MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Geno Smith threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 11 West Virginia to a 69-34 win over Marshall on Saturday in the Mountaineers' highest-scoring season opener in school history.
Smith kept the momentum going from his six-TD performance from the Orange Bowl, when West Virginia beat Clemson 70-33.
The senior completed 32 of 36 passes without an interception and set a school record for career completions before sitting out most of the fourth quarter.
In the final scheduled game between the state's only Bowl Subdivision teams, West Virginia's points surpassed a 66-22 win over Richmond to start the 1958 opener.
The 103 total points easily were the most since the series with Marshall resumed in 2006.
The Mountaineers compiled 655 total yards, more than any game last year, and got the balance they've sought from their running game.
Shawne Alston ran for 123 yards and two scores. The Mountaineers compiled 331 yards on the ground against a Marshall defense that limited WVU to 42 a year ago.
Smith had TD tosses of 32 and 5 yards to Stedman Bailey, 6 yards to Tavon Austin and 9 yards to J.D. Woods.
Bailey caught nine passes for 104 yards and Austin had 10 catches. His touchdown grab was set up by his 70-yard run around left end.
Smith now has 651 career completions. Marc Bulger held the old school mark of 630 set from 1996-99.
Things went so well for the Mountaineers that Smith scored on a 28-yard run on a busted play late in the third quarter.
And West Virginia's defense got in on the fun. On the next series, Terence Garvin stripped Marshall's Rakeem Cato. Isaiah Bruce picked up the loose ball and went 43 yards for a score for a 55-17 lead.
Doug Rigg's 46-yard interception return early in the fourth set up backup Paul Millard's 3-yard TD toss to K.J. Myers for West Virginia's final points.
But West Virginia's retooled defense showed it has plenty of work after allowing 545 yards to Marshall.
Joe DeForest, West Virginia's first-year defensive coordinator, will have two weeks to tweak his new 3-4 scheme. The Mountaineers' next game is Sept. 15 against FCS James Madison at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins.
The addition of Boston College transfers LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha at starting safety couldn't help Marshall's secondary.
The 236-pound Alston, who came on strong at the end of last season and won the starting job in preseason camp, dragged Marshall tacklers all day. He had 51 yards on West Virginia's first two series, capping the second one with a 3-yard TD run.
He bounced off five defenders to score on a 21-yard run early in the third quarter.
The smaller Andrew Buie was a solid change of pace, getting 18 and 24 yards on consecutive second-quarter runs, the latter a draw play that went for a touchdown.
Travon Van scored two short rushing touchdowns for Marshall. Rakeem Cato completed 38 of 54 passes for 413 yards but the Thundering Herd couldn't keep up with West Virginia's onslaught.
West Virginia scored on four straight possessions after Marshall had closed to 13-7 early in the second quarter.
West Virginia's 413 yards of offense in the first half were their most for any half since 2007.