04/25/2013 - ROB RANG'S FINAL 2013 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD: 17. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith possesses all of the physical traits scouts are looking for at his position, as well as the work ethic to build upon them. He also improved his completion percentage and touchdown/interception ratio in each of his three starting seasons, culminating in a senior campaign in which he completed a sparkling 71.24 percent of his passes and threw 42 touchdowns against six interceptions. A reportedly stellar performance at his Pro Day workout will push him up the board for some but only solidifies the first-round status he has had on my board all year long. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
04/24/2013 - His draft position murky, Geno Smith seems prepared for a fall...In what is being viewed by scouts and NFL execs as one of the more unpredictable drafts in recent history, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is one of the true wild cards. He's generally regarded as the best of a somewhat pedestrian group of passers, and there are at least six teams picking in the top eight that have a legitimate need at this most important position in pro sports. Yet, Smith's landing spot remains cloudy. I can't see a truly drastic fall, as someone will eventually make a deal to get him, but where three weeks ago I couldn't imagine him not going top 10, now it's more murky.
Smith's potential predicament was the topic du jour Wednesday morning in New York City at an NFL Play 60 event at Chelsea Waterside Park, where Smith was among a group of prospects who instructed kids on the fundamentals of the game and then met the media.
Where Smith lands is one of the biggest subplots to this draft, which finally kicks off Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall. It also happens to coincide with the birthday of his mother, Tracey, so Smith vows to enjoy the family time in the green room, no matter how long it might go, and make the best out of whatever the situation is.
"I'm just enjoying my time in New York," Smith said, as increasing numbers of media members began to flank him on all sides. "Whether or not I get drafted low, or high, it's not really a big deal to me. It's been a great experience, and I've always said I've been blessed for this opportunity." - Jason La Canfora, CBSSports.com
03/15/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: Former quarterback Ron Jaworski said on set that "anyone who watched this workout today understands this guy is a top-10 pick." Smith, however, doesn't feel he has to impress anyone any longer with his passing skills. "The scouts don't need to see me throw," he said. "They've seen it in games, they've seen it on tape. The main thing is I get into the classroom with them, let them understand who I am, my personality and my character," Smith said.
That was the case in his meeting with Bradley. "They all are impressed. I do believe I have a really good skill set and can spin the ball with the best of them. It's not an issue of can I make all the throws," Smith said. "I can make that. The main thing they want to see is how I react in the classroom, how much of the offense was I in control of, what things did I do in my offense and in my college career that can translate into the NFL. "We didn't do any board work in the meeting. We watched a little bit of tape, but really just talked." - The Sports Xchange
03/15/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: Smith's goal for this day was to make improvement over what he showed at the Combine. "Coming out of the Combine people wanted to see me improve in my footwork. They haven't seen much of me under center. It's something they all want to see, including myself. I'd like to see how I react to that," he said.
Smith isn't sure what his future holds between now and draft day. "As of right now I expect 10 to 12 interviews, maybe even more. I had a workout Monday with the Eagles that went well and I have something coming up with the Bills on the 22nd," he said. - The Sports Xchange
03/15/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: Geno Smith had just finished his Pro Day performance at West Virginia, a rather impressive throwing performance that could only enhance his position as the No. 1 quarterback in the draft, when he headed off like the aspiring professional he is for his next important appointment. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold the No. 2 selection behind Kansas City in the draft, wanted to meet with him. Smith held a long, in-depth session with first-year Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, who was part of a large Jacksonville contingent that included team president Mark Lamping. The meeting was long enough that Smith didn't arrive for his media session at the Mountaineers' football facility until after all the 15 other participants in Pro Day had gone through their interview sessions. - The Sports Xchange
03/14/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: Thursday's pro day was attended by 28 of 32 NFL teams. The Eagles worked out Smith earlier in the week and ran him through an unrehearsed, full-scale passing workout that exceeded 80 throws. Bills general manager Buddy Nix was present as were high-ranking reps for the Chiefs (No. 1), Jaguars (No. 2), Raiders (No. 3), Browns (6) and Cardinals (7), among others. Any team interested in Smith will want to see more, and get him out of the overpracticed routine he owned at the team's indoor practice facility Thursday. If he can replicate his pro day performance in that next phase of the predraft gauntlet after a solid showing at the scouting combine, Smith solidifies a spot in the top half of the first round. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
03/14/2013 - 2013 West Virginia Pro Day: West Virginia's campus was swimming with scouts Thursday. Quarterback Geno Smith and Tavon Austin were the star attractions. Smith showed a mastery of his 64-play scripted workout put together by his personal coach and former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke. He completed 60 of 64, with two drops by Stedman Bailey. Most impressive in the workout was his downfield touch and accuracy, zip on the move and balance throughout his compact release.
Smith's college playbook from the "Air Raid" system was mostly horizontal and crossing route dependent. Intermediate accuracy is his greatest strength. What evaluators need to see was whether Smith can throw on the move, maintain his balance and accuracy on rollouts and waggle design, and throw with zip while hitting targets at 25-plus yards and beyond. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
03/11/2013 - There is no quarterback of the future on the Eagles roster, and Philadelphia knows the question must be addressed. Michael Vick will be 33 and durability concerns are legitimate. His eight snaps and two injuries in training camp, previous rib injuries and 2012 concussion are top-of-mind matters for Roseman and Lurie. More than Smith, Florida State's EJ Manuel and Arizona's Matt Scott, who created buzz at the combine and continued rising with a stellar pro day last week, are more natural fits in Kelly's offense.
But what will the NFL iteration of the stun-and-gun look like? Kelly admitted the playbook is too plentiful right now and will be pared down significantly. Could he remodel to the extent that the pistol formation and spread sets are crafted to emphasize the strengths of Smith? Considering his reputation as in innovator and whiteboard wizard, we like Kelly's chances.
Consider the system adaptation that occured in Washington last season. Robert Griffin III's Baylor roots were everywhere in what had been a dyed-in-the-wool West Coast offensive scheme Mike Shanahan said he has carried for decades. By the end of the 2012 season, there were only traces of those principles.
Kelly wants the ball out of the quarterback's hand quickly. That's a drill he'll need Vick to master. Smith already knows it, and there's enough receiver talent in tow for him to make the transition quickly. Nick Foles might be 6-foot-6, but he's accurate on short and intermediate throws and moved pretty well within the pocket. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
03/11/2013 - The Philadelphia Eagles' interest in Geno Smith isn't a surprise...Sending a full contingent of team personnel, from coach Chip Kelly to general manager Howie Roseman and (pause for emphasis) owner Jeffrey Lurie - that should pique the interest of Philadelphians. Pro Football Talk first reported the trio trekked to West Virginia. West Virginia's Pro Day is Thursday, where Smith is scheduled to go through a scripted throwing session of 65-75 passes. The routine, by design, will showcase his accuracy and perhaps go an extra step to confirm the athleticism that surprised many at the Combine, when Smith posted a 4.56 40. Eyebrows were raised because Smith, who ran the "Air Raid" offense popularized by Texas Tech during Mike Leach's reign in Lubbock, was widely labeled a pocket passer.
Kelly's offense won't mandate speed at the quarterback position, he said last month, but mobility and ball-handling help in a system run at a frenzied pace. Rapid execution, on-the-fly reaction and poise in a system that ran a play about every 15 seconds -- most no-huddle teams are in the 18-20 range; Kelly was racking up 40-plus points a game at Oregon -- are most critical. Whether a rookie can be ready to do that or not falls on the shoulders of Kelly and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who started a rookie in Cleveland last season. (But Brandon Weeden ran an offense that was more of a knife-and-reamer equivalent to Kelly's five-speed juicer.) - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
03/01/2013 - 2013 NFL PRO DAY DATES TO REMEMBER: March 14 - West Virginia...Although he didn't "wow" at the combine, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was good-enough to maintain his No. 1 spot among the quarterbacks in this class. With several teams likely considering him in the top-10, like the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills, Smith's pro-day performance will likely carry a lot of weight with these teams. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/22/2013 - It's not breaking news that there isn't an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III type of quarterback prospect in this draft class. But does the success of those first-year players in the NFL elevate the expectations of this year's crop of quarterbacks? West Virginia's Geno Smith thinks so. "Those guys changed expectations for many quarterbacks, let alone rookies," Smith said. "Those guys stepped right in and were leaders, most [of them] from Day 1. And that's one thing I took from it. No matter what age difference, where you come from or what pick you are when you're taken for that role as a quarterback in the NFL, you have to lead by example. That's the thing all those guys did."
Smith is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 1 ranked quarterback for April's draft and is considered a strong possibility for the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 1 overall pick. If he is chosen with that top pick, he will be compared to quarterbacks taken that high in the past, fair or not. And with expectations come big responsibility. But Smith says he's not worried. "I don't feel any pressure," Smith said. "I'm totally confident in my abilities. I'm not cocky or trying to say I'm this all-world player right now because I have many areas where I need to grow. But I do feel like I have a great, tremendous skill-set and that I have an opportunity to showcase that. And it's something I look forward to." Regardless of the NFL expectations, Smith has next-level skills. And he believes that he has the leadership to match what last year's special group of rookie quarterbacks accomplished. "They set the bar very high," Smith said. "I want to be one of those guys that steps in and does the same thing." - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/2013 - Top 10 most intriguing players at the combine: 2. Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB: At one point last season, the Mountaineers were the most talked about team in the country as Smith piled up an eye-catching 24-0 TD-INT ratio. But then mid-October came, and things fell apart for WVU. The Mountaineers dropped five in a row, and Smith, whom some draft analysts were touting as the No. 1 overall pick, fell off the Heisman radar. Many of those same draft analysts are now saying he might not even go in the first round. Still, despite what many will feel was a down season, Smith completed a career-best 71 percent of his passes and produced a gaudy 42-6 TD-INT mark. And, at 6-foot-3, 225-pounds, Smith has the prototype size that the scouts covet and really good athleticism. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
02/20/2013 - Top 10 most intriguing players at the combine: 2. Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB: Jake Spavital, who coached first-round pick QB Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State, was Smith's quarterback coach the past two seasons. Spavital predicts the Miami native is going to turn some heads and impress scouts in Indy.
"Weeden's got that really quick release, but Geno's got a hose, too," said Spavital, praising Smith's footwork and sense of anticipation. "He can make that field comeback throw and every other throw you want. The things that I don't think people give him enough credit for are his ball skills with all the play-action stuff. "He's got big hands, is really smooth and can sell the play-action a lot longer. He can play in any system, and he'd flourish. I know he's going to run well, probably a lot faster than most people think, and coaches will see how football-smart he is." - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com
02/20/2013 - 2013 NFL Combine, 10 players to watch: 7. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia...In a quarterback class that doesn't have a certain top-20 prospect, Smith has an opportunity at Lucas Oil Stadium to shine with all 32 teams studying him. He needs to stand out not only on the field during passing drills, but also throughout the interview process as scouts grill him on his football knowledge and passion, especially after West Virginia's late-season collapse and his decision to skip the Senior Bowl. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/20/2013 - 2013 NFL Combine, Next question: Just like any interview you might have gone through, the players invited to the Combine are there to try to get a job. They have to impress their potential employers with intelligence and dedication. Each NFL team is allowed 60 formal player interviews. Each interview can last up to 15 minutes. The topics of conversation can fluctuate wildly from team to team and from player to player.
While it is still unknown if the Chiefs are considering West Virginia's Geno Smith for the No. 1 overall pick, he is widely believed to be the top quarterback on most teams' boards. But his interviews will be important for him to keep that distinction, answering for West Virginia's 2012 collapse (losing six of the final eight games) and why he decided not to compete in the Senior Bowl. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/08/2013 - At this time last year, there wasn't much doubt that a quarterback was going first in the draft. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III both had their supporters, but it was a safe assumption that the Colts were coming away with one of them. Even though they badly need a quarterback, things aren't so clear for the Chiefs this season and they won't have a chance to evaluate one of the top quarterback names at the Senior Bowl.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith announced on Twitter Tuesday that he will not be accepting the invite from the Senior Bowl to participate in the game later this month. It's not surprising to see a top quarterback prospect opt out of the game, but there was some hope that Smith would play after a rough performance in the team's bowl game loss to Syracuse last month. - Josh Alper, NBCSports.com
12/29/2012 - PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Geno Smith made his Big 12 debut by throwing for 646 yards with eight touchdowns in a 70-63 victory over Baylor and in his final Big 12 game he completed 23 of 24 passes without the ball hitting the turf (one interception) against hapless Pitt. Smith is strong-armed and accurate, very intelligent in his approach and a competitor who some are saying could be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft as well as a Heisman finalist. - The Sports Xchange
12/29/2012 - West Virginia comes into this year's bowl game off its greatest bowl moment, beating Clemson in last January's Orange Bowl 70-33 while setting 29 Orange Bowl records and setting or tying 15 NCAA bowl records. The Mountaineers' lowest point came in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, when its unbeaten team, quarterbacked by Major Harris, lost to Notre Dame 34-21 in a game for the national championship. Harris was injured early in the first quarter, and while he remained in the game, he was a non-factor. All-time the Mountaineers are 14-17 in bowl games, going back to 1922 when they beat Gonzaga 21-13 in the East-West Bowl.
Scouting the West Virginia passing game: WVU's passing game shattered records from the minute coach Dana Holgorsen came through the door. QB Geno Smith is the most prolific and accurate passer in school history, being the only man to pass for more than 4,000 yards at WVU, and he did it twice.
With two All-American-quality receivers in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, along with a solid receiver in J.D. Woods, Smith has the ability to spread the ball around and throw both short in a controlled passing game and long with Bailey as the target. - The Sports Xchange
12/29/2012 - Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for 217 yards and had three touchdowns, Syracuse scored twice on safeties and the Orange bid a snow-covered farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday. Syracuse (8-5) will enter the Atlantic Coast Conference on a roll after finishing this season with six wins in its last seven games, capped by its second postseason victory at Yankee Stadium in the last three years.
In a bowl game played in a baseball stadium with weather better suited for a playoff game in Green Bay, the team that plays in a dome ended up being better equipped to handle the elements. The Orange leaned on their running game to plow through former Big East rival West Virginia (7-6) and the snow. Jerome Smith added 158 yards rushing.
Geno Smith connected with Stedman Bailey for two touchdown passes, but the Mountaineers' quarterback also was sacked in the end zone in the first half and called for intentional grounding in the end zone in the second half as he tried to avoid another sack. Smith, who was an early Heisman Trophy front-runner as the Mountaineers got off to a 5-0 start this season, was 18 for 26 for 197 yards in the final game of his record-breaking career. The NFL awaits. - AP Sports
12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM (COACHES): QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, Sr., Miami, Fla./Miramara, has been selected Second Team All-Big 12 Conference (Coaches selection) for the 2012 college football season. Smith was selected to the all-Big 12 second team after passing for 4,004 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. Smith completed 71.4 percent of his passes while throwing just six interceptions. Smith came into this season as the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year. "The finger got pointed at him for not doing specific things well, but he's been playing well," said Holgorsen. "He's played well all year, he's a great quarterback, and I'm proud of his accomplishments." - West Virginia football
12/10/2012 - 2012 ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM (MEDIA): Quarterback: Geno Smith, West Virginia, 6-3, 220, Sr., Miami, has been selected Second Team All-Big 12 Conference (Media selection) for the 2012 college football season. Smith was selected to the all-Big 12 second team after passing for 4,004 yards and 40 touchdowns this season. Smith completed 71.4 percent of his passes while throwing just six interceptions. Smith came into this season as the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year. "The finger got pointed at him for not doing specific things well, but he's been playing well," said Holgorsen. "He's played well all year, he's a great quarterback, and I'm proud of his accomplishments." - West Virginia football
12/01/2012 - Geno Smith threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns to lead West Virginia to a 59-10 win over Kansas on Saturday. Smith completed 23 of 24 passes and became the first West Virginia quarterback to throw for 40 touchdowns in a season. His 95.8 completion percentage matched the single-game Bowl Subdivision record set by Tennessee's Tee Martin against South Carolina in 1998. Afterward, cornerback Brodrick Jenkins threw a cupful of liquid on Smith, who jogged around the stadium to shake hands with fans in the final home game for him and 20 other seniors.
Smith had passing plays of 40 yards or more to four different receivers. Biletnikoff Award finalist Stedman Bailey had 159 receiving yards and two touchdown grabs to boost his Bowl Subdivision leading total to 23. West Virginia (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) finished with 650 yards of offense. Kansas (1-11, 0-9) lost for the 11th straight time, the longest streak at the school since the Jayhawks lost 17 straight from 1953-55. - AP Sports
11/29/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 13: 2. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the second spot: With RB Shawne Alston returning to the lineup combined with Tavon Austin also playing some running back, the Mountaineers have taken some pressure off of Smith. He is playing more relaxed and looks closer to the quarterback who dominated the early part of the season. Smith's numbers on Saturday against Iowa State -- 22 of 31 for 236 yards and two touchdowns -- were nowhere near what he was putting up the first four weeks of the season, but he's making better throws and his accuracy has returned.
Season stats (11 games): 327 of 466 (70.2 percent), 3,597 yards, 37 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 150 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs. Player ranking: Smith is ranked No. 10 overall and is rated as the best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings.
Up next: West Virginia welcomes Kansas to Morgantown, which could be a treat for Smith. The Jayhawks rank sixth in pass defense in the Big 12 (283.64 yards allowed per game), but their last time out they allowed Iowa State's Sam Richardson to throw for 250 yards and four touchdowns in his first game as a redshirt freshman. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com
11/29/2012 - 2012 MANNING AWARD FINALIST: Geno Smith (West Virginia)...Smith's yards per game average of 340.64 is greater than all but two of the finalists and his completions per game rank at the top of the list. The WVU quarterback also has the most touchdown passes and the fewest interceptions of the other players up for the award. Of the 10 listed, Smith is one of three seniors to go along with four juniors, one sophomore and two freshmen. The SEC has three representatives, while the Pac 12 and Big 12 show two and the ACC, MAC and Big Ten have one apiece. Baylor's Robert Griffin, III won the award last season. The ninth winner of the Manning Award will be announced on Wed., Jan. 9. - West Virginia Illustrated
11/25/2012 - QB Geno Smith has 97 touchdown passes in his career, six short of Pat White's record of 103 set from 2005 to 2008.
11/22/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 12: 3. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the third spot: Given a productive running game for the first time in a month and a half, Smith finally was able to take advantage of some favorable matchups against Oklahoma last Saturday. He threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns against the Sooners, who hadn't allowed a 300-yard passer all season and had only given up a combined total of three passing scores in their first nine games.
Season stats (10 games): 305 of 435 (70.1 percent), 3,361 yards, 35 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 135 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs. Player ranking: Smith is ranked No. 10 overall and is rated as the best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: The Mountaineers' offense has a favorable matchup on Black Friday against Iowa State, as the Cyclones' pass defense is No. 110 in the nation, allowing 283.64 yards per game. Smith could up gaudy numbers again. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com
11/18/2012 - QB Geno Smith's first touchdown pass of the Oklahoma game, a 33-yard connection with Stedman Bailey in the second quarter, was his 32nd of the season, a WVU record. Smith (2011) and Marc Bulger (1998) shared the previous record of 31. The record now stands at 35.
11/14/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 11: 3. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the third spot: On Saturday against Oklhoma State, Smith put up closer to the passing numbers that were the norm early in the season -- 364 yards and two touchdowns -- but his team still lost. That's not all on Smith, as the Mountaineers' defense had another subpar day. Smith did show some nice accuracy on his deep ball, which was something he had not been doing as well as of late. He's dropped from the top spot on the draft board, but he's still the top-rated quarterback. Season stats (nine games): 285 of 400 (71.3 percent), 3,041 yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 83 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs. Player ranking: Smith is ranked No. 6 overall and rated as the top quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Smith has a tough challenge this week, going up against Oklahoma and the Big 12's top-rated passing defense. The Sooners are allowing only 170.2 passing yards per game and have given up only three passing touchdowns in nine games. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com
11/07/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 10: 3. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the third spot: Maybe someone told Smith he might be the No. 1 draft pick and have to play for the Kansas City Chiefs. Maybe Smith didn't like the sound of that. OK, that's probably not true, but it's as good of an explanation as any for his recent struggles. He wasn't awful against TCU, throwing for 260 yards and three touchdowns. But Smith isn't close to as accurate and confident in his reads as he was earlier this season. Season stats (eight games): 249 of 346 (71.9 percent), 2,677 yards, 29 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 84 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked No. 1 overall and rated as the top quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: It doesn't get much easier for Smith, as the Mountaineers must travel to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State this weekend. The Cowboys have the No. 31 pass efficiency defense in the nation. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com
10/23/2012 - OCT 22 NFL DRAFT SCOUT FALLER: QB GENO SMITH, WEST VIRGINIA...West Virginia's defense is the No. 1 reason for the Mountaineers struggles of late, but quarterback Geno Smith has earned his spot on this week's "Faller" list, coming off back-to-back rocky performances. Over the first five games (five wins), he completed 81.4% of his passes with an astonishing 24-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio. And the past two contests (both losses)? Smith has just 57.5% completions and two touchdowns, along with his first two interceptions of the season. The past two games, the opposing offenses (Texas Tech and Kansas State) jumped out to big leads and Smith struggled to rally his team and answer with the big plays that wowed us earlier this season. Against the Wildcats Saturday night, he appeared hesitant and a tad gun-shy with his longest completion going for just 13 yards. Smith stayed tough in the pocket, but his mental toughness has been questioned as he appeared uncontrollably discouraged on the sideline and had little answers for Kansas State's good, but far from great defense, which ranks 62nd in the nation against the pass. He is still the No. 1 ranked quarterback on NFLDraftScout.com's rankings and projected top-10 pick, but with a bye this weekend, Smith needs to regroup and get back on track in order to ease the minds of NFL evaluators. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/23/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 8: 2. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the second spot: Smith and the WVU offense have come crashing back down to earth in the past two weeks, struggling to put up points against Texas Tech and Kansas State in a pair of blowout losses. Smith tossed his first two picks of the season against the Wildcats on Saturday and struggled as much as ever, but he still has as much talent as any quarterback in this draft class. Season stats (seven games): 216 of 291 (74.2 percent), 2,414 yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 56 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked No. 1 overall and rated as the top quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Smith and the suddenly reeling Mountaineers have a week off before facing TCU, which has the Big 12's third-best pass defense, allowing a relatively low 221.43 yards per game through the air. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com
10/22/2012 - No. 17 West Virginia is in a free fall. The Mountaineers surrendered scores on No. 4 Kansas State's first eight possessions and had no chance of catching up behind Geno Smith, falling to the Wildcats 55-14 Saturday night. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein ran for four scores and threw for three more. The anticipated Showdown in Morgantown was one sided, with West Virginia providing little fight. "This is about as low as it gets," Smith said. "I've never had to deal with adversity of this manner and I've got to do a better job of being a leader and stepping up and getting guys to respond." Just like a 49-14 loss to Texas Tech a week ago, there will be plenty of blame to go around again for the Mountaineers, especially on defense. Kansas State didn't punt until there were 10 minutes left in the game. Klein threw for a career-high 323 yards. He went 19 of 21 without an interception. "I hope they're embarrassed," West Virginia defensive coordinator Joe DeForest said of his unit. "I'm embarrassed. This is not how a West Virginia defense is played." West Virginia has allowed an average of 53 points over its last four games, so Kansas State's offensive prowess wasn't a shocker. But a second straight lethargic game from West Virginia's offense was. The Mountaineers didn't cross midfield until midway through the third quarter and were limited to 243 total yards. Smith threw his first two interceptions of the season and was sacked four times. Smith completed 21 of 32 passes for just 143 yards - far below the enormous numbers he put up earlier in the season in moving into the Heisman Trophy discussion. "We've got no excuses," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. "It starts with me. We've got to keep plugging along and trying to get better." - AP Sports
10/17/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 7: 2. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the second spot: The numbers for most quarterbacks would not have looked that bad -- 29 of 55 for 295 yards and a touchdown -- but for Smith, his performance against Texas Tech was not up to his usual standards. Coach Dana Holgorsen blamed his low completion percentage on the Lubbock wind, but Smith debunked that theory. This was simply an off game. His receivers dropped passes for what seemed like the first time all year and his accuracy was not what we've come to expect. The one positive was that Smith extended his streak without an interception. Season stats (six games): 195 of 259 (75.3 percent), 2,271 yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 71 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked second overall and rated as the top quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Kansas State comes to Morgantown this weekend with one of the Big 12's best defenses. The Wildcats only rank seventh against the pass in the conference (238.5 yards per game), but they have a way of forcing quarterbacks into bad decisions -- see Landry Jones. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com
10/15/2012 - Week 7 Rewind: As dramatic as Geno Smith's ascent up the Heisman and NFL draft board had been over the course of West Virginia's first five games in 2012, the balloon certainly popped Saturday in the No. 5 Mountaineers' humbling 49-14 loss to Texas Tech. Smith, who entered the game completing a staggering 81.4 percent of his passes and averaging 12.02 yards per throw this year, saw less than 52.7 percent (29 of 55) of his throws caught for a total of 275 yards in this contest. He did not throw an interception, continuing his streak of not giving the ball up to the opposing defense all season long, but also threw only one touchdown. Smith's previous low for the season was the three he had tossed in a 31-21 win over Maryland Sept. 22. Perhaps most disconcerting for scouts is that Smith and his West Virginia teammates struggled against a defense that frankly isn't blessed with a great deal of future NFL talent. Nevertheless, Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville and defensive coordinator Art Kaufman created a superb game plan that resulted in Smith consistently being forced up and out of the pocket with his receivers struggling to find free lanes, as they'd so easily over the first month and a half of the year. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
10/10/2012 - The latest HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll released on Tuesday once again shows West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with a commanding lead in the race for the most prestigious trophy in sports. Smith captured 10 out of a possible 11 first-place votes from the weekly panel of Heisman voters from around the country for a total of 30 points, putting him well out in front of his nearest competitor, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein (16 points). It's the fourth straight week Smith has led the survey. "Smith is showing no signs of slowing down," one voter said. "If this keeps up, he'll win the Heisman in a landslide." Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller totaled seven points to finish third. The top three finishers this week were the same as last week, pointing to some stability in the race. USC wide receiver Marqise Lee was fourth with five points, and he picked up the panel's remaining first-place vote. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was fifth with three points. Five other players -- Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and LSU linebacker Kevin Minter -- tied for sixth with one point apiece. Heading into its seventh season, the former HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll has been reborn as the HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country the last five seasons, with the final 2011 poll correctly picking the top seven finishers. It is made up of 11 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis (just like a real Heisman ballot) with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com
10/10/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 6: 1. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the top spot: Smith continues to lead one of the nation's most explosive offenses and showed in last Saturday's 48-45 win at Texas that he can handle the pressure of a big-time road game and a talented opponent. His numbers didn't jump off the page nearly as much as they did in previous weeks, as Smith "only" threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns. But he continued to be error-free, as he has thrown 204 passes this season without a single pick. Season stats (five games): 166 of 204 (81.4 percent), 1,996 yards, 24 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 66 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked fourth overall and rated as the second-best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Smith and the Mountaineers have their second straight road trip to the Lone Star State this week, as WVU faces Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday. The Red Raiders boast the nation's No. 1 pass defense (117.4 yards per game allowed) so it's another chance for Smith to show what he can do against a quality opponent. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com
10/08/2012 - QB Geno Smith now has 24 touchdown passes and no interceptions. Smith has thrown 204 consecutive passes this season without an interception and is closing in on Trent Dilfer's FBS season record of 271. Going back to last season, Smith has thrown 259 consecutive passes without an interception, just 120 attempts shy of Russell Wilson's FSC record in 2008-09 when he was with North Carolina State.
10/06/2012 - Geno Smith passed for four touchdowns, leading No. 8 West Virginia to another wild shootout win in the Big 12, this time taking out No. 11 Texas 48-45 on Saturday night. Smith, who has 24 touchdown passes this season without an interception, hit Stedman Bailey with a 6-yard score with 10:50 left to play. Andrew Buie ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns, the second coming giving the Mountaineers a critical 10-point lead late. West Virginia (5-0, 2-0) didn't seal the win until recovering an onside kick with 14 seconds left after Texas scored a touchdown on a pass from David Ash to Marquise Goodwin. Joe Bergeron scored four touchdowns, all on short runs, for Texas (4-1, 1-1), which is 2-7 at home in conference games the since 2010. Smith was 25-of-35 passing for 268 yards in a game he had to be sharp. Texas' aggressive defense hit him early and often and forced a second quarter fumble that the Longhorns recovered for a touchdown. But just as he did when West Virginia ran up 70 points on Baylor a week earlier, Smith made all the big throws when the Mountaineers needed them in a game where every possession was critical. West Virginia went 5 for 5 on fourth downs. Buie was just as important to West Virginia's ability to carve up the Texas defense. He averaged 6.7 yards against a Texas defense that continues to struggle with tackling. - AP Sports
10/04/2012 - After Geno Smith's record performance against Baylor, the West Virginia quarterback had a choice: Either spend some quality time with his mother who was in town to see him play, or go watch game film. Sorry, mom. Smith handed over his box of pizza and was off to a study room, ready to put a 656-yard, 8-touchdown display against Baylor behind him. ''I don't reflect on that,'' Smith said. ''It's way in the back of my mind. I don't even care about it, to be honest with you.'' What is on his mind is the eighth-ranked Mountaineers' first Big 12 game in a hostile environment coming up Saturday night against No. 11 Texas. ''Got to focus on Texas,'' Smith said. ''We don't take wins into the next week. It sounds cliche. But that's really how we do things.'' The approach is working. In four games Smith has thrown for 20 touchdowns without an interception. He's completing an astounding 83 percent of his throws and is averaging 432 yards passing - 36 yards more than his nearest competitor nationally. His performance in the 70-63 win over Baylor moved him from Heisman Trophy hopeful to the center of attention. And any doubts about his elite status can be removed if the Mountaineers (4-0, 1-0) beat the Longhorns (4-0, 1-0). ''He seems smart. He's composed,'' said Texas coach Mack Brown. ''He has all the pressure of trying to win the Heisman, handle all the stuff. He seems to handle it with poise and grace all the time. But, boy is he good.'' - AP Sports
10/02/2012 - BIG 12: NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 5: 1. Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the top spot: Obviously the numbers blow you away. He's now on pace to break several NCAA single-season passing records. He's worked his way up to No. 4 on our prospect rankings, and the talk has started that he might be the first quarterback taken in the draft, ahead of USC's Matt Barkley. Watch the tape of Smith against Baylor and it's almost more convincing than the numbers. His accuracy was perfect, and he wasn't just dinking and dunking it down the field. Smith made several deep throws that were on the money. He had great pocket awareness and footwork, making subtle movements in the pocket to put himself in the perfect position to wait for his receivers to break open. He has yet to throw an interception and we're still waiting for him to make a questionable decision. The defenses he plays will get better -- the Mountaineers travel to Texas this week -- but so far, Smith has passed every test. Season stats (four games): 141 of 169 (83.4 percent), 1,728 yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 99 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked fourth overall and rated as the second-best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Smith will go up against the most talented Big 12 defense in Texas, which ranks second in the Big 12 in interceptions (7) and fourth in sacks (9). The Longhorns gave up 301 passing yards to Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh last week, but they did pick off Walsh once. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com
10/02/2012 - 10/01/12 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: QB GENO SMITH, WEST VIRGINIA...Any discussion of the current NFL Draft risers this week needs to begin with Geno Smith after his ridiculously-productive performance on Saturday against Baylor. He finished 45-for-51 (88.2%) for 656 yards, eight passing touchdowns and zero interceptions, numbers that most quarterbacks struggle to achieve over the course of multiple games, let alone one. Smith showed his cerebral passing abilities in all four quarters, scanning the field and working through his progressions. He moves well for his size to evade pressure in the pocket and also pick up chunks of yards on the ground, moving the sticks with his arm and legs. Smith made impressive decisions to all levels of the field and really showed a full understanding of the offense, knowing where his targets are at all times and finding them with accuracy, especially on deep bucket throws. He looked comfortable and confident all day, rarely seeming rattled by anything around him - and that maturity is what NFL scouts took away most from this game. While extremely impressive, Smith's gaudy statistics came against a porous Baylor defense that entered the game ranked 117th nationally in total defense and now rank dead-last (124th) after Saturday's air raid. Nonetheless, his record-breaking performance is sure to grab attention and bolster his draft status, currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 10 overall prospect. The NFL will have their eyes on Smith next week as he travels to Austin to face a tough Longhorn defense and his first Big 12 road test, a match-up that could potentially teach us a lot more than last week. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/01/2012 - Week 5 Rewind: Considering the remarkable season enjoyed by Robert Griffin III for Baylor a year ago, it is perhaps appropriate that it was against his beloved Bears that West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith emerged as the favorite to succeed RGIII as the winner of the 2013 Heisman Trophy. Smith's numbers in a thrilling 70-63 victory that served as WVU's Big 12 debut reads like something out of a video game. The 6-4, 220 pound senior quarterback completed 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and a sparkling eight touchdowns against zero interceptions. Heisman voters will be impressed - whether they watched the game, the highlights or simply read about Smith's sparkling performance the next day. And as crazy as it sounds, when NFL scouts break down his performance against Baylor, they'll find that Smith was actually, at times, even better than his stat-line would indicate. They'll see that his 88.2% completion rate was hardly just a function of West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen's explosive offense or even terrible coverage by Baylor's defense. They'll see that while Smith certainly was well protected in this contest and woeful tackling allowed WVU's receivers to rack up gaudy yardage after the catch numbers, that the Mountaineer quarterback simply picked apart the Baylor defense with his eyes pre and post-snap and by demonstrating outstanding accuracy on a number of NFL-caliber throws. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
10/01/2012 - Week 5 Rewind: Like Griffin a year ago, Smith is often typecast as a running quarterback because of the fact that he's very athletic. The trait that led Griffin a season ago to eventually challenging Andrew Luck as the top quarterback prospect in the country, however, wasn't his electric running ability but his downfield accuracy. Griffin completed an extraordinary 72.39% of his passes last season despite averaging 14.75 yards per attempt - the most of any FBS quarterback. Smith's yards per attempt (12.26) this year is slightly lower but he is completing them with much greater regularity (82.3%) and, of course, most importantly, he simply doesn't turn the ball over. Counting his performance against Baylor, Smith has now thrown 20 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season. It remains to be seen if Smith can play better as the pressure rises - as Griffin did so well a year ago. Should Smith continue to play this well, however, he won't have to wait as long as Griffin to emerge as the clear-cut Heisman Trophy favorite and he won't just challenge Matt Barkley to be the first quarterback selected in the 2013 draft. If Smith is capable of playing at this level against the top teams in the Big 12 - starting with Texas October 6 - he could run away with both titles. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
10/01/2012 - WEEK 5 BIG 12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB, Miami, Fla.,...Geno Smith passed for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in West Virginia's 70-63 victory over Baylor. The senior quarterback completed 45-of-51 passes, had no interceptions, and tied a Big12 record with his eight scoring tosses. Smith's passing yards (656) and completions (45) were both school records. He had a long completion of 87 yards that went for one of his touchdown throws. Three of Smith's receivers had 100 or more receiving yards in the game. He was named Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. - Big 12 football
10/01/2012 - Week 5 Rewind: Smith completed seven of nine attempts that traveled at least 15 yards and was especially deadly on deep balls down the hash and sideline. Smith's ability to hit his receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin in full stride played a critical role in their consistently generating yardage after the catch. He accomplished this on a variety of throws including a hot-read quick out to defeat an unexpected blitz, a deep out versus Cover Two in which he kept the safety honest with his quick progression and a number of picture perfect deep balls. As it turns out, perhaps his most difficult pass of the day may have actually been his shortest completion. Smith showed beautiful touch to lob the ball over a Missouri defender and into the waiting hands of Bailey just as the 5-10, 195 Percy Harvin clone ran out of the back of the endzone. The pass was officially recognized as just a two-yard touchdown. The "drop in the bucket" type touch it required to be completed to such a short receiver from that distance, however, is a rare talent. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/30/2012 - QB Geno Smith set the WVU record for consecutive completions with 14 in the second quarter, breaking the record of 13 set by Marc Bulger against East Carolina in 1999.
09/30/2012 - WEEK 5 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Geno Smith, West Virginia, Senior, Quarterback, Miami, FL/Miramar HS...West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith passed for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in the ninth-ranked Mountaineers' 70-63 victory over 25th-ranked Baylor. Smith completed 45-of-51 passes, had no interceptions, and tied a conference record with his eight scoring tosses. Six of Smith's WVU receivers had 100 or more receiving yards in the game. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation
09/29/2012 - Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and tied a Big 12 record with eight touchdown passes to lead No. 9 West Virginia to a 70-63 win over No. 25 Baylor on Saturday. Smith outdueled Baylor's Nick Florence, who had a standout game of his own with 581 yards and five TDs. Baylor's Terrance Williams set a Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving. The old mark was set minutes earlier by West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and five TDs. Williams' 8-yard scoring catch brought Baylor (3-1) within 70-63 with 3:08 left. But Dustin Garrison ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers (4-0) ran out the clock. It marked the most points scored in a game involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous record of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma's 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980. - AP Sports
09/29/2012 - It didn't take West Virginia long to adapt to the Big 12 style of football. With quarterback Geno Smith putting together a day unlike any other signal caller in WVU history, the Mountaineers went over and through Baylor for 70-63 victory in their first Big 12 game. Smith continued to inscribe his name on the Heisman Trophy as he broke school records for completions (45), yards (656) and touchdowns (eight). He completed 45 of 51 passes. "Statistically, it was my best game ever but I think I've had better games," Smith said. Receiver Stedman Bailey caught 13 passes, breaking the record for yardage with 303 and scoring five touchdowns. Tavon Austin also caught a school record 14 passes for 215 yards with two touchdowns while J.D. Woods caught also tied the mark with 13 for 114 yards with one touchdown. Nick Florence broke the Baylor school record, set by last year's Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, for yardage with 581 with five touchdowns. "I thought Nick Florence had a great game," coach Art Briles said. "I thought he really handled himself well. He stayed in control of his emotions very well." Baylor also had three 100-yard receivers as Terrance Williams broke Baylor records with 17 receptions for 314 yards with two touchdowns. Tevin Reese caught passes for 120 yards and Lanear Sampson 109. - The Sports Xchange
09/27/2012 - He's second nationally in passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense. He has yet to throw an interception and will face a Baylor defense that is allowing 315 yards passing per game. Only seven other FBS teams have allowed more. Three solid games have thrust Smith into the Heisman Trophy discussion. The early part of the Big 12 schedule should go a long way toward determining whether he'll stay there. After playing Baylor, West Virginia has road games at No. 12 Texas and at Texas Tech. West Virginia hasn't seen this much Heisman talk since Major Harris finished in the top five in voting in 1988 and 1989. And Smith has come to expect it, especially after USC's Matt Barkley had a lackluster game in a loss at Stanford earlier this month. Smith, who along with Barkley attended Peyton and Eli Manning's passing academy in Louisiana over the summer, isn't focused on the hype. "I hope Matt Barkley bounces back because he's a great guy," Smith said. "I understand that the accolades and the attention is just going to continue to come as we gain more success. I just want to be prepared for it, stay humble and just keep working as we always do." Smith is coming off a 4,000-yard season in 2011 and has thrown for 1,072 yards and 12 TDs already this season. "There's always room for improvement," Smith said. "My guys have been doing a great job catching the ball, getting up field and making me look really good. I can't say that all of the credit is on me. It's just a product of the system and being around great guys. We wish to continue to get better, because it's a long season. We have a long ways to go." - AP Sports
09/25/2012 - BIG 12 NFL DRAFT PROSPECT WATCH - WEEK 4: 1. QB Geno Smith, 6-3, 220, West Virginia: Why he has the top spot: In Saturday's 31-21 win over Maryland -- an outing some considered a down game for Smith and the Mountaineers offense -- he still put up quality numbers, completing 30 of 43 passes for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns without tossing an interception. He is the clubhouse leader in the Heisman Trophy race and simply hasn't made a real mistake through one-quarter of his regular season. Season stats (three games): 96 of 118 passing (81.36 percent), 1,072 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 67 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD. Player ranking: Smith is ranked 10th overall and rated as the second-best quarterback in CBSSports.com's latest player rankings. Up next: Smith gets to make his Big 12 debut when Baylor (3-0) visits Morgantown on Saturday. If statistical trends hold, the senior should have an excellent chance to put up gaudy numbers yet again, as Baylor ranks 113th out of 120 FBS teams in passing defense, yielding 315 yards per game through the air to SMU, Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe. Smith and the Mountaineers have a much more polished passing attack than any of those teams. - Patrick Southern, CBSSports.com
09/23/2012 - QB Geno Smith broke former QB Marc Bulger's school career record for pass attempts with his second pass against Maryland. Bulger had thrown 1,023 passes in his career. Smith brings 1,065 pass attempts into the Baylor game.
09/23/2012 - It's the week West Virginia has been waiting for. After three double-digit wins in nonconference play, the Mountaineers now turn to their Big 12 debut against Baylor. Next Saturday, it will be all about lighting up the scoreboard. Baylor is averaging 51 points a game, the Mountaineers 47. Baylor's visit to Morgantown starts a round of introductions. West Virginia (3-0) has never played the Bears (3-0) in football, and not much against other current Big 12 members, either. Wide receiver Stedman Bailey says the Mountaineers are excited and ready to face some challenges. West Virginia is coming off a 31-21 win over Maryland on Saturday. The Mountaineers dipped from eighth to ninth in The Associated Press Top 25, while Baylor is in the rankings at No. 25. - AP Sports
09/23/2012 - QB Geno Smith was sacked for the first two times this season by Maryland and each was a big hit. He also had to scramble to avoid other sacks. Smith, however, threw three more TDs to give him 12 in three games this year while not being intercepted. He has thrown 118 passes in the three games without being intercepted.
09/22/2012 - Geno Smith threw three touchdown passes to Tavon Austin and No. 8 West Virginia outlasted Maryland 31-21 on Saturday. Doug Rigg returned a fumble 51 yards for West Virginia (3-0) and Austin had another remarkable game against his home-state Terrapins. The Baltimore native caught 13 passes for 179 yards and set a school record for career receptions. But West Virginia looked flat at times on offense, after averaging 56 points and 612 yards in its first two games. Smith had as many incompletions in the first half (nine) as he did in the first two games combined. He finished 30 of 43 for 338 yards. For Maryland (2-2), freshman Perry Hills threw for a season-high 305 yards and three touchdowns, two to freshman Stefon Diggs. - AP Sports
09/22/2012 - Wide receiver Tavon Austin, who spurned a full court recruiting blitz by Maryland after setting nearly all the state offensive rushing and scoring records as a high school player at Baltimore Dunbar High, continued to torment the Terps as he caught three touchdown passes Saturday in a hard-fought 31-21 West Virginia victory. Austin caught 13 passes from quarterback Geno Smith, who had his toughest game of the season, for 179 yards. The final touchdown, a 34-yard pass which broke the game open in the fourth quarter, was the 206th catch of his career, tying the school record set by Jock Sanders. Austin later broke the record. Against Maryland, which actually flew to one of his high school games in a helicopter trying to recruit him, he has caught 30 passes for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns in his career. Smith, one of the top early-season leading in the Heisman race, completed 30-of-43 passes for 338 yards and the three touchdowns. - The Sports Xchange
09/17/2012 - West Virginia's Geno Smith doesn't need to use his feet to beat up on opposing defenses. Smith is 66 of 75 passing for 734 yards and nine touchdowns through two games. He's got as many passing TDs as incompletions and his 88 percent completion percentage leads the nation. Smith might not find as many open receivers starting this week when the Mountaineers (2-0) face Maryland. West Virginia then starts its first season in the Big 12 by hosting Baylor on Sept. 29. Based on Smith's passing prowess, the Mountaineers should fit right in to their new league. - AP Sports
09/16/2012 - Quarterback Geno Smith broke the No. 9 West Virginia University record for career passing yards as he threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns (three to Stedman Bailey) in three quarters of play in a 42-12 victory over FCS opponent James Madison at FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins. Marc Bulger, who went on to an 11-year career in the NFL, held the career passing mark at 8,153 yards. Smith finished the afternoon with 8,191 career yards. Bailey also set a school single-game record with 13 catches. The Mountaineers, who went to 2-0 while JMU fell to 2-1, set a school record for most points over three consecutive games, having scored 70 points in the Orange Bowl against Clemson, 69 in the season opener against Marshall and 42 in this game for 181 points, an average of 60.3 per game. - The Sports Xchange
09/16/2012 - QB Geno Smith broke former QB Marc Bulger's school career passing yards record and brings 8,191 passing yards into the Maryland game. Bulger, who authored a decade-long NFL career and was inducted into the WVU Hall of Fame the past year, had 8,153 career yards. Smith broke Bulger's record for completions in the opener and against Maryland will break his record for attempts when he throws his second pass, the 1,024th of his career.
09/15/2012 - West Virginia made an NFL stadium its home for a day and put up numbers that would be the envy of any pro offense, marching quickly to score on its first four possessions and piling up 569 yards Saturday in a 42-12 win over James Madison. Geno Smith set the school record for career yards passing, and Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin both had 100 yards receiving before halftime for the No. 9 Mountaineers (2-0), who improved to 13-0 all time against FCS schools. Smith completed 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns, putting his career tally at 8,191 yards and moving him past Marc Bulger (8,153) to the top of the WVU list. Bailey finished with 173 yards on 13 catches and three touchdowns, while Austin had 113 yards on 11 receptions and one score. Playing at the Washington Redskins stadium -- the Mountaineers need to maintain an East Coast profile for recruiting now that they've moved to the Big 12 -- West Virginia used the occasion to honor school legend and former Redskins Hall of Fame linebacker Sam Huff, but this wasn't the brute, yardage-stingy type of game Huff likes. Smith and the offense finessed their way down the field, working the no-huddle attack with creative tosses, slip screens and scrambles. It was a thing of beauty when Smith, with a rusher in his face, draped a pass onto Austin's shoulder for a 24-yard gain in the second quarter. - AP Sports
09/11/2012 - 9/11/2012 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: 2. Geno Smith QB West Virginia...Speaking of talented senior quarterbacks, Geno Smith wasted little time announcing his Heisman campaign with an outstanding performance in the Mountaineers 69-34 victory over the Thundering Herd in the season opener (West Virginia was off this past weekend). He was near-perfect with more touchdowns than incompletions last Saturday, finishing 32-for-36 (88.9%) for 323 yards and four passing scores, adding another touchdown on the ground. While the Marshall defense is far from the toughest test he will face all year, Smith was very efficient and accurate, showing timing and sound decisions on throws to every level. He also flashed his athleticism with the mobility to extend plays in order to buy more time or pick up tough yards as a runner. In Dana Holgorsen's pass-happy offense, Smith is expected to produce some gaudy numbers, but even more impressive than the statistics, he showed NFL-level decisions and skills in the process. While Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson are widely believed to be the only first round senior quarterbacks for the 2013 NFL Draft, don't count out Smith as a player who will continue to move up draft boards and possibly break into the top-15 picks. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/05/2012 - Week 1 Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week: Senior Geno Smith has been named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week after leading West Virginia to a 69-34 victory over Marshall. The 69 points were the most ever scored by the Mountaineers in a season-opening game. Smith, who exited the game early in the fourth quarter, turned in a near-perfect performance completing 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. The Miami native was also dominant on the ground, picking up 65 rushing yards and a touchdown. "I was really pleased with how Geno played," said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. "He did a great job of taking care of the ball, leading the team and leading the offense." The Mountaineers have to sit through a bye-week before taking on James Madison at FedExField in Landover, Md. on Sept. 15. - Davey O'Brien Award
09/04/2012 - BIG 12: PLAYERS WHOSE NFL DRAFT STOCK IS RISING: Geno Smith, West Virginia: The Big 12 offensive player of the week was brilliant against Marshall. Smith had a great pocket presence and was incredibly accurate, completing 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns. "He managed the game as well as anybody I've ever been around," coach Dana Holgorsen said. Smith also threw well on the run (see video above) and had a great open-field juke on his 28-yard TD run. More performances like Saturday and Smith will shoot up draft boards this year. - C.J. Moore, CBSSports.com
09/04/2012 - WEEK 1 BIG 12 OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB, Sr, Miami, Fla., Geno Smith accounted for five touchdowns (four passing, one running) as No. 11 West Virginia defeated Marshall, 69-34. He completed 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards and rushed for 65 more yards and one score in just three quarters of work. He was also named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week. - Big-12 football
09/04/2012 - Week One Rewind - Geno Smith steals the show: Smith was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week and frankly, he could have done more damage. Smith threw just one pass in the fourth quarter -- not surprisingly, it went for a touchdown (to Stedman Bailey) -- before spending the final 14:24 of the game watching comfortably from the sideline. Along the way, he'd not only guided West Virginia to touchdowns on seven of his nine possessions, Smith passed former St. Louis Rams' Pro Bowler Marc Bulger for the most touchdown passes (60) and completions (651) in school history. Before crowning Smith as the next quarterback to suddenly leap into top five NFL consideration, it is only fair to consider his opponent. Marshall allowed a staggering 655 yards a game a year ago to opposing offenses. That ranked the Thundering Herd dead last in Total Defense among the 107 FBS teams in 2012 -- and that was with All-American Vinny Curry, now a Philadelphia Eagle, terrorizing opposing quarterbacks off the edge. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/04/2012 - Week One Rewind - Geno Smith steals the show: Another factor to keep in mind is that Smith is surrounded by a great deal of playmaking talent in Morgantown, highlighted by the country's elite slot receiver Tavon Austin and Bailey. Smith, furthermore, operates in a QB-friendly offense designed by Dana Holgorsen, who cut his teeth at the FBS level as first a receiver coach and eventually an offensive coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech before helping develop Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden into first round talents as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. At the same time, Smith enjoyed his breakout campaign the year before Holgorsen arrived at West Virginia, leading the Big East in passing efficiency (144.7) while completing 64.8% of his passes for 2,763 yards and 24 touchdowns against only seven interceptions to earn Second Team all-conference honors from league coaches in 2010. Last season, his first under Holgorsen, Smith's numbers improved in every notable passing category from efficiency (152.6), completion percentage (65.8%), passing yards (4,385) and passing touchdowns (31) while still only throwing seven interceptions and he was rewarded with consensus First Team accolades. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/04/2012 - USC quarterback Matt Barkley held off a surge from West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith to once again top the Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll, a survey of Heisman voter sentiment released every Tuesday. Barkley, the leader in the preseason edition of the straw poll, collected nine out of a possible 11 first-place votes and totaled 28 points after throwing for 372 yards and four touchdowns against Hawaii on Saturday. The gap between Barkley and his nearest challenger narrowed a bit this week, however, as Smith's five-touchdown performance against Marshall pushed him into second place with 17 points. Smith nearly tripled his point total since the preseason poll, when he was third with six points. Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell made his first appearance in the survey, landing in third place on the heels of a 210-yard rushing game against Boise State, a feat that impressed some on the panel "Boise State plays really tough, fundamentally sound defense but Le'Veon rung their bell," said one voter. Other notable moves in this week's poll: Oregon sophomore running back De'Anthony Thomas grabbed a first-place vote to finish fourth with five points and USC sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee captured the panel's final first-place vote to debut in sixth place with three points. "The Marqise of USC might be the best player in the country at every position," a panelist noted. - Chris Huston, CBSSports.com
09/04/2012 - Week One Rewind - Geno Smith steals the show: The 6-3, 220 pound Smith isn't as athletic as Newton or Griffin (or Andrew Luck, for that matter), but he does have the scrambling ability to extend opponents to their breaking point. He turned a broken play Saturday into a 28-yard touchdown run and scored touchdowns on the ground a season ago against Clemson and Rutgers. He prefers to beat defenses with his eyes and pinpoint accuracy, demonstrating not only the recognition to change plays at the line of scrimmage but the zip to fire deep outs and crossing patterns, as well as the touch to hit receivers in stride on the deep ball. At this early stage, Barkley remains the logical favorite to win the Heisman and perhaps be the first pick of the 2013 draft. For my money, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, who also enjoyed a strong opening day performance (19 of 27 for 363 yards and three touchdowns/zero interceptions) is next. Their lead certainly isn't as formidable, however, as the one that Luck once held over Newton and Griffin so don't be surprised if Smith, currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 9 rated quarterback, steadily works his way up the board as the 2012 season unfolds. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
09/02/2012 - QB Geno Smith shattered a couple of quarterback Marc Bulger's career passing records when he completed 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards and four TDs against Marshall. Smith's fourth TD pass of the day to Stedman Bailey gave him 60 for his career, breaking the record set by Bulger from 1996-99 when he threw 59 TD passes. Earlier in the game Smith broke the school record for career completions with 643.
09/02/2012 - WEEK 1 WALTER CAMP NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Geno Smith, West Virginia, Senior, Quarterback, Miami, FL/Miramar...West Virginia senior quarterback Geno Smith accounted for five touchdowns (4 passing, 1 running) as the 11th-ranked Mountaineers defeated Marshall, 69-34. Smith completed 32-of-36 passes for 323 yards and rushed for 65 more yards and one score in just three quarters of work. - The Walter Camp Football Foundation
09/01/2012 - 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 final scheduled game between the state's only Bowl Subdivision teams, it marked West Virginia's highest-scoring season opener in school history. Smith kept the momentum going from his six-TD performance from the Orange Bowl. The senior completed 32 of 36 passes and set a school record for career completions before sitting out most of the fourth quarter 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. - AP Sports
08/06/2012 - "I went to the Manning camp in Thibodaux, Louisiana, hanging out with Peyton Manning and my college peers," Smith said. "Enjoyed it. Had a chance to work with some younger kids. I went out to California for the Elite 11 camp. I took part in that in '08 when I was a high school senior. "I had guys who were my counselors who are now in the NFL. So they invited me out. I got a chance to work out with some of my peers: Aaron Murray [of Georgia], E.J. Manuel [of Florida State], Mike Glennon [of N.C. State] ... we all got some good work in. "Throughout the camps, I learned some things I can't share on tape, but it all helped me out." In less than a month we'll see if those lessons were learned. WVU's coaches have been asking Smith to get rid of the ball quicker in Dana Holgorsen's latest version of the "Air Raid" offense. "That's being able to go through my reads quicker and make a few pre-snap reads," Smith said. "Being more sharp mentally. Overall, becoming a better, stronger player back there." "We come in on Saturdays and put in extra time on routes," said receiver Stedman Bailey, Smith's buddy from Miramar [Fla.] High. "That's when he's been able to work and make sure his timing and his release are good." - Mitch Vingle, Gazette-Mail
08/06/2012 - Redshirt freshman K.J. Myers has certainly noticed a difference in Smith. "He's been going through reads quicker," said Myers. "His release point is so quick." "Ever since I've known Geno, he's been a great quarterback," Bailey said. "Over the years, his skills have gotten better. He's been going to a lot of different camps and has been working with a lot of different people. "I would say he's at his peak right now. He's looking very good." Bailey pointed to his favorite part of Smith's game. "I like his pocket presence," said the redshirt junior. "He's pretty poised. There are some pretty big guys coming after him each and every play. He's able to keep his composure, stand in the pocket and deliver the ball." "The thing I'm trying to do is become a better player, execute a little better," Smith said. "Whatever it takes. I want to try every day on the practice field to be perfect. I know that's impossible, but that's something we strive for." - Mitch Vingle, Gazette-Mail
08/04/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON JOHNNY UNITAS GOLDEN ARM AWARD CANDIDATE: Geno Smith, West Virginia...A year after throwing for 4,385 yards and 31 scores, Smith is poised for an even bigger 2012 season. The senior has another offseason of experience in coach Dana Holgorsen's offense under his belt, while the move to the offensive-minded Big 12 Conference shouldn't hurt Smith's numbers. - The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
07/25/2012 - There was something different about Geno Smith as he strode the hallways of the Westin Galleria this week at Big 12 media days. He is bigger. West Virginia's quarterback said he has grown to 225 pounds from around 205 at the close of last season. "Other than the fact that it probably makes me a better NFL prospect, I don't think it does much for my game," said Smith. "I've never been big on shedding guys. I don't break a lot of tackles. I'm not one of those guys who is going to sit here and say my game is all based on my physical talent. It's mostly mental." Coach Dana Holgorsen said he encouraged Smith to get in the weight room more to bulk up a bit, but said it's unclear if it will pay off on the field. "We haven't won a game yet, so I don't know if it does us any good or not. It's not going to hurt," said Holgorsen. "He's been this way forever, talking with his high school coach. He's been a guy that bounces up and down through the hall with the ball in his hands but he never wants to pick up a weight. He'd rather look and watch film than get down there and do pushups." Holgorsen pointed to Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in the draft by Indianapolis, making a correlation between size and the NFL: "He physically needed to get a little bigger. Look at Andrew Luck, he's a pretty big specimen, The NFL's going to judge you based on measurables. You still have to produce. I encouraged it." - Jenn Menendez, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
07/22/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL TEAM (MEDIA): QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, Sr/3L,...West Virginia's Smith put together an outstanding 2011 campaign. The senior threw for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns, while completing 65.8 percent of his passes. His completions (346), attempts (526) and yards all set school records, while his yardage total was also the Big East record, as he earned first-team All-Big East honors. The Mountaineers open the 2012 season on Sept. 1, hosting state rival Marshall in Morgantown. - West Virginia football
07/20/2012 - 2012 DAVEY O'BRIEN PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Geno Smith, West Virginia, has been selected to the Preseason Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback by The Davey O'Brien Foundation. Smith will lead West Virginia into its first season of Big 12 football. The 6-3 senior enters the 2012 campaign with 26 consecutive starts. He was an all-conference first team selection last year after leading the Mountaineers to their league title. Smith threw for 4,385 yards in 13 games, the fourth-best total in the NCAA in 2011. He earned Most Valuable Player of the Orange Bowl after setting five of the bowl's records and four BCS bowl records in WVU's 70-33 win over Clemson. - West Virginia football
07/20/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: Geno Smith, senior, QB, West Virginia, has been named one of of fifty preseason "players to watch" for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2012 Player of the Year Award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. Smith will lead West Virginia into its first season of Big 12 football. The 6-3 senior enters the 2012 campaign with 26 consecutive starts. He was an all-conference first team selection last year after leading the Mountaineers to their league title. Smith threw for 4,385 yards in 13 games, the fourth-best total in the NCAA in 2011. He earned Most Valuable Player of the Orange Bowl after setting five of the bowl's records and four BCS bowl records in WVU's 70-33 win over Clemson. - West Virginia football
07/19/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 FOOTBALL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR (MEDIA): Geno Smith, West Virginia (QB, 6-3, 214, Sr/3L, Miami, Fla.)...Smith will lead West Virginia into its first season of Big 12 football. The 6-3 senior enters the 2012 campaign with 26 consecutive starts. He was an all-conference first team selection last year after leading the Mountaineers to their league title. Smith threw for 4,385 yards in 13 games, the fourth-best total in the NCAA in 2011. He earned Most Valuable Player of the Orange Bowl after setting five of the bowl's records in WVU's 70-33 win over Clemson. - Big 12 football
07/18/2012 - West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is the Big 12 preseason Offensive Player of the Year, beating out Oklahoma's Landry Jones. The league on Wednesday released its preseason All-Big 12 teams, selected by media members who cover the conference. Texas lineman Alex Okafor is the preseason Defensive Player of the Year and is one of three Longhorn defenders selected to the all-league team. Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle and Texas's Malcolm Brown earned nods at running back, with Oklahoma's Kenny Stills picked at wide receiver. Iowa State's linebacker duo of Jake Knott and A.J. Klein both made the cut along with Kansas State's Arthur Brown. Freshman wide receiver Trey Metoyer of Oklahoma is the preseason Newcomer of the Year. - AP Sports
07/17/2012 - Top-five West Virginia prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. QB Geno Smith...Most expect that Oklahoma's Landry Jones will be the quarterback to ascend to the top of the Big 12 this season now that Robert Griffin III and Brandon Weeden have left for the NFL. If Smith can duplicate the success he's enjoyed over the past two seasons in the Big East, however, he could be the signal-caller who earns the most attention from NFL scouts this fall. Smith, possessing a legitimate NFL combination of size, mobility and arm strength, completed over 65% of his passes over the 2010-11 seasons, throwing for a combined 55 touchdowns against only 14 interceptions. Clearly his statistics have been inflated by Holgorsen's high-octane passing attack, but make no mistake Smith is blessed with some intriguing traits that helped him shred a talented Clemson defense with 401 passing yards and six touchdown tosses - each of which eclipsed Orange Bowl records. Despite his gaudy statistics, there are some warts to Smith's game. He takes virtually every snap from shotgun, is inconsistent with his set-up and delivery, often throwing off his back foot and has only average accuracy, at this time, on deeper throws - especially those that require touch. Against the notoriously leaky secondaries of the Big 12 conference, Smith could post eye-popping statistics this season, perhaps earning himself all-conference, All-American and perhaps even Heisman consideration. To earn a spot within the first two rounds of the 2013 draft, however, he'll have to tighten up his mechanics. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
07/10/2012 - 2012 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB, Sr., has been selected to the preseason Maxwell Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. - The Maxwell Football Club
06/27/2012 - Heisman Watch 2012: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia - Smith set the Big East Conference on fire last season, thriving under head coach Dana Holgorsen's new pass-based offensive system to the tune of conference-record 4,379 yards and 31 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. He capped off his record-setting year with an amazing performance in the Mountaineers' 70-33 shellacking of Clemson in the Orange Bowl with 401 yards and six touchdowns. West Virginia moves from the Big East to the Big 12 this season, but Smith and company shouldn't miss a beat in their new pass-happy conference. - Nicholas DeLorenzo, The Sports Network
05/07/2012 - There are two trophies that stand out in college football more than any others. They are the National Championship trophy and the Heisman Trophy. Both carry important meaning. Two West Virginia players are already getting some recognition as early Heisman Trophy contenders for the 2012 season. Quarterback Geno Smith and Inside Receiver Tavon Austin have a chance at winning the trophy. No West Virginia University player has ever won the Heisman Trophy. Who better to give advice to Heisman Trophy candidates than a man who previously won the Heisman Trophy? Former Oklahoma Running Back Billy Sims was recently in the Mountain State. Sims won the Heisman Trophy as a junior in 1978 after piling up 1,896 yards on the ground. He was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1979 and eventually became the top pick in the 1980 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. "The funny thing about the year that I won the Heisman, I had no idea," Sims laughed. "The University had no idea. I was not a preseason favorite, I had no marketing behind me. All of a sudden, I was healthy for a change and I was just happy to be on the roster. I stayed healthy and had a great supporting cast on offense and defense that really enabled me to win the Heisman Trophy." Sims' path to a Heisman Trophy was a little different than the one Smith or Austin would end up taking should either one win the coveted trophy. He had no preseason hype and media coverage of the sport today is not what it was in 1978. But the fundamentals of what it takes to win the trophy are still the same. "The main advice I would give them is be humble," Sims said. "Let it be what it be and you take care of business and everything else will work out for itself." - West Virginia Illustrated
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