MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Geno Smith was the last of West Virginia's football players to meet with the media following Saturday's 31-21 victory against Maryland.
The quarterback of the ninth-ranked Mountaineers needed - and took - a little longer than normal to get out of his uniform, into the shower and out of the locker room, but he also slipped into the trainer's room for brief treatment.
Smith was sacked for the first time in 296 days and hit a number of other times. As a result, an observer asked Smith about how his body was after the game and Smith replied with an adjective that had been reserved for his performance the previous two games.
"Perfect," Smith said.
He was far from it against Maryland. A week after vowing not to throw an incomplete pass in the second half against James Madison - and then making good on that with an 11-for-11 streak - Smith had nine incomplete passes in the first two quarters against the Terrapins. He had nine the first two games.
Smith was 30-for-43 for 338 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, but his coach, Dana Holgorsen, said Smith was "a bit off."
"He got hit," Holgorsen said. "He got hit early and they were pressuring him. They got to him and that rattled him a little."
The Mountaineers (3-0) had a bit of a problem when preparing for the Terrapins (2-2), who opened the season with wins against William & Mary from the FCS and Temple, but lost a week earlier against a second Big East team, Connecticut.
"We didn't know what they were going to do defensively," offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said.
"They hadn't played anybody who even runs a formation that we run. It was a guessing game."
Smith said the Mountaineers were not surprised by or unprepared for the Terrapins or any specific scheme or personnel grouping. One concept stood out at the end, though.
"They blitzed the crap out of us," he said.
It worked, too, and Maryland not only took Smith down for the first time since the 2011 regular-season finale against South Florida, but did it twice and got to the previously unsacked quarterback many other times.
Smith said he held onto the ball too long on some plays, which led to hits and two sacks and even a holding penalty late in the game. He also said he unloaded the ball in a hurry other times and didn't make the right reads to get into a good play against the blitz.
This isn't a new tactic against Holgorsen's offense at WVU and the teams that beat WVU last season: LSU, Syracuse and Louisville. Or the teams that nearly pulled it off - Cincinnati and South Florida.