The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

October 2, 2012

Can Texas stop Smith, WVU?

MORGANTOWN — This week it’s Texas’ turn to try to figure out a way to stop West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith on his march toward the Heisman Trophy and with it, perhaps, a Big 12 championship and a spot in the national championship game.

It won’t be easy, and the Longhorns know it.

Listen to Coach Mack Brown on how he knows what he’s facing this week when the unbeaten No. 8 Mountaineers bring their offense that is averaging 53 points and 598.5 yards a game to Austin for their first Big 12 road engagement.

Every week, before the Big 12 coaches’ conference call, Brown goes down to his defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz’s office, to coordinate thoughts.

This is what he found this week as Texas turned the page from offensive minded Oklahoma State to even more so West Virginia.

“I’ve been down there three times and Manny’s got his door closed and he’s under his desk,” he said, laughing out loud. “It’s hard to communicate with the defensive staff before the press conference and say, ‘OK, let’s get on the same page’ when they’re sick. I think they’re trying to slow them down. You’re not going to stop them.”

It is really an incredible challenge that Texas and the rest of the Big 12 faces with this West Virginia team’s offense, coming off a performance unlike any ever seen in Milan Puskar Stadium at Mountaineer Field before by the offense and one from Smith that ranks among the most productive in college history.

Smith simply completed 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.

Jedd Drenning, the one-time quarterback who now is a radio commentator among many other sidelines, took note of that day and offered some thoughts on just how productive that day was.

“Have times changed? Geno Smith scorched Baylor w/656 yds Saturday. In 1985, Mike Timko was WVU’s leading passer with 567 yds — for the year,” Drenning tweeted.

He then followed it up with this gem:

“In fact, Geno’s 656 yards Saturday are more than the season total managed by WVU Hall of Famer Fred Wyant in 3 of his 4 yrs as a starter.”

And there’s no reason to expect Texas to do a whole lot to stop the onslaught, considering this other item that Drenning offered.

“Last team to roll up 500+ yards vs Texas in Austin was Ok St. in a 33-16 win in 2010. The Pokes O-Coordinator was of course Dana Holgorsen.”

Brown simply says that Smith may be the best quarterback ever in the Big 12 and that the WVU supporting cast is part of the reason why.

“As good as our quarterbacks have been, he’s playing as good or better than any quarterback we’ve had in the league,” gushed Brown. “I mean, he hasn’t made a mistake and there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on him with all the hype and Heisman stuff.”

Brown, as a coach at Texas, knows something about Heisman hype.

“We’ve been through that here with Colt (Brennan) and Vince (Young) and Ricky (Williams) and a lot of our guys. It’s a very difficult thing to do but Smith seems unbothered by it. He plays the same each week,” Brown noted.

Brown understands, too, that simply trying to devise something to bother Smith isn’t another, because there’s a supporting cast that he will face that is dangerous.

“He’s got three of the best receivers I’ve ever seen,” he said, referring to Stedman Bailey, Stedman Austin and J.D. Woods. “They’re all really fast. They’re all really good.”

The result of all this?

“They may be as good as any offense we’ve seen,” said Brown, who in a career spent mostly in the Big 12 has him up against some pretty fair offenses at schools like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Nebraska.

“They can put up huge numbers ... and fast.”

Can Diaz find an answer to the challenge under his desk?

Probably not, but Texas does do some things that could keep the numbers down from Baylor or Clemson proportions.

“From a scheme standpoint they will play traditional football,” WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said. “This won’t be like last week where each team takes 90 snaps. They will try to keep us off the field.”

That is an approach Maryland took and WVU managed “only” 31 points against the Terps.

Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU takes first step Thursday

    Perhaps the most used – and least factual – cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
     

    July 30, 2014

  • Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
     

    July 30, 2014

  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos