The Times West Virginian

September 16, 2012

Smith sets new career yards mark

By Bob Hertzel
Times West Virginian

LANDOVER, Md. — West Virginia made history in its 42-12 victory over James Madison on Saturday game … a lot of it.

Perhaps the most impressive thing was the Mountaineers set an all-time school record for most points scored in three consecutive games.

Going back to the Orange Bowl, when WVU scored 70 points, the Mountaineers have combined for 181 points … an incredible average of more than 60 a game in three games.

They added 69 to the total in the Marshall game that opened the season and then the 42 scored against James Madison set the record.

But there was more.

Quarterback Geno Smith broke Marc Bulger’s record for career passing yards.

Bulger, who went on to have an 11-year NFL career and is in the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, had passed for 8,153 yards at the school.

With a 30-yard completion to Andrew Buie, Smith now has 8,191 yards and still has 10 or 11 games left in his career … and the way he’s going you have to believe he will add close to 4,000 more yards to the record.

And get this, Coach Dana Holgorsen has only had him for 15 games. Wait until he plays a quarterback three or four full years.

Smith is also just one pass completion from tying Bulger’s career record of 1,023.

And finally, Stedman Bailey caught 13 passes, to break the school single-game record. It was held by many, last by teammate Tavon Austin in the Orange Bowl game.


WVU wide receiver Tavon Austin entered the game needing eight catches to move past David Saunders and into the No. 2 spot in all-time receptions behind Jock Saunders, who had 209.

That normally is a healthy game’s worth of receptions but Austin had the catches plus one, to give him nine in the first half alone. He totaled 104 yards in the half, which sounds like a big total until you realiz Stedman Bailey had 126 yards in receptions with two touchdowns.


WVU now stands at 28-19 in pro stadiums since 1980, nine games over .500.

How good is that?

Well the Cleveland Browns can’t make the claim of being over .500 in professional stadiums since 1980.


James Madison’s first score of the game came on a 33-yard field from Cameron Starke, whose career started as a walk-on at WVU as a walk-on kicker but who transferred back home to the state of Virginia because of the cheaper in-state tuition.

“Probably the biggest lesson I learned at West Virginia was you have to be mentally tough at all times when it comes to football,” he said earlier in the week. “You can’t really let your guard down (and) you can’t really feel sorry for yourself, because nobody is going to hold your hand throughout the process.

“You have to be a man, you have to bite the bullet, and you have to work hard and just do the best that you can do.”


JMU gave a good account of itself despite having its star running back, Dae’Quan Scott, its leading rusher and receiver, miss the game due to an ankle injury.

Email Bob Hertzel at Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.