MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Geno Smith threw three touchdown passes to Brad Starks, Noel Devine rushed for two scores and quick-strike West Virginia beat UNLV 49-10 on Saturday.
West Virginia (4-1) piled up its most points since scoring 66 against Connecticut in 2007.
The Mountaineers, hoping to erase the memory of a loss at No. 12 LSU two weeks ago, held the ball just 10 minutes in the first half but jumped ahead 35-0.
Starks came up big after having no catches in the Mountaineers' first four games. His three TD catches tied a school record held by two others. Starks finished with four catches for 100 yards. He had two scores all of last year.
UNLV (1-5) suffered its worst loss of the season. Three others came against ranked teams. The Rebels scored their points in the second half against West Virginia's reserves.
UNLV, making a rare trip East, did manage to improve in one aspect. The Rebels forced five punts after forcing none against Nevada last week.
Nearly everything else went the Mountaineers' way. UNLV was outgained 445-276.
None of West Virginia's first six scoring drives went more than six plays, but three of them went more than 60 yards.
Starks caught a 38-yard scoring pass on the game's third play from scrimmage. Just before halftime he snared a 48-yarder in the end zone over Will Chandler and he got the trifecta early in the third quarter on a 4-yard grab on third-and-goal.
Smith went to the bench after that. He finished 12 of 16 for 220 yards.
Keith Tandy had two interceptions for the Mountaineers. Both came on tipped passes and both set up scores.
On offense, West Virginia didn't commit a turnover for the first time in eight games.
Devine hurt his right big toe after being tackled out of bounds at LSU and was a game-time decision Saturday. Coach Bill Stewart chose to use him rather than rest him for the Big East opener Thursday night against South Florida.
On his first carry, Devine started left, reversed himself and went 28 yards to the right for a score. On his third carry midway through the second quarter, Devine waited for his blockers and went 48 yards untouched off left tackle for a 28-0 lead.
Devine finished with 84 yards on just three carries, all in the first half.
The Mountaineers shared the load. A whopping 11 players got carries.
Matt Lindamood had a 3-yard TD run nullified when the replay official ruled his elbow was down before he crossed the goal line. The sophomore got his first career touchdown on the next play to cap the scoring.