia's Jason Colson, who ran for 113 yards in the No. 15 Mountaineers' sixth win in seven games.