Numbers sometimes lie, but five weeks into the 2012 College Football season and after getting his first taste of Big 12 football (not defense when it’s Baylor), Geno Smith is well on his way to become the first Heisman trophy winner for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
The Numbers? Smith passed for school records – 656 yards and 8 touchdown passes, running for 31 more. There were punts in the game (4, 2 for each team) as Baylor put up staggering numbers as well, Nick Florence throwing for 581 yards and five touchdowns, but he had an interception, unlike Smith.
And while Smith’s yards and touchdown numbers are incredible, the biggest thing about his season so far, which has included wins over Marshall, James Madison, Maryland and now Baylor in their first ever Big 12 game, is his accuracy. He’s thrown only 22 incompletions throw his first four games this season, while finding 20 players for touchdowns in the end zone. As coach Holgorsen said – Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?
In truth, it’s hard to see Smith doing any better than he did against the Bears and in the start of this season. He’ thrown at least 323 yards in each of his first four games, showing better numbers than Robert Griffin III did last season through the first four games – Smith has thrown for more yards (1826-1481) with a better completion percentage (82.1%-83.4%) and his perfect touchdown interception ratio. Griffin threw for 18 TDs and one interception by that time.
Problems ahead? Plenty, but for the team, not necessarily for Smith, who simply can’t make a bad throw at this time, and even if he does, there are Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin there to cover for him with their catches. It’s only Big 12 games from here on, and especially tricky defenses to face down the road, including Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma, but Smith is the last thing Holgorsen is worried about. It’s probably his defense first, and not his offense.
Big 12 championship material? National championship material? The numbers Smith has been putting up aren’t a fluke, but against the opponents he’s faces, they aren’t true indication as to how good the Mountaineers are. He is this good, but West Virginia aren’t more than a top 10 in the nation, and maybe even less after two straight weeks of playing in Texas. But still, this quarterback is for real. Passing yards is one thing. But record setting passing yards, combined with perfect game reading and accuracy that’s pretty much like Reggie Miller at the free throw shooting line don’t come along too often, especially not when you air out at least 45 passes a game.