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West Virginia wakes up in second half to roll past I-AA foe

West Virginia’s Geno Smith set one career high with 371 yards passing and tied another with four passing touchdowns.

Associated Press

West Virginia’s Geno Smith set one career high with 371 yards passing and tied another with four passing touchdowns.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Coach Dana Holgorsen experienced his first halftime deficit at West Virginia and got a taste of the home crowd's boos.

He also saw a second-half outburst from the Mountaineers.

Geno Smith threw for 371 yards and four scores and No. 19 West Virginia overcame a rough start to beat Norfolk State 55-12 on Saturday.

The Mountaineers piled up 533 total yards and scored on their first seven possessions of the second half to erase a 12-10 halftime deficit against a Division I-AA opponent.

"We ran the same plays the second half that we did in the first half," Holgorsen said. "It was all about effort and playing up to tempo. We probably didn't respect our opponent all week."

West Virginia needed three plays to find the end zone after halftime, and Smith hit Ivan McCartney with a 39-yard TD early in the fourth quarter for the Mountaineers' fifth touchdown in a 15-minute span.

PITTSBURGH 35, MAINE 29: Todd Graham remained unbeaten as Pitt coach but wasn't overjoyed with a Panthers team that struggled to put away a seemingly overmatched foe for the second straight week. "We're 2-0, which is about the best thing I can say about it," Graham said. Ray Graham ran for 121 yards and scored three touchdowns but Panthers quarterback Tino Sunseri was intercepted twice by the I-AA foe before giving way to freshman Trey Anderson in the fourth. Anderson led a touchdown drive to give Pitt breathing room.

SYRACUSE 21, RHODE ISLAND 14: Ryan Nassib threw for a career-high 318 yards and three touchdowns, including the winner to walk-on Mike Acchione midway through the fourth, as the host Orange struggled to beat a I-AA opponent. Rhode Island's Anthony Baskerville made a diving 15-yard TD catch to tie it at 14 with 10:36 left in the third.

No. 19 West Virginia 55

Norfolk State 12

West Virginia wakes up in second half to roll past I-AA foe 09/10/11 [Last modified: Saturday, September 10, 2011 9:18pm]
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