"We were definitely clicking,'' said Austin, who now stands only one behind Bailey and David Saunders with eight 100-yard receiving games. "The coaches always told us the second year of this offense would be a lot different, and it is.''
All of that offense, though - 448 yards passing, 569 yards of total offense despite possessing the ball only 241/2 of the game's 60 minutes - has come to be expected.
The defensive performance, meanwhile, was in rather stark contrast to the opening game against Marshall. That day the Mountaineers gave up 545 yards and six scores in a 69-34 rout. On Saturday, JMU needed great field position just to score the five points the Dukes got through the first three quarters.
The game was essentially over one play into the fourth quarter when Smith threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day, to Austin, to make it 42-5. That's when both sides began substituting freely. JMU scored with 49 seconds to play to account for the final score.
To get an idea of the defensive efficiency of the Mountaineers, the Dukes had 43 yards of total offense in the first quarter, just 56 in the second and another 108 in the third. They would finish with an even 300.
But aside from the late scoring drive by the reserves, James Madison had three scoring opportunities and got only a field goal out of them. Cameron Starke, who spent a semester at WVU as a walk-on out of high school before transferring to JMU, made a 33-yarder late in the first half after a 24-yard WVU punt gave the Dukes a short field.
Twice JMU managed to drive to the WVU 1-yard line, but both times failed to score. On the first, the Mountaineers held on four downs from the 3, and on the second Tyler Anderson intercepted a tipped third-down pass in the end zone.
"That's definitely a confidence booster,'' said linebacker Terence Garvin. "If we've done it once we can do it again.''
The first goal-line stand did ultimately result in JMU points, but not against the West Virginia defense. Shawne Alston was tackled in the end zone on the first play from his own 1 early in the third quarter, making the score 28-5.
That's as close as things would ever get again, though. Smith threw touchdowns to Bailey and Austin on the next two possessions, then retired for the day with the Mountaineers up big.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.