MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia lived up to its billing and then some on Saturday, crushing Marshall 69-34 in the team's opener.
Quarterback Geno Smith, who completed 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards, engineered eight scoring drives, ran in one of his own on a broken play, and looked every bit the Heisman contender he just may turn out to be later this season.
In all, West Virginia's offense amassed 655 total yards, and had remarkable balance: 324 passing yards and 331 rushing yards.
A crowd of 59,120 filled Milan Puskar Stadium.
The scoring drives by the offense were as brisk as they were impressive, clocking scores within: three minutes, 36 seconds, 2:48, 1:45, 41 seconds, 1:40, 2:26, 3:24, 46 seconds, and five seconds.
The defense looked fairly solid and forced two major turnovers.
Linebacker Isaiah Bruce recovered a fumble and returned it 43 yards for a score in the fourth quarter and Doug Rigg recovered a strip by Terence Garvin two possessions later returning it 46 yards to the Marshall 3-yard line.
From there, backup Paul Millard took a single play to connect with K.J. Meyers, making it 69-20 West Virginia with the point after.
Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato threw for 413 yards and two touchdowns, leading the team to two late fourth quarter scores.
West Virginia didn't let up and with less than a minute on the clock, Millard threw an interception intended for K.J. Meyers but Marshall couldn't get within scoring range.
Jenn Menendez: email@example.com First Published September 1, 2012 7:45 PM