WVU and Marshall Football - 09.08.12
The Mountaineers scored early and often in throttling the visiting Marshall Thundering Herd in the season opener for both teams over the weekend, 69-34.
The two clubs combined for 1,200 yards, with West Virginia finishing with 655 yards (331 rushing, 324 passing).
Heisman hopeful Geno Smith was nearly perfect in completing 32-of-36 passes with four TDs, two of which were hauled in by WR Stedman Bailey (nine rec., 104 yards).
Tavon Austin caught 10 balls for 53 yards and a score, while the WVU ground attack was led by Shawne Alston and his 123 yards and two TDs.
Despite allowing a ton of yardage, particularly through the air (413 yards), the Mountaineer defense recorded 11 TFL and notched a pair of turnovers.
Isaiah Bruce and Terence Garvin both logged double-digit tackles with 16 and 12, respectively for West Virginia, which is idle this week and will return to action on September 15, 2012 when it takes on FCS foe James Madison in Landover, Maryland.
The Thundering Herd (0-1) simply could not keep up with their in- state rival as they lost, 69-34, to the nationally ranked West Virginia Mountaineers at Milan Puskar Stadium in this year’s edition of the Friends of Coal Bowl.
The defeat dropped Marshall to 0-12 versus WVU in the series history.
Sophomore quarterback Rakeem Cato set a career-high with 413 passing yards and threw for two touchdowns after connecting on 38-of-54 passes.
Despite his impressive numbers, Cato was outdueled by WVU’s Geno Smith, who completed 32-of-36 attempts for 323 yards and four touchdowns while also accounting for 65 yards and a score on the ground.
Marshall amassed 545 total yards, which was dwarfed by the Mountaineers’ 655 yards.
The Thundering Herd missed some opportunities as they had multiple drives end due to dropped passes and they allowed WVU to recover both of its fumbles.
Marshall returns to action this Saturday as it hosts Western Carolina at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.