Associated Press Photo
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Sports Network) - Geno Smith passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns -- all to Tavon Austin -- on 30-of-43 efficiency, as the eighth- ranked West Virginia Mountaineers topped the Maryland Terrapins, 31-21, at Puskar Stadium.
Austin led all receivers with 179 yards on 13 receptions for the Mountaineers (3-0), who showed no signs of slowing down after a 30-point win over James Madison last week.
Perry Hills also totaled three TD passes, including a pair to Stefon Diggs, to back a 20-completion, 305-yard performance for the Terrapins (2-2), who have lost two in a row. The true freshman was sacked five times, lost a fumble which was returned for a touchdown, and was also intercepted once.
Diggs ended with 113 yards on three catches, and Marcus Leak contributed a touchdown grab in defeat.
A defensively-oriented third quarter produced no points, but West Virginia struck early in the fourth as Smith and Austin combined one final time, this one a 34-yard score and 31-14 contest. The Mountaineers began on their own 33- yard line after Terence Garvin recovered a Leak fumble.
Maryland, though, responded in just two plays, the latter a 56-yard pass from Hills to Diggs that pulled the visitors within 10 again and 7:25 left in regulation.
But Hills was picked off by Wes Tonkery inside WVU territory with just over 4 1/2 remaining, and the Mountaineers were able to kill off the rest of the clock on an eight-play drive helped by a roughing-the-passer call on the Terps.
West Virginia got on the board midway through the first quarter when Hills coughed up the ball while being sacked and Doug Rigg raced 51 yards the other way for the game's opening score.
It was 14-0 for the hosts on a 44-yard connection between Smith and Austin, but Maryland responded with a 42-yard catch-and-run from Diggs with less than two minutes to play in the first quarter.
Leak then hauled in a 12-yard pass from Hills and the Terps drew even early in the second quarter.
Tyler Bitancourt connected from 37 yards out on the hosts ensuing series to make it a 17-14 contest, then Smith found a wide-open Austin in the end zone for a 24-yard strike and 24-14 game at the half.