LANDOVER, Md. - Perhaps the only thing unusual about West Virginia's 42-12 win over James Madison here Saturday is that, well, there wasn't much that was unusual about it.
Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and the offense were again spectacular, and that's all that really mattered.
No, the Mountaineers didn't approach 70 points, as they had done in their previous two games, but it really didn't matter. After all, 569 yards and six touchdowns were more than enough to allow WVU to put on the brakes in the fourth quarter.
Ah, but as an added bonus for the 45,511 who showed up at FedEx Field, the West Virginia defense showed up this time, too. While any real judgments about that defense will have to wait until it is playing stiffer competition, at least this was a start.
"It wasn't as good a game as we can play, certainly, but we're getting closer,'' linebacker Doug Rigg said. "You can see us tipping balls and getting to the quarterback and making tackles. It's better.''
Then again, with an offense like this one, it might not have to be much better.
The bottom line is that Smith and his receivers put on a show - and broke even more school records in the process - as the No. 9 Mountaineers won handily.
Smith completed 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns, along the way smashing through Marc Bulger's school record of 8,153 career passing yards. He now has 8,191 yards and when he throws two more passes (to break Bulger's mark for career attempts) he will own every major career passing record in school history.
That follows a performance in the opener against Marshall in which Smith completed all but four of his passes and tossed four TDs. So in two games now he has thrown as many touchdowns (nine) as incompletions.
So what can he do to improve even more?
"What did I have, five incompletions?'' Smith asked. "I could have completed those five.''
Well, or maybe he could have spread the wealth a little bit more, but why get picky? On this day he used his two favorite receivers for 24 catches, 286 yards and four scores.
Bailey caught 13 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns, while Austin caught 11 for 113 yards and a score. Bailey's catches established a school single-game record, breaking the mark of 12 held by several others, including Austin. It was also his ninth 100-yard receiving game, another school mark.