By Bob Hertzel
Times West Virginian
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith isn’t interested in hearing any Heisman Trophy talk yet, claiming there’s things more important to him.
“I could care less about the Heisman Trophy. The biggest thing for us was that we won the game today,” he said after passing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.
With numbers like he has put together this year, however, combined with publicity that includes a recent article about him in The New York Times, among other publications, he isn’t going to be able to avoid that spotlight.
Check out these numbers:
He has completed 141 of 169 passes for 83.4 percent, good for 20 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
His last interception was in the third quarter of last year’s South Florida game, having gone 224 passes without throwing one.
In the Baylor game he had three receivers with 100-plus yards gained … Stedman Bailey with 303, Tavon Austin with 207 and J.D. Woods with 114, Austin catching 14 passes to set the school record and Bailey and Woods 13.
But to Smith all that mattered was the win.
“We’re on a mission. We want to win them all,” Smith said.
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WVU played its second game in a row without its leading rusher, Shawne Alston, who was said to be out with a thigh bruise but well may have something worse for he not only didn’t suit up, he wasn’t on the bench.
Coach Dana Holgorsen’s explanation for his absence sounded as if he wasn’t particularly happy with him.
“His job is to get treatment,” Holgorsen said. “If you are hurt, you are not going to play football.”
Also out for the game was linebacker Jared Barber and running backs Ryan Clarke and Donovan Miles.
Clarke’s injured ankle was in a big walking cast on the sidelines.
Running back Dustin Garrison continued his return from ACL surgery and ran well in replacement of starter Andrew Buie, gaining 28 yards on three carries, including a 17-yard burst on a third and 1 at the end of the game to put it away.
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Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was on hand for the first conference game WVU had played in and served as Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade on Friday night. He also flipped the coin at the start of the game.
Another part of the festivities saw country and western star Trace Adkins do an emotional version of the National Anthem, just the third person to sing the Anthem since the stadium opened in 1980.
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WVU broadcaster Tony Caridi did his 200th Mountaineer game over the air.
Email Bob Hertzel at email@example.com or follow on Twitter@bhertzel.