MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia's offense looked as if it was still on summer vacation for most of the first half. Then quarterback Geno Smith got the Mountaineers moving against a Division I-AA opponent in his first career start.
Smith threw two touchdowns and Noel Devine rushed for 111 yards and a score, leading No. 25 West Virginia to a 31-0 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
WVU led 10-0 at halftime before scoring on three of the first four drives of the second half. And the Mountaineers didn't allow Coastal Carolina inside the 20-yard line.
West Virginia earned its first shutout since a 38-0 win in 2005 at Cincinnati and first at home since it beat Rutgers 48-0 in 1997.
"I'm pleased with the way our defense played, reacted and took control of the game," West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said.
Defensive lineman Scooter Berry summarized the effort with a simple message on his Twitter account: "Doughnut."
Yet the Mountaineers scored on only two of their seven first-half drives.
"We just had to stay patient," Smith said. "It wasn't like we weren't moving the ball."
Smith, who played five games a year ago in relief of Jarrett Brown, completed 20 of 27 passes for 216 yards before taking a seat early in the fourth.
Robert Stands forced Adrian Sullivan to fumble the second-half kickoff and West Virginia's Darwin Cook recovered. Smith threw a dart to St. Petersburg Catholic grad Jock Sanders in the end zone from 17 yards out on third down for a 17-0 lead.
Coastal Carolina was limited to 186 yards of offense but will go home with a $350,000 payout.
"Great first half, but there's two halves to football and we've got to be able to play both halves," coach David Bennett said.
Michigan trips UConn
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Connecticut tried everything to stop Denard Robinson, including ripping off his shoes.
Robinson accounted for 383 yards and two touchdowns in his first game as Michigan's starting quarterback, leading the Wolverines to a 30-10 win over UConn at the bigger-than-ever Big House.
The player known as "Shoelace" because he doesn't lace up his cleats gave the Huskies fits.
"They were like, 'Take his shoe! Take his shoe!" Robinson recalled. "They took them off, one of the plays, when I ran and got a first down.
"They were trying to slow me down, I guess."
Robinson ran for 197 yards — a school record for a QB — and a score. He was also 19 of 22 for 186 yards and a score.
"Denard Robinson's going to make people look bad," UConn coach Randy Edsall said.
The Huskies trailed by 21 early but had a chance to pull within seven late in the third quarter — until USC transfer D.J. Shoemate took a shot from J.T. Floyd and fumbled and Obi Ezeh recovered at the Michigan 3.
A football attendance record of 113,090 was set at the new-look Michigan Stadium, which has had a $226 million renovation.
Robinson broke Steve Smith's QB rushing record of 147 yards, set in 1983 at Minnesota.
KENTUCKY 23, LOUISVILLE 16: Derrick Locke ran for two touchdowns as the visiting Wildcats held off their state rival, keeping the Governor's Cup for the fourth straight season and making Joker Phillips victorious in a matchup of longtime friends debuting as head coaches.
Charlie Strong, who once coached alongside Phillips at South Carolina and more recently guided Florida's dominating defense to two national titles in seven years, also made his coaching debut at Louisville (he was interim head coach for UF for one game).
SYRACUSE 29, AKRON 3: Mike Holmes returned a blocked field goal 57 yards for a touchdown, providing the big play for the visiting Orange. Chandler Jones blocked Igor Iveljic's attempt at the Syracuse 39. Holmes picked it up at the 43 and went untouched, making it 23-3 in the third. Ryan Nassib added two touchdowns and 229 yards on 17-for-27 passing for Syracuse.