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Another masterful effort from Smith

September 17, 2012
MICKEY FURFARI FAN-FARE , The Inter-Mountain

MORGANTOWN - Eighth-ranked West Virginia (2-0) wasn't as productive in Saturday's 42-12 victory against James Madison as it was in the 69-34 rout of Marshall on Sept. 1.

But I thought the Mountaineers were very impressive at times, especially during their rapid-fire 21-0 burst in the first quarter. The tempo was terrific and the Dukes seemed stunned if not confused or overpowered.

Defensively, WVU appeared to be improved overall, forcing JMU into three straight three-and-outs at the start of the contest.

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Furfari

But you've got to give James Madison (2-1) credit. It battled on defense through the second half and seemingly never lost its intensity or determination.

Less than one minute remained in the game when the Dukes finally scored their only touchdown. Jauan Latney scored on at 14-yard run against WVU reserves.

Shawne Alston capped off a 10-play, 71-yard drive for WVU's first touchdown. Quarterback Geno Smith passed nine and three yards to Stedman Bailey for the second and third TDs. Those ended drives of 77 and 86 yards.

Smith, who played only about three quarters again, was as masterful as ever. He completed 34-of-39 passes for 411 yards. He now has broken the WVU all-time record for career passing yards, moving ahead of Marc Bulger (8,191yards).

Smith also completed touchdown passes to Dante Campbell (four yards), a third score to Bailey (30 yards), and one to Tavon Austin (seven yards).

For his two games this season, Geno has completed 66-of-75 passes for 734 yards and nine touchdowns. You'll note that his nine scores match his incompletions, which is absolutely amazing.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior has to be on the road to Heisman Trophy competition if he stays healthy.

It's also pleasing to see Stedman off to a such a strong start. He was the top receiver with a school-record 13 catches for 173 yards and three TDs.

The junior also was a teammate of Smith at Miramar High School in Miami, Fla. He had nine receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns against the Thundering Herd.

Bailey now has a total of nine games in which he's topped 100 yards as a wide receiver.

Another highlight of Game 2 was a play Tyler Anderson. He came up with a timely interception in the end zone. It was the only turnover WVU's defense posted.

Alston was the Mountaineer leading rusher again with 62 yards on 14 carries. He's reestablishing himself as the starting running back.

Linebacker Isaiah Bruce remains WVU's top tackler. He had nine tackles to go with the 16 he had in the Mountaineers' opener.

WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen was very happy, and well he should have been.

"I'm proud of our guys," he said. "It is the second week that Geno (Smith) played really good.

"He got us out of some bad situations. I'm happy with the way we took care of the ball. We played pretty smart defensively and I thought that we improved on all three sides of the ball."

JMU head coach Mickey Mathews said, "I think they're terrific on offense. Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey are really good players."

 
 

 

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