Oct 13, 2012; Lubbock, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) warms up before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Jones AT
Now that the Mountaineers have gone back to the field to prepare for TCU this weekend, the players have had a week to do some fundamental work. Geno Smith took that time off to do some fundamental soul searching.
There was much publicity surrounding Geno Smith’s assertion that he was responsible for the two losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State. Coach Dana Holgorsen defended his starting quarterback, claiming responsibility. Apparently, the two had time to hash out the blame during the bye week. Smith was quoted this week saying:
"Dana (Holgorsen) knows that I am my biggest critic, and I’m always going to be hard on myself. I try to keep things in perspective and understand that it’s a team game, and no one man can win or lose a game. It is eleven men on both sides of the ball including special teams, and we all have to come together and play as a team. It’s not the end of the world – we’ve lost two games. It’s something that we don’t want to ever want to happen, but you have to play the cards you’re dealt with. Right now we are in the situation where we just have to win.- Geno Smith"
Geno Smith is an incredible athlete and a fierce competitor. It is no surprise that he is exceptionally hard on himself because he is always striving to take his game to the next level. That is the sign of a truly exceptional athlete. While it would be wrong of the coaching staff to try to change Smith’s competitive drive, it is a good thing that the coaches help Geno realize that it takes 11 men in all three phases of the game to win.
"I understand that my job is to play quarterback and quarterback only, and to not take on any other role. I’m going to do my job to the best of my ability and let things play out. -Geno Smith"
Given the way the offense has looked out of rhythm and the way Geno has appeared to try to will the Mountaineers to victory in the last two losses, it is good to hear Geno talk about going back to just playing his game. With the BCS Championship expectations now off his shoulders, Geno can focus on just playing the game, free of major expectations.
The Mountaineers still have a shot at a Big XII title and a 10-win season. So not all expectations have been lifted, but with a more achievable sets of expectations on his shoulders, Geno Smith should be able to get back into a comfortable rhythm on offense. Expect Geno to return to his Heisman-like form going forward.