Smith, who was 32-for-36 passing Saturday, helped WVU establish a Mountaineer Field record for total offense: 655 yards. The team fell 19 yards shy of the program's all-time mark for total offense (674 yards), set in 1923 against Washington & Lee.
Saturday wasn't all bad for Marshall, which played a significant role in the 1,200 yards of total offense in the highest-scoring game in the 32-year history of Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium (previous record: 90 points, 2005 - WVU 46, Louisville 44, triple overtime).
MU second-year starting quarterback Rakeem Cato threw for 413 yards, the 18th-best total in program history. That's also the top single-game passing total ever for a Marshall sophomore and the most yards a Herd QB has ever thrown for against BCS competition.
Herd quarterbacks have thrown for 400 yards against East Carolina, VMI, Western Carolina (twice), Northeast Louisiana, Central Michigan, Appalachian State (twice), Buffalo (twice), Delaware, Akron (twice), Troy State, Furman, Toledo (twice), New Hampshire, Virginia Tech, Temple, Kent State, Eastern Kentucky, Ball State and, now, West Virginia.
Byron Leftwich threw for 406 yards against the Hokies in 2002. Leftwich also saw the end to his single-game regular season record for completions (37). Cato went 38-for-54 in his 10th career start. He was one of three Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks to surpass 400 yards in college football's opening week.
For more perspective on the "other" quarterback at Mountaineer Field on Saturday, consider this: Smith's top passing performance as a sophomore was 352 yards. He didn't eclipse 400 yards until the fourth game of his junior season (463 vs. LSU).
Think Cato will have fun in the coming weeks? He'll get FCS member Western Carolina in the home opener this Saturday, and Rice (Sept. 29) and Southern Mississippi (Oct. 20) in three of the next six games. It's a small, one-week sample, but Rice and USM would've ranked last and next-to-last if not for WVU carving up Marshall's defense.
Southern Miss allowed 632 total yards of offense to Nebraska. Rice gave up 646 yards to UCLA.
Western Carolina's lone FBS opponent last season, Georgia Tech, racked up 662 yards of total offense against the Catamounts to open 2011.
West Virginia scored a measly 110 points in its final four Big East games last season, causing some to wonder if the Orange Bowl was more fluke than the future.
Smith is 64-for-89 passing for 730 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. He had just four incomplete passes and WVU punted only twice against the Herd.
In the past eight quarters, WVU has 20 touchdowns (18 offensive, two defensive) against seven punts.
No flukes here ... and that goes for Cato, too.