If You Haven't Been Paying Attention, West Virginia's Geno Smith Is Having An Insane Year [UPDATE: Now With Geno Smith Ineptitude GIF]

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Geno Smith leads the FBS in quarterback rating by more than twenty points. He's third in passing yards total (and, as of this afternoon, has played in a game less than either of those ahead of him, who he'll surely surpass), and his completion percentage leads the FBS by four points, despite throwing more than 40 times on average in each game. He's tied for third in yards/attempt, and is first in touchdowns by six. As last week's game recap from the Associated Press put it, "Geno Smith's numbers are staggering: After a 268-yard, four-touchdown performance, he has 24 passing touchdowns, 1,996 passing yards, 204 attempts, and not a single interception this season."

ESPN analyst Trevor Matich says that Smith is understanding not just what defenses are doing or will do, but why. On Yahoo, Eddie George and Pat Forde couldn't decide whether last year's Robert Griffin III or this year's Geno Smith had the better start to their season. But Griffin had lost a game at this point. West Virginia is 5-0. George said Smith isn't just "head and shoulders above" his competition for Heisman—"he's a full body length."


It's possible that Smith will one day be considered a Dana Holgorsen system quarterback. Holgorsen coached mediocre quarterbacks to great stats as offensive coordinator at Houston and Oklahoma State (think what you will of Brandon Weeden, but Case Keenum got a slight boost from Houston's offensive scheme), and Holgorsen seems to be working miracles again in his second year as head coach at West Virginia. But Smith showed promise before Holgorsen arrived, and he's fun to watch no matter how the playbook helps pad his stats. It's tough to call West Virginia a gimmick this year after they've pulled out close games with Baylor and Texas—even if Texas looks less and less like the #11 it was against the Mountaineers—and when you watch them, you're watching the presumptive Heisman do preposterous things.

The Mountaineers play a Texas Tech team this afternoon (right now, in fact, on ABC) that hadn't allowed more than two touchdowns to anyone, until they played their first ranked team last week, and got blown out of the water by Oklahoma. Assuming we didn't jinx it—and of course, now Smith will throw an interception before the snap somehow—today's game and the rest of Geno Smith's season should be fun for fans of virtuoso offense.


UPDATE: Fun, right? Smith is still putting up solid stats, but it's 21-7 Texas Tech with 6:40 left in the first half. Maybe it just means more comeback potential for Smith and the Mountaineers, but this does not bode well: