West Virginia QB Geno Smith Ties TD Passes Record in Big 12 Debut

By Steve LeMaster

You never get a second chance to make a first impression and quarterback Geno Smith made a great first impression on the Big 12 Conference at home against Baylor on Saturday afternoon. Smith, the starting quarterback for the West Virginia Mountaineers, passed for 656 yards and eight touchdowns against the Baylor Bears. The accurate Smith was 45-of-51 with no interceptions in West Virginia’s 70-63 victory and his eight touchdown passes tied a Big 12 Conference record.

Smith managed to bolster his early case for the Heisman Trophy Award. The Miami native entered the game as the frontrunner for the Heisman. The West Virginia quarterback, however, wasn’t the only premier player on the field in Saturday’s Big 12 battle.  His teammate, receiver Stedman Bailey, had 303 yards receiving and five touchdowns. For Baylor, quarterback Nick Florence hauled in 581 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Florence set a school record for passing yards in a game, breaking Robert Griffin’s mark set last season. Baylor receiver Terrance Williams managed to set a school and Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving.

Newcomer West Virginia is just getting started in the Big 12 Conference. The Mountaineers have games remaining against eight Big 12 Conference opponents, four of which are ranked in the Top 25.

West Virginia fans will have an opportunity to savor Smith’s performance before the Mountaineers visit the Texas Longhorns next week. Smith’s eight touchdowns is a West Virginia school record. Prior to Saturday’s game at Baylor, Smith had attempted 1,065 passes, the most in school history. In addition to chasing the Heisman Trophy Award, Smith is making a strong case for the nod of top quarterback in West Virginia history.

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