Landover, MD – Geno Smith threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns on 34-of-39 passing and Stedman Bailey caught 13 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns as ninth-ranked West Virginia dismantled James Madison, 42-12, on Saturday.
Tavon Austin hauled in 11 balls for 113 yards and a touchdown and Shawne Alston rushed for 62 yards and a score for the Mountaineers (2-0), who have won 13 straight against FCS programs.
"It was the second week in a row that Geno played really good," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "He got us out of some bad situations."
Justin Thorpe and Michael Birdsong combined to go 10-of-23 for 112 yards and an interception through the air for James Madison. Jauan Latney rushed for 24 yards and a touchdown, Jordan Anderson picked up 75 yards on the ground and Brian Barlow caught two passes for 46 yards for the Dukes (2-1), who will take on Rhode Island in their CAA opener Sept. 22.
"My hat is off to them," said James Madison head coach Mickey Matthews. "I mean it wasn't surprising how well they played. I think they are terrific on offense."
WVU scored on its first possession when Alston punched it in from two yards out, capping a 10-play, 71-yard drive. Smith methodically led he Mountaineers down the field, facing just one third down.
After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Smith led WVU down the field for a touchdown once again, finding Bailey for a 9-yard score. Smith found Bailey short of the end zone, but the receiver delivered a vicious stiff arm and bulled his way across the goal line.
Smith found Bailey all alone in the end zone from three yards out on the next drive to go up 21-0. Earlier in the drive, Smith hooked up with Austin for 35 yards to put the ball on the JMU 30. Smith then targeted Bailey for 12 yards and Austin for 11 to get inside the 10-yard line.
Smith delivered a strike to Dante Campbell on a slant route from the JMU 4- yard line to push WVU's spread to 28-0 in the second quarter. Two plays prior, Smith connected with Austin for 24 yards.
The Dukes got on the board with 62 seconds left in the first half when Cameron Starke split the uprights from 33 yards out.
JMU looked to score on its first drive in the second half after Anderson rattled off a 20-yard rush to put the ball on the WVU 3-yard line, but he was stood up on 4th-and-goal and the Mountaineers took over inside their own 1- yard line.
On the next play Alston was corralled in the end zone by Dean Marlowe for the safety.
The Dukes went three-and-out on the ensuing possession. The Mountaineers needed just eight plays to score. After going to Ivan McCartney on consecutive plays, Smith found Bailey, yet again, for a 30-yard touchdown.
WVU made it 42-5 when Smith hooked up with Austin on a 7-yard pass on the first play in the fourth quarter.
Latney scored a touchdown with just 49 seconds left with a 20-yard rush. Latney broke several tackles, and even shook off a facemask.
Bailey's three touchdowns move him into third place all-time in school history with 21 receiving touchdowns. Cedric Thomas (1976-80) holds the record with 23 ... The Mountaineers host Maryland on Sept. 22 before opening Big 12 play on Sept. 29 when they host Baylor ... JMU wide receiver Daniel Brown was carted off the field just 11 seconds into the game with a leg injury.