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WVU QB Focused On Victories

September 30, 2012
By JIM ELLIOTT - Staff Writer (elliott@theintelligencer.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MORGANTOWN - What can you say about Geno Smith that the folks at the Downtown Athletic Club won't potentially engrave on a really important trophy some day?

It was already nearly impossible to say his name without using the word record in the sentence, then came Saturday's 11-on-11 offensive drill against Baylor.

"I don't know how you can improve on that," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "He was 45 of 51 for 656 yards and eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. Can you please explain to me how you can improve on that?"

Smith chimed in with the answer there.

"I could have completed those five or six I had incomplete," he said. "We didn't score that first drive. We had a couple drives that stalled. We had a couple of situations where I forced some balls where I could have scrambled and picked up 3 or 4 yards. I'm just trying to continue to get better on my decision-making and getting better as a player overall."

There can't be too much room for improvement. In leading this offense to its third 10-touchdown game in its last five outings, Smith upped his season numbers to 20 TD passes and still zero interceptions.

With a completion percentage of 88, he set the nation's best mark since 2000 with a minimum of 50 attempts. At one point, he completed a school record 14 straight, continuing to push Marc Bulger's name down lists he used to rule.

Smith obliterated his own single-game record with those eight touchdown passes, along with his single-game passing yards, and completions records.

He was so good, he completed a touchdown pass to a player, Stedman Bailey, who had admittedly given up on a play, lulling his defenders to sleep.

"I went through my one-two-three reads, Stedman was the first. Then I got back to him and he was open so I delivered him the ball," was how Smith recalled the play, which went for 39 yards and was Bailey's fifth pass reception for a touchdown in the game.

Bailey recalled it thusly: "I just gave up on the play, honestly," Bailey said. "I had them beat at the beginning but I saw Geno going to his right a little bit and I kinda felt like 'OK, I guess I'm out of the read' so I slowed down. Next thing I know, he fires it out. Those guys slowed down too so it worked down pretty good."

Bailey's 303 receiving yards blew away Chris Henry's previous school record of 209. (Tavon Austin, with 14 catches for 215 yards, passed it too). Together, they became the first pair of receivers to each surpass 200 in a game in college football since Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola did it for Texas Tech in a similar offense in 2007. They also tied each other for a school record with their 10th 100-yard games.

They've done all of this with Smith throwing them the ball. And he's not done yet.

"I'm going to keep getting better," Smith said. "I've got a lot football left in my career. Up to this point, I think I've had better games. Statistically, it's my best game ever, but I've got a lot of games left."

 
 

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