CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Running back Shawne Alston loves to debate his West Virginia teammates anyplace, anytime.

The senior, whose future plans include attending law school, won't lose the argument that the Mountaineers' running game was a bit off in 2011, and the bruising Alston hopes to change that this year.

Alston will start at one of two running back spots for No. 11 West Virginia when it opens the season at home Saturday against Marshall.

Known for his work in short-yardage and goal-line situations, the 235-pound Alston produced in other circumstances, too, including a solid performance in the 70-33 Orange Bowl win over Clemson.

He hopes to boost a unit that ranked 92nd in the Bowl Subdivision at 123 yards per game.