It has been a long two weeks since No. 9 West Virginia upped the ante for its prolific offense by scoring 69 points against Marshall to open the season.
Can the Mountaineers break 70 today?
They will face James Madison, the No. 4-ranked Division I-AA team in the country, at 4:30 p.m. at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
By all accounts, it should be another showcase for Geno Smith and his offense, which got stellar pass protection from the line in Week 1, played with the tempo that took all season to master last year and flashed a 331-yard run game that rarely got off the ground a year ago.
- Matchup: No. 9 West Virginia (1-0) vs. James Madison (2-0), 4:30 p.m. today, FedEx Field, Landover, Md.
- TV, Radio, Internet: Root Sports, Sirius 138, Mountaineer Sports Network.
- West Virginia: Heavy favorites for this neutral-site game. ...QB Geno Smith is coming off one of the most efficient games of his career (32 of 36 for 323 yards). ... RB Shawne Alston netted a career-high 123 rushing yards in Week 1. ... LB Isaiah Bruce led the defense with 16 tackles, one for loss.
- James Madison: Led by QB Justin Thorpe, who has 317 passing yards and 177 rushing yards over two games. ... RB Dae'Quan Scott is questionable with an ankle injury. ... Has the No. 3-ranked scoring defense in Division I-AA.
- Hidden stat: West Virginia's "pass-first" attack gained 13 first downs via the run and 16 via the pass against Marshall in Week 1.
"Our guys are excited about playing this game," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "You worry about having an off week this early in the year and the guys losing routine. That concerned me, but I like our team's mentality. They wanted to get back out there and get back in the routine, as well as play another game."
The Dukes defense allowed a combined 10 points in games against Saint Francis and Alcorn State -- one touchdown and a field goal, and just 110 rushing yards in each game.
"They don't miss a lot of tackles," running back Shawne Alston said. "I think it's most impressive they don't miss a lot of tackles and they hustle to the ball."
Defensively, it's a different story for West Virginia.
James Madison could pose problems for a defense still learning a new scheme, and one that surrendered 545 yards to the Herd two weeks ago -- 413 passing yards and 132 rushing.
The Dukes have a mobile quarterback, Justin Thorpe, but could be without leading rusher Dae'Quan Scott, who injured an ankle last week.
The Mountaineers are preparing for him anyway.
"I think going into any game you have to build everything to stop the run," co-defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "Scott is a good player, runs the inside, outside zone. They try to get the ball on the perimeter, and you've got to keep the quarterback contained. When he pulls it down he makes things happen on his feet."
The Dukes famously knocked off Virginia Tech, 21-16, on the road in 2010 and have long been a stronghold in Division I-AA.
NOTE -- Former Mountaineer and NFL linebacker Sam Huff will be honored before the game and at halftime. Huff will be West Virginia's honorary captain.