By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
It was over when…
Geno Smith and the explosive Mountaineer offense took the field. Marshall’s undermanned defense never had a chance, as West Virginia overwhelmed them on the opening possession (a 9-play, 94-yard thing of beauty) and never looked back. Overall, Dana’s crew scored touchdowns on nine of its first 11 drives.
Star of the game – QB Geno Smith
It’s never too early to talk Heisman. And after half of Week 1, Geno Smith has planted his name at the top of that discussion. Historically, quarterbacks take a second-year jump in the spread offense. Saturday’s opener was more evidence of that. Smith went 33/37 for 340 yards and four touchdowns, while running for another 65 and a score. What made the domination more impressive? It barely looked like he was trying.
Unsung hero – RB Shawne Alston
Bulky backs have always caused problems for Big 12 defenses. A speedy 235-pounder, Alston fits into that category. He went for 123 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, providing the perfect change of pace to Holgorsen’s air raid. He’s a load to bring down.
In his debut as defensive coordinator, Joe DeForest reverted back to his Oklahoma State roots. After holding down Marshall in the first half (and allowing his quick-strike offense to build a big lead), DeForest’s unit eased up, giving up meaningless yards and points in the final 30 minutes. The stats aren’t great (giving up 34 points to Marshall), but the end result was all that mattered. Also, former OSU cornerback Andrew McGee made his coaching debut as a grad assistant for the Mountaineers.
Stat of the game
139 – Points West Virginia has scored in its past two games, combined with the Orange Bowl 70-33 rout of Clemson. Over those eight quarters, Geno Smith has thrown for 747 yards, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.