Noel Devine rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns, freshman Geno Smith threw a scoring pass after Jarrett Brown went down early with an injury and West Virginia beat Marshall 24-7 Saturday.
West Virginia (5-1) overcame its first halftime deficit of the season to improve to 9-0 against Marshall (4-3) in the series between the state's only Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
Brown took a helmet-to-helmet hit on West Virginia's first series and did not return. Coach Bill Stewart said afterward he didn't know the extent of Brown's injury.
With former standout Pat White watching from the sidelines, Smith completed 15 of 21 passes for 147 yards in the first extensive play of his young career.
Devine outdueled Marshall's Darius Marshall in a matchup between two of the nation's top three rushers, although both players struggled to find running room on a cold and wet afternoon. Devine was held 23 yards below his third-best average. Marshall, whose 146-yard average ranked second to Fresno State's Ryan Mathews's 148, was limited to 82 yards.
After West Virginia was limited to two first downs and 84 yards of offense in the first half, its defense came up big, holding an opponent scoreless after halftime for the second time this season.
West Virginia's first 17 points came off of Marshall mistakes.
Brandon Hogan, who also had a fumble recovery, intercepted Brian Anderson just before halftime that led to a field goal.
A short punt put West Virginia at the Marshall 46 on its first series of the third quarter. Smith's 14-yard pass to Jock Sanders on fourth down kept the drive going and Devine finished it with a 14-yard run for a 10-7 lead.
Linebacker Reed Williams stripped the ball from Marshall tight end Cody Slate on the first play of the fourth quarter and J.T. Thomas recovered at the West Virginia 27. Smith took the Mountaineers down the field in five plays, including his 33-yard scoring toss to Alric Arnett in the back of the end zone.
Devine capped the scoring with a 9-yard run.
After Brown fumbled on the hard hit that took him out of the game, Marshall went 64 yards for its only score. A 15-yard facemask penalty on West Virginia kept the drive alive and Anderson capped it with a 12-yard scramble on third down for his first rushing TD of the season. He completed 17 of 35 passes for 149 yards and was intercepted twice.