WVU's Smith Set for Last Hurrah
Harris, John, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Did you see what West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith did last weekend?
- Twenty-three completions in 24 attempts for the best single- game completion percentage in the NCAA in 14 years.
- Twenty-one consecutive completions.
- More than 400 yards passing in a 59-10 win over Kansas, resulting in back-to-back 4,000-yard campaigns for the first time in school history.
What will he do for an encore against Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium?
One quarterback, even one producing a prolific season like Smith's, was not enough to overcome a defense that finished the regular season ranked 107 out of 120 teams.
But a quarterback like Smith having another great season made for an exciting 7-5 team that once held national championship aspirations.
"He just needs to understand he can only control the things that he's responsible for," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "There were some things he couldn't control from a run game standpoint and a defensive standpoint that put us in the loss category a couple times.
"He just kept playing, and I was proud of how he did that."
In three weeks, Smith will prepare to play his final college game. He'll team with receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey one final time. Afterward, he'll begin preparations for the NFL Draft and what he hopes results in a first-round selection.
Smith already is acting the part.
"Year in and year out, my main focus is to get better," he said. "I'm in grind mode. I want to be the best. It's going to take a lot of hard work and I'm willing to put it in.
"We can't control where we go," he added. "It's really about what the (NFL general managers) feel is best for their team. …