By Mickey Furfari
Times West Virginian
The saying that an athlete has “rewritten the record book” has been used loosely at times.
But I’ve got one that has to border on the unbelievable — one that truly tops them all in West Virginia University football history.
Mike Montoro, WVU’s veteran director of football communications, told me the other day that quarterback Geno Smith owns by far the most records in school history.
How many? Exactly 71! That’s right, 71!
That is, the graduated 6-foot-3, 215-pound signal-caller set or tied all of those records in WVU individual game, season, career and bowl statistics.
In addition, some of those came in NCAA, Big East and Big 12 high marks.
Even Montoro seemed absolutely amazed himself in going over the different facets of Smith’s fantastic figures in the Mountaineers’ bulging book of football records.
Obviously, I couldn’t begin to list all of Smith’s individual achievements. Space available simply falls short.
However, I would like to touch on some of the all-time West Virginia statistical categories in which he’s not only leading, but dominant.
The Miami native, now a rookie with the NFL’s New York Jets, ranks No. 1 in no fewer than nine different quarterback statistical career categories in the program’s 120-season history. In most cases, he ranks in the top two spots. What’s more, the margin is substantial in most cases.
Smith gained 12,004 yards on 1,710 plays in total offense, 11,612 passing yards, 988 pass completions, 1,457 pass attempts, pass efficiency 153.52 percent, completion percentage .674, and interception avoidance .0143.
He also is the all-time pace-setter in responsibility for most touchdowns with a grand total of 101 for his three years as a starter.
This just skims the surface of the on-field accomplishments by the most accurate and most productive passer WVU ever had.
Despite all of this wonderful legacy left by Geno Smith, it is saddening to me that he did not make a single All-America team — not even a second or third team. What’s even worse, Geno Smith failed to make the All-Big 12 first team. He had to settle for second-team status.
You’ve got to feel that last year’s shocking 7-6 records had to be a negative factor — especially West Virginia losing six of its final eight games.