He also muffed a punt and let another bounce and roll for a net of 63 yards. He got better as the game wore on, though, and averaged just over 10 yards on five returns.
West Virginia almost unnoticeably broke its school record for passing yards in a game - again - against the Huskies.
Geno Smith had established both the individual and team passing marks for a single game when he threw for 463 yards against LSU two weeks ago. Marc Bulger's 452 in the 1998 Insight Bowl constituted both records prior to that.
Well, Smith didn't break the individual mark. He had "only'' 450 passing yards against UConn. But backup Paul Millard's one completion went for 19 yards, making a record team total of 469 passing yards.
It was mostly due to what Smith managed in just 14 minutes from the middle of the third quarter to the middle of the fourth, when he threw for 249 yards.
First he found Tavon Austin on a post pattern 10 seconds and two plays after Jewone Snow's 83-yard fumble return. The play was a perfect mismatch when Austin was isolated on linebacker Sio Moore in the slot.
A three-and-out later, Stedman Bailey caught a short pass, safety Ty-meer Brown slipped while over-running the play and Bailey raced 84 yards to make it 24-9.
Next it was Brad Starks' turn. He both outmaneuvered and outjumped Dwayne Gratz in the end zone for a score. And then Bailey was catching a pass in the middle and stretching into the 27-yard score.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.