I-A College Football
 
 
                    === Smith, No. 11 WVU rout Marshall  ===
 
 Morgantown,  WV  (Sports Network)  - Geno  Smith threw for  323 yards and four
 touchdowns  and  added another  score on  the ground,  as the 11th-ranked West
 Virginia  Mountaineers  started the season  with a  69-34 rout of the Marshall
 Thundering Herd.
 
 Smith  completed 32-of-36 passes and carried the ball eight times for 65 yards
 for  the  Mountaineers (1-0), who  racked up 655  yards of total offense. Paul
 Millard also threw a touchdown pass.
 
 Shawne  Alston carried the  ball 16 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns for
 West  Virginia,  which played  its  first  game as  a  member  of the  Big  12
 Conference.  Stedman Bailey  led the receiving corps with nine catches for 104
 yards and two scores.
 
 Rakeem  Cato connected on 38-of-54 passes for 413 yards, two touchdowns and an
 interception  for  the Thundering Herd  (0-1). Travon  Van carried the ball 16
 times for 38 yards and two scores.
 
 The  Mountaineers  scored a touchdown  on their first offensive possession and
 never  looked  back. Alston's  nine-yard run combined  with a 15-yard personal
 foul on Marshall set up West Virginia at the 33. Two plays later, Smith rolled
 to  his  right and  found Bailey  in the end  zone for  a 32-yard score. Tyler
 Bitancurt missed the extra point.
 
 West  Virginia  made it  a 13-0 contest  on its next  drive. J.D. Woods caught
 passes  of 22 and 11 yards to put the ball at the Marshall 6-yard line. Alston
 capped the eight-play march with a three-yard TD run.
 
 After  forcing another punt from the Thundering Herd, the Mountaineers marched
 down  the field again. The home team decided to go for it on 4th-and-goal from
 the  3-yard line.  But Smith  was stopped  on a  quarterback sneak  with seven
 seconds left in the first stanza.
 
 Marshall's  offense fed  off  the stop  and put  together  a 14-play,  98-yard
 scoring  drive. On 3rd-and-7, Eric Frohnapfel caught a 24-yard pass to get the
 ball  past  midfield. Van's  16-yard  run  and  Aaron Dobson's  12-yard  catch
 preceded Van's four-yard TD run, which cut the gap to 13-7.
 
 But  it was  all  West Virginia  from  that point  on.  Smith completed  three
 straight passes before Andrew Buie rushed for 18 and 24 yards, with the latter
 resulting in a score.
 
 After  Justin  Haig made a  34-yard field goal to  make it 20-10, Tavon Austin
 caught a six-yard TD pass from Smith. Austin started the three-play drive with
 a 70-yard run.
 
 Woods  caught a nine-yard TD pass with one minute left before the half, making
 it a 34-10 contest.
 
 Alston and Smith recorded rushing touchdowns around Van's three-yard TD run in
 the third period. Isaiah Bruce returned a fumble 43 yards for a score and Haig
 made a 29-yard field goal to cap the scoring in the frame.
 
 In  the fourth, Bailey and K.J. Myers scored for the Mountaineers to make it a
 69-20  game. Tommy  Shuler and  Frohnapfel caught  TD passes  for Marshall  to
 account for the final margin.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 WVU  leads the all-time  series by a 12-0 margin ... West Virginia's 69 points
 were  the  most ever scored  by the Mountaineers  in a season-opening game ...
 West Virginia holds an all-time record of 97-29-4 in season openers, including
 95-18-6  in home  openers ...  Marshall  offensive lineman  Garrett Scott  was
 carted off field with a left leg injury in the second quarter.
 
 
 09/01 16:41:23 ET

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