MORGANTOWN - It was not the type of performance that conjures up visions of unbeaten seasons and lofty national rankings, but for an opening game it was, well, satisfactory.
Following West Virginia's 31-0 blanking of Coastal Carolina Saturday in front of 57,867 at Mountaineer Field, that's pretty much where everyone involved with the Mountaineers was - satisfied.
But only to a point.
"I don't think you're ever satisfied and we never should be satisfied,'' said sophomore quarterback Geno Smith. "But I feel like we did a lot of good things. We had a couple of turnovers that we can't have, but we accomplished what we wanted.''
Indeed, the Mountaineers' opener was an afternoon of doing just enough - not too much and not too little. The offense sputtered at times, but still managed a nice, round 400 yards. The defense gave up a few plays early but was smothering for the most part, holding the Chanticleers to just 186 yards. And special teams were, well, special for a change.
"And I liked the way we flew around,'' said coach Bill Stewart. "And we only had three penalties. When you can play that hard and fly around like we did and only have three penalties for 25 yards, that's something.''
In running its record to 11-0 all time against Football Championship Subdivision opponents, West Virginia also recorded its first shutout in almost five years and its first shutout at home since 1997. And make no mistake about it, this was a game controlled by WVU's defense.
Coastal Carolina had only three possessions that lasted more than four plays and only two that managed to advance the ball more than 30 yards. The Chanticleers' only scoring opportunities ended when Justin Durham missed field goals of 47 and 42 yards.
Coastal had one other golden opportunity when Dominique Davenport intercepted a Smith pass and returned it to the West Virginia 21 just before the half, but Brandon Hogan returned the favor on the next play, making a spectacular diving interception of a Zach MacDowall pass at the back of the end zone.
"Yeah, I think we're satisfied,'' Hogan said of the opening performance, in which the defense held Coastal to 63 yards rushing and an average of just 3.1 yards on 60 offensive plays. "That was our first doughnut in a while. I'd give us an A.''