MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Just about everyone did a little bit of everything for the offense as No. 11 West Virginia ran away from Marshall in the final game of the seven-year Coal Bowl series, 69-34.
"Obviously," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said, "we wanted to go out on top."
A crowd of 59,120 at Mountaineer Field saw the Mountaineers get 10 touchdowns from eight players and win their ninth straight season-opener. That ties the second-longest streak in school history (1919-27) and trails only the 11-year streak from 1980-1990, the first 11 years of Hall of Fame Coach Don Nehlen's 21 years at the school.
Shawne Alston, Andrew Buie, Tavon Austin and Geno Smith all had at least 65 yards rushing and Buie, Alston and Smith had touchdowns. Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods were among the seven players who caught passes and Austin, Woods and Bailey all had touchdowns from Smith.
He completed 32 of his 36 attempts for 323 yards and four touchdowns in a little more than three quarters added 65 yards rushing. The Mountaineers had 413 of their 655 yards in the first half of their first game since the 70-33 Orange Bowl romp against Clemson Jan. 4.
WVU had 644 yards of offense and was averaging 9.5 yards per play when it removed most of its starters early in the fourth quarter leading 69-20.
Austin caught 10 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown and added 66 yards rushing. Bailey caught nine passes for 104 yards and two scores and J.D. Woods had seven receptions for seven catches for 75 yards and a score - and he caught seven passes all of last season. Alston carried 16 times for 123 yards and two scores. Buie added 80 yards rushing and 31 receiving.
The Mountaineers split 648 yards evenly between 34 completions 34 rushes rushing.
"That's about as balanced as you can be," Holgorsen said. "We spread the ball around to a lot of people. The balance standpoint is more important to me. If we're running the ball and we're not getting any yards, then we'll start throwing it more. That's what the offense is able to do."
Marshall lost its third straight season-opener and hasn't beaten a FBS team in a season-opener since topping Clemson to begin the 1999 season. Quarterback Rakeem Cato completed 38 of 54 passes for 413 yards and two touchdowns. Ten Thundering Herd players caught at least two passes, led by Eric Frohnapfel's six catches for 60 yards and a score. The offense totaled 532 yards on 101 snaps, averaged 5.4 yards per play and converted 9 of 19 third downs.