The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 4, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: Smith now focal point of offense

MORGANTOWN — Today is supposed to be about the seniors, their last home game for ol’ West Virginia University, a game they will remember for if the Mountaineers win it they are Big East champions, and if they win it while Connecticut is losing to South Florida they are heading for a BCS bowl.

But as much as you want to make this game about the seniors, it isn’t. Not this year. Not in this offense.

This game, and all that is riding on it, is about a sophomore quarterback named Geno Smith, an amazingly talented young man who is gifted not only in his football abilities but in his no-nonsense approach to the game and life.

He is the focus point, the engine that drives this offense.

To understand this, there are two approaches to take. The first is to listen to the man who has defend him at noon today, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.

“He has a big arm and can make all the throws, but he is also very elusive. They still do the gun-run game and when he does it, he makes people miss. He runs away from people and he runs over people. He is a big man,” he said. “He is also very tough in the pocket to get down on the ground. I can see why they were so excited about him when I heard Coach (Bill) Stewart talk about him. You could tell he thought he would be a really good player and he is.”

But Schiano seems to fear his running as much as his throwing, while the truth is the offense rides on his arm. That’s conclusively shown in the statistics.

Here are the average per game numbers for Smith in the eight victories and three defeats entering into the Rutgers game:

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