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Football odds and ends for Coal Bowl

August 31, 2012

MORGANTOWN - Some odds and ends going into West Virginia's season opener against Marshall at noon in Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday:

Geno Smith, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior from Miami, already has established himself as one of the greatest football quarterbacks in WVU history.

Smith is No. 2 on the university's career passing chart with 7,457 yards and No. 3 in career total offense with 7,648 yards.

He is No. 2 on the career completion list (619), and tied for No. 2 on the touchdown passing list with 56.

Tavon Austin, WVU's so-called Jack of all trades, is another Heisman Trophy hopeful. The Baltimore senior is No. 3 on the career pass receptions with 174 and No. 4 in career yards with 2,124.

Austin, who was the nation's all-purpose yardage leader in 2011, is No. 6 in career all-purpose yards with 4,376 and ranks No. 7 in touchdown receptions with 17.

WVU wide receiver Stedman Bailey, a standout junior from Miami, is tied for No. 8 in touchdown receptions with 16, and tied for No. 2 in 100-yard receiving games with seven.

West Virginia leads the all-time football series with Marshall by 11-0. The Thundering Herd is a 24-point underdog Saturday.

But the Mountaineers needed an overtime period to eke out a 24-21 victory over The Thundering Herd two years ago in Huntington.

The Mountaineers have won an amazing 70 games over the last seven seasons. That might well be the most successful stretch of double-digits in WVU history.

WVU has also won 90 of its last 119 regular-season contests and 94 of 127 overall, including bowl games.

Last year's double-digit campaign (10-3) was only the eighth in WVU history. Rich Rodriguez turned out three consecutive 11-win teams in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The Mountaineers' average attendance for season home openers at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium is 55,791.

From 2004-11, WVU is one of only three programs in the nation to win nine or more games in seven consecutive seasons.

The Mountaineers have the 11th best record in college football over that seven-year stretch.

Since 2000, WVU is 75-3 when scoring 30 or more points a game. It is 52-4 since 2002 when holding an opponent under 100 yards rushing.

Last season's 10-3 record earned first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen's team final rankings of No. 17 and No. 18 in the two major polls.



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