LANDOVER, Md. - Another fast start combined with yet another record-setting performance from Heisman Trophy hopeful Geno Smith was too much for No. 6 (FCS) James Madison on Saturday at FedEx Field as No. 9 WVU left town with a 42-12 victory to up its mark to 2-0 on the season.
Smith completed 34-of-39 attempts for 411 yards and five touchdowns, raising his season totals to 66-of-75 passing for 734 yards and nine touchdowns - with zero interceptions.
But, the senior leader of the Mountaineers' offense is not going to rest on his laurels.
"Five incompletions?" Smith asked during the post game interview session. "I could have completed all of those."
It is that type of attitude that will not only lead Smith to higher heights as the season progresses, but the entire offense as it seeks to improve every time it takes to the field.
"The second quarter we kind of stalled as an offense and that was just me," added the quarterback. "I could have put us in some better situations."
That was not the case during the first 15 minutes of the game as Smith led WVU to three scores.
Taking over at WVU's 29 following a 31-yard punt by the Dukes' David Skahn, Smith actually misfired on his first attempt of the game to senior J.D. Woods, but then hit Tavon Austin for five yards, Stedman Bailey for 13 yards and Austin for two more yards as the Mountaineers put together a 10-plays, 71-yards drive that culminated with a 2-yard Shawne Alston score.
Smith needed only that many plays the second time WVU received the football. Going entirely to the air against the JMU defense, Smith hit on 4-of-5 attempts for 59 yards - the final nine resulting in Stedman Bailey's first touchdown reception of the game.
Three plays, and a 49-yard punt by Skahn, later Smith and company were back in action at their 23. Smith, who rushed twice for 18 yards and was not sacked, opened the 9-play, 77-yard drive with a 7-yard run, then connected on 5-of-6 passes as the Mountaineers' Air Raid attack resulted in a third straight touchdown - a 3-yard pass to Bailey, who finished the day with 13 receptions for 173 yards and the three six-pointers.
"Probably," Smith explained when asked if he could find Bailey with the lights out. "It's not that easy. Stedman is a great receiver."
Joining Bailey with double-digit receptions was Austin, who latched onto 11 passes for 113 yards and one score, while Andrew Buie had five catches for 90 yards to go along with 31 rushing yards on seven carries.
Alston led the ground game for the second time this season, finishing with 62 yards on 14 attempts to go along with his two-yard touchdown.
"The offense did a good job, but we still have things that we need to get better at," continued Smith. "We'll just go back to work and get ready for Maryland."
The Terrapins are coming off of a 24-21 home loss to Connecticut. Quarterback Perry Hills completed 10-of-24 attempts for 109 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted one time and sacked six times by the Huskies' defense.
WVU has had the upper hand in this series, which began in 1919, winning the last six meetings and holding a 25-21-2.