+3 – Exceptional, NFL star caliber plays
+1 – Good, usually he must complete the ball 10 yards downfield, score a TD, or something else of note
0 – Meh, most plays will be this. Short and complete, incomplete, meh. TDs can be meh if he didn’t genuinely contribute.
-1 – Mistakes
-3 – Unforgiveable mistakes, bad interceptions
vs. MARSHALL, Result: W, 69–34
Points Against Rank: 123rd
1st QTR, 12:02; 0 – 0
-2nd & 4: WR screen in the backfield, Austin ahead for about 7 yards
-1st & 10: 5 yard out to the slot man, on time, on the money, gain of 8 yards.
-2nd & 2: Shotgun, 2 backs, good protection, strong pass to the flat at the line of scrimmage. Gain of 7, all YAC.
-1st & 10: shotgun, dumped to a drag route in the backfield. 2 yard loss.
2nd & 9: Pistol, play action roll right, does not set feet. He lobs the ball about 40 yards downfield. Stedman Bailey jumps and makes the catch for a TD. Not a great play as the throw was a bit behind, but he knew that he needed to give Bailey a chance to win one-on-one, and he did. Easily.
1st QTR, 7:13, 6 – 0
2nd & 1: pistol formation, fires a 12 yard curl on the line, YAC for about 20 yards total.
1st & 10: pistol, 8 yard curl to Bailey, well covered, but a tight throw.
2nd & 2: pistol, PA 10 yard out to the far right, on the money
2nd & Goal (3): PA, Bailey gets free, wide open in the end zone, Smith overthrows. Incomplete. Not a terrible play, and they scored later, but they should have scored on this one.
1st QTR, 3:27, 13 – 0
1st & 10: pistol, PA roll right. No one is there, Geno jogs 8 yards OOB.
2nd & 2: pistol, weird drop-back, bad footwork, HB screen set-up to the left, dropped by RB
3 & 2: pistol, quick shovel to Austin. This is a staple of the offense in which Smith does what is tantamount to a forward handoff, but is credited with pass yardage. Tavon gets 2 or 3 for a clear first down, then fumbles, WVU recovers.
1st & 10: pistol, 7 yard curl to Bailey, plenty of time, wide open, gain of 9.
2nd & Goal (6): pistol, plenty of time, perfect pocket, some happy feet before Geno runs through the middle for a gain of 3.
4th and Goal (3): Singleback, Geno looks weird under center. QB sneak gets 1.5, no TD, turnover on downs. The play caller deserves most of the responsibility, but Geno needs to sell a drop-back from that far out.
2nd QTR, 11:10, 13 – 7
1st & 10: pistol, quick WR screen in backfield to Austin, gain of half a yard.
2nd & 9: tons of time, guns 10 yard curl. Solid pass to open spot in front of the zone.
1st and 10: tons of time, guns 11 yard curl. Wide open, easy pickens again.
1st & 10: quick curl to Austin 4 yards downfield. Gain of 7.
2nd & 3: WR screen to Austin, pass in backfield. Austin reads blocks, and walks in. Touchdown.
2nd QTR, 2:30, 27 – 10
1st & 10: Geno has ALL the time ever. 8 seconds pass before he crosses the line, and he is never pressured. Instead of standing tall and reading, his feet are happy, and he takes free yardage, taking 8 before running OOB.
1st & 10: PA, tons of time, fires deep down the middle—pretty good throw, just a little ahead of the WR, it was a tough catch but hit his hand in single coverage. Nearly a plus play.
2nd & 10: Hits Austin 1 yard upfield in the flat, he takes another 9.
1st & 10: Dump to RB in flat at LOS, gains another 6.
2nd and 4: Another wide open 5 yard curl. Austin takes 10 more in the middle of the field.
1st & Goal (9): Tons of time, Geno rolls right and fires while his WR wins position. Touchdown! Mostly a win by the WR, but a good throw was needed, and I am taking points away for his sneak, so credit goes here.
3rd QTR, 14:53, 34 – 10
1st & 10: Quick out to Bailey at the LOS. He takes 7 YAC.
2nd & 3: Quick out to Bailey at the LOS. He takes about 17 YAC. Like Candy from a baby.
1st & 10: Quick shovel to Austin gets 1.
2nd & 9: Shotgun, empty, WR screen at the line, YAC gets 8
1st & 15: Defense brings 5 and finally gets a little pressure, Geno weaves through the LG and LT easily. A LB spying him comes up, but Geno runs instead of jogging, and sprints by him going OOB for a gain of about 12.
3rd QTR, 41 – 10
1st &10: Empty Shotgun, 3 man rush while everyone drops into a zone. This leaves a big hole in the defense, and Geno runs to it and slides before getting 7.
2nd & 3: HB screen, throw in backfield, gains 8.
2nd & 19: Shotgun, tons of time in the pocket, but tackles eventually break down. Geno makes a couple nice moves, and avoids pressure, and he keeps his eyes downfield. However, even after getting a crushing block, he weakly walks out of bounds for a gain of 1. After working to keep a play alive, and getting strong protection, he gave up rather easily. It dooms the offense to 3rd and long, which was a lost cause.
3rd & 19: 3 man rush, all the time he could want, throws to a hole in the zone 9 yards downfield and in some traffic. Incomplete. 4th down.
3rd QTR, 41 – 17
1st & 10: shifty screen, throw in backfield, RB gains 5.
2nd & 5: Throws 8 yard out to far sideline. NFL throw, on the money, not hyper-powerful, though.
2nd & 1: Plenty of time, throws 7 yard curl towards sideline. Complete.
1st & 10: WR screen, thrown in backfield. Austin 6 yards on YAC.
1st & 10: Tons of time, gets through progression slowly, goes to sideline at LOS. Gets 2 yards.
2nd & 8: 4 yard out, the WR gets 3 more.
3rd & 1: 3 man front, a run was called, but Smith botches the play and turns the wrong direction. Matt Cassel did this against Cincinnati, and it went poorly. Fortunately for Geno, Marshall is not the Bengals. He turned upfield, made a nice cut, and ran it the distance. It was a stupid play by Geno, but since he was playing the game on Easy mode, it was a TD. It is a shame he doesn’t use this speed more. This is a plus and minus. Plus: exceptional athleticism; minus: it probably won’t work in the NFL.
4th QTR, 15:00, 55 – 10
1st & 7: PA, WR gets tons of space downfield. Geno throws the ball 43 yards from the Matt Cassel school of deep throwing. His WR dead stops, waits, makes the catch, then makes a move to slip the hapless CB for a couple more yards. Should have been a TD; down at the 5. Both a plus and minus for the huge gain—in a Casselian fashion.
1st & Goal (5): Fade to Bailey. Perfectly thrown. Touchdown.
His day was over at this point. What are the key takeaways?
-Geno was a dominant specimen on the field. Every single player on WVU was better than every single member of the Thundering Herd. It is hard to evaluate this game because it was playing a video game on Easy and asking how he can play on Very Hard.
-Footwork was very sloppy. When you physically dominate like that, it is easy to lose some mechanics.
-Most of the passes were short and wide open. Taking candy from a baby doesn’t begin to explain it.
-Smith is very fast and athletic. Unfortunately, he has not found a way to use this skill fluidly with his passing as a weapon.
-Smith can make a nice deep pass, but he certainly failed in this game on a couple shots, and his successes were not due to great throws.
On the Good/Bad Scale, he ranked a +4. This is probably unfair given that he went 32 for 36, 323, 4 TD, 0 INT, 1 rushing TD, and sat most of the 4th quarter. That said, everyone was open, there was virtually no pressure, and the physical domination was absurd.
vs. JAMES MADISON (completions only—could not find incompletion film), W 42-12
1st QTR, 12:06, 0 – 0
2nd & 5: 12 yard streak upfield, Geno threads the ball to the obvious hole in a cover 2 zone, behind the CB, in front of the safety.
1st & 10: Swing to Austin in the flat. Austin picks up the first down with YAC.
1st QTR, 7:13, 7 – 0
3rd & 11: 3 man rush, tons of time, threads a hard ball into the zone, gain of about 15.
1st & 5: Tons of time, throws what doesn’t look like a route to a wide open WR about 20 yards downfield. Bailey takes another 20 of his own.
1st & Goal (9): WR screen to Bailey. He makes a great effort play to get all 9. Touchdown. Almost deflected at the line.
1st QTR, 4:39, 14 – 0
1st and 10: There is a little pressure up the middle, but none from the ends so Geno scampers outside for 7 yards.
2nd & 3: Throws at LOS in flat. No gain.
1st & 10: Under drag route to Austin at LOS. Austin gets 35 more because, why not?
1st & 10: WR screen in backfield. Bailey gets 13.
1st & 10: WR screen to Austin at LOS. He gets about 11.
2nd & Goal: JM doesn’t get their defensive subs in and no one covers Bailey. Geno lobs it over. Touchdown.
2nd QTR, 13:18, 21 – 0
1st & 10: WR screen to Austin at LOS, he goes 12.
2nd & 10: This one is weird. Geno has all day, navigates the pocket awkwardly—his footwork is a very noticeable problem. He fires hard down the field 20 yards and hits his man—if the throw IS a little off target, especially given how open he is. Bailey takes a few more after the catch.
1st and 10: 5 yard curl to Bailey, he fights for 10 more.
1st & 10: Solid pass rush. Smith stands tall and fire confidently 25 yards downfield and on the sideline PERFECTLY. No one won by much, but Smith made a stellar throw.
2nd & Goal (4): 4 Wide pistol, the inside man ran a slant and no one covered him. There were several receivers open. Really easy play, but nothing feels easy in the red zone. Touchdown.
2nd QTR, 0:57, 28 – 3
1st & 10: PA, WR screen behind the LOS, gets 5.
2nd & 5: Evades pressure and scoots about 10 yards. Risky play, and he needs to keep his eyes downfield, but a good positive play.
1st & 10: 5 yard curl to slot Austin, he gets another few.
2nd & 2: WR screen to Bailey. An odd call from midfield, with 0:16 left. Not a confident call in the arm?
1st & 10: Geno steps up in the pocket and makes a nice throw in stride to a WR. Of course, it was the last play of the half and it meant nothing. No good play bonus for wimping out on the Hail Mary.
3rd QTR, 6:56, 28 – 5
2nd & 6: 4 yard curl, caught, Bailey gets a few more for the first down.
2nd & 5: 3 yard curl, caught by Bailey.
1st & 10: plenty of time, goes through reads, gets to best option and lasers a 14 yard pass to the sideline. Had he done it quicker, I might have given this NFL greatness. That pretty.
1st & 10: Quick out to slot WR at LOS, gets 3.
2nd & 7: I’m going to call this great, but a couple of Geno’s flaws come out. He gets time, looks downfield, fires deep and left , hits his man in stride, and scores. The bad: his footwork is non-existant, he locks onto Austin, and even though this is a bona fide huge gain, a reasonable play by the safety gets him down at the 5. Still, amazing throw.
3rd QTR, 1:11, 35 – 5
1st & 10: A WR wheel route. Just like it was a fly, Geno laid it in perfectly. About 30 yards deep, on the sideline, timed perfectly, touched beautifully.
1st & 10: Quick flare to the RB at the LOS, he breaks it open for 30 yards.
1st & 10: PA roll to his LEFT, and it looks uncomfortable, but with his athleticism fires complete about 10 yards upfield. With those mechanics, it hurts to give a thumbs up, but the play was there.
2nd & Goal (4): Quick out to slot Austin, nobody around for some reason. Touchdown. Very sharp accuracy.
That was his day. There were 5 incompletions that I did not get to evaluate. Regardless, even if he should have lost a few points )or maybe not, just watching the pluses this game said a lot about Geno’s ability. In about 3 quarters, Geno threw for 411 yards, 5 TDs, and came up with a +16 day. He was actually throwing down the field, which he was very averse to in the first game.
-Footwork is still garbage, yet if it can be fixed, it would certainly improve his game.
-His short throws were very accurate. When his feet aren’t planted, he can still wing the ball pretty hard, but the accuracy drops.
-His long throws were in stride, and he was much better with hitting his marks in this game. A +4 to a +16 is great, even if I had no negative.
vs. MARYLAND, W 31-21
Points Against: 56th
1st QTR, 12:45, 0 – 0
2nd & 7: Pressure quickly came through. Geno lobbed a 10 yard out for Bailey, who bailed (HA!) him out with a great catch.
1st & 10: Pressure again, he gets a quick hitch to a 5 yard curl.
2nd & 3: Geno, falling backwards after 2 pressures and 5 coming, throws WR screen well, but still eaten in backfield.
3rd & 4: Maryland brings 5 again, intent on blitzing Geno. The pressure doesn’t land, but Smith feels hurried (he could have easily escaped right or THROWN right in the flat, and likely gotten the first down. It is worth noting that the pressure was an incredibly easy read—but Geno didn’t pick it up). Instead, Geno throws WAY high down the middle about 12 yards upfield (but he threw for about 20—luckily that was well over the safety, too. Punt.
1st QTR, 4:55, 7 – 0 (WVU Def TD)
1st & 10: HB screen, perfectly executed. HB catches in backfield and goes for about 35 yards.
1st & 10: PA, 5 yard slant to Austin. He breaks a tackle, gets to the other sideline, turns the corner and goes 35 yards on speed. Wow. Austin is absolutely electric.
1st QTR, 1:54, 14 – 7
1st & 15: Geno has an open man on a 7 yard out. He misses him high and outside, though he is open.
2nd & 15: Geno dumps to LOS, possibly a bad screen, but it loses a yard.
3rd & 16: Maryland brings 3, and Geno has plenty of time. He still forces the ball out quickly, because he has already been hit and rattled. He fires into double coverage 8 yards upfield. It is incomplete, and Austin would have been down immediately. It is worth noting that Bailey was single covered and slightly open at the marker. Punt.
2nd QTR, 11:49, 14 – 14
2nd & 4: I can hardly fault Geno here. Austin runs a short curl inside, and this other guy runs a streak looking for the ball. Geno makes the read, and hits his spot, but the WR goes out of bounds.
3rd & 4: Geno isn’t pressured, and he takes the time he is given. He stands tall and tosses a 15 yard out across the field to Austin. A very impressive throw, if a bizarre third and short call.
1st & 10: 4 man rush starts to generate pressure after initial look downfield, Smith tries to run middle, but is clogged. He breaks it outside, but then a very interesting thing happens. A LOT of white jerseys flock when Geno STARTS to run. It is almost as though they see his head up, but believe he is not really looking downfield with any intent to throw. Geno doesn’t prove them wrong and goes OOB after 2 yards.
2nd & 8: 4 man rush, no pressure, Geno stands tall. His feet are a bit happy, and he fires a 10 yard out, high and away. It is a good spot to miss, but it remains a miss.
3rd & 8: Austin makes a great hitch on his man and catches a 10 yard bullet.
1st & 10: The offensive coordinator must be gaining confidence with some downfield throwing. A blitz is on, and Geno throws a solid 5 yard open curl.
1st & 10: Maryland shows blitz, but then rushes 3. Geno still panics and fires the ball early on a 3 yard out. He misses. No one appeared ready. Not even Maryland. Badly Incomplete.
2nd & 10: Geno has plenty of time on a four man rush (heavy on the right side, so empty field on the left), and he decides to run. He takes a hit head on. Gain of 6.
3rd & 4: A rush is coming, but Geno stands tall and delivers, even getting hit. He throws about a 10 yard curl, and hit nails his spot, even if it wasn’t a perfect spiral.
2nd & Goal (9): This is a fade deep right to not Bailey or Austin. Suspect playcalling already. Geno badly overthrows him, but might have just thought “aaaaaand, he’s not open, screw this.” He gets hit when throwing, which may have contributed to the miss.
3rd & Goal (9): Here’s a weird one. 3 man rush, but one is the MLB who goes after Geno untouched. Geno makes a quick step and ducks him, but the defender rips off Geno’s helmet by the of it. Only because I am a douche do I not that he then had a WR open, and that he threw at him. He missed him terribly. With the distress of losing your helmet, this is forgivable.
3rd & Goal (9): The play was redone, and Geno being shaken was clear. He took his drop, then dropped a little farther, then a little farther. At about 4.5 - 4.75 seconds, he was sacked.
2nd QTR, 5:14, 17 – 14
3rd & 9: It is no fun being thrust into 3rd and long. Geno tries to stand tall and make a play, but he fires high into traffic. He seemed stuck on one receiver, and while I’m glad he was 13 yards downfield, he is still locking with the pressure on. Incomplete.
2nd QTR, 2:33, 17 – 14
2nd & 13: 3 man rush. Geno steps up and guns a crossing pattern to Austin 15 yards down the field. Great strike through a zone.
1st & 10: 3 down linemen coming, and a CB off the left. It gets fully picked up, and Geno throws an 8 yard curl to the sideline. Gain of 9.
2nd & 1: Maryland brings a blitz, Geno trusts the pick-up, and he is rewarded. He even gets off a pump fake...although he did lock onto that guy like holy crap before getting the 10 yard curl.
1st & 10: Geno goes deep post down the middle 25 yards to Bailey. The ball wobbles a bit and doesn’t really lead him, but it is a strong throw nonetheless. Unfortunately, it was a little tough rough and was deemed incomplete.
2nd & 10: Ugh. A positive play, but not really. The result is a 28 yard TD pass to Austin. The meh news is that the CB didn’t cover him. He was wiiiide open. The kind of bad news is that the read was slow, and that Tavon had so sit and wait a little. Geno made up for the slow read with a powerful throw. Only a split second late. Touchdown.
3rd QTR, 14:52, 24 – 14
1st & 10: WR screen at LOS. 5 yards YAC.
3rd & 5: Maryland brings pressure, but WVU stonewalls them. Geno puts a 12 yard out right on the (NCAA one foot rule) spot. First down.
2nd & 7: Geno looks to hit a 6 yard curl, but it is swatted at the line.
3rd & 7: 4 man rush, Geno thought he had a first down middle (it would have been close), but he missed his man high. Punt.
3rd QTR, 10:36, 24 – 14
1st & 10: delayed blitz caught Geno and the O-Line entirely off guard. Easy sack. Untouched.
3rd & 18: I’ll say this: Geno navigated the pocket very well on this play. He maneuvered until he found an open target. It was only 8 yards down the field, and easily stopped, but it beat another sack. Punt.
3rd QTR, 2:46, 24 – 14
1st & 10: WR screen at LOS. Austin worms for 7.
2nd & 3: HB screen, and despite the (expected) pressure, Geno delivered at the LOS. Good gain YAC.
2nd & 7: 3 yard curl to Austin.
3rd & 4: The defense suckered Geno on this one. A HB flared free looking wide open. As soon as the ball got there, the HB was cut down. Punt.
4th QTR, 11:36, 24 – 14
2nd & 2: 5 man pressure, and it gets picked up. Geno still panics and tries to run, but the pocket closes a little, and he fires too hard 5 yards upfield. Incomplete pass.
3rd & 2: Geno keeps backpeddling with his happy feet, but he still zips a pass on a short curl.
1st & 10: WR screen behind LOS, Austin gets 5.
2nd & 5: WR screen at LOS gets 4.
1st & 10: 3 man rush, Geno takes his time, fires 15 yards downfield on a crossing pattern.
2nd and 9: Geno fakes the WR screen and firest up the seam 10 yards.
3rd & 15: Penalties pushed them back here, but Geno pushed through. He threw over the coverage that Austin beat, and nailed the TD. Perfect throw.
4th QTR, 7:20, 31 – 21
1st & 10: HB screen was getting blown up. Then a pass was thrown, and sure enough, a loss was taken.
3rd & 14: Smith looks comfortable in the pocket, but then he fires short of the marker, and a CB gets a hand on it. Dangerous pass, bad look…this drive deserves a -1. Punt.
4th QTR, 4:04, 31 – 21
1st & 14: 8 yard curl with everybody deep. Strong throw.
2nd & 5: 3 man rush, and as the announcer put it, “all the time Geno could possibly desire.” Given an easy running area, on 2nd and 5, trying to kill clock, you’ve got to run, right? No, Geno throws a tight strike to the sideline 5 yards upfield. And he gets it, AND a penalty.
2nd & 12: Quick slant for a couple.
No more passes were thrown by Geno. In 13 drives, his offense generated 3 TDs and 1 FG. Not a great showing, if we’re being honest. The first pressure Geno smelt all year definitely got to him at times. I was glad he pulled through towards the end, because pressure seemed to not being a helper prior to that moment.
According to the arbitrary and strict point system, Geno was a +3 on the day. Even though it is worse than the +3 in the opener with his funny stats, this game felt stronger. He was confident throwing the ball downfield. The defense wasn’t terrible. Obviously his stats were worse, but he was up to a challenge—mostly.
vs. BAYLOR, W 70-63
Points Against: 113th
1st QTR, 14:27, 0 – 0
1st & 10: HB screen, poorly thrown by Smith high. Embarrassing error.
3rd & 3: Quick shovel to Austin. He gets about 7.
1st & 10: Good protection, throws 8 yard curl high again, but hauled in.
3rd & 2: Good protection. Geno sees an open HB, but knows he is getting baited. He learned from last week. He looks to run. It is awkward, but he gets through, makes a small juke a gets the 2 yards.
3rd & 6: Pressure comes unabated, and he is sacked. Punt.
1st QTR, 9:12, 0 – 7
1st & 10: Has all sorts of time, gets through 3 progressions (taking forever), and chooses the 2 yard curl. He hits it, WR immediately downed.
2nd & 8: Geno seems panicked for no reason and thrown to the WR in the flat at the LOS. No gain.
3rd & 8: EVERYBODY’S OPEN! Geno went with a 15 yard curl to a wide open WR, while another crossed in front of him.
1st & 10: Austin shovel pass, he gets 9.
2nd & 1: All day for Geno, he goes deep for Bailey, who is held up. PI penalty.
1st & 10: Baylor blitzes, but they forget to clog the middle, so Geno takes off running. Good play getting 15 and quickly recognizing his surroundings.
1st & 10: WR screen gets 10, pass behind LOS.
1st and Goal (9): Quick out to WR at LOS, he takes it close.
1st QTR, 2:28, 7 – 14
1st & 10: Geno makes a 12 yard strike down the middle of the field to a sloppy in route.
1st & 10: Geno first 17 yards to a slant up the middle through traffic. Boldest throw of the year.
1st & Goal (9): Shovel to Austin for 2.
2nd & Goal (7): Pressure comes up the middle, and Geno throws off his back foot. He also threw to the perfect slant location for a touchdown.
2nd QTR, 11:25, 14 – 14
1st & 10: Tavon shovel for nothing.
2nd & 15: Sharp pass on a 8 yard out in the middle of the field. Complete.
3rd & 7: Smith locks onto his first man, and throws high. Punt.
2nd QTR 9:00, 21 – 14
1st & 10: HB screen poorly thrown, but HB gets 2.
1st & 10: Sharp 9 yard out. Strong pass, good progressions. Still, no pressure.
2nd & 1: Quick out to Tavon at LOS. He gets some YAC.
2nd & 10: PA, tons of time, Geno goes for the deep post 50 yards downfield and he drops it in a basket. Perfect throw to Bailey. Touchdown.
2nd QTR, 6:14, 21 – 28
1st & 10: 12 yard slant across the field, Geno hits on the money.
1st & 10: Quick hit to Bailey at LOS who gets 7.
1st & 10: Quick throw 3 yards, WR gets 5 more.
2nd & 2: I can’t give Geno a plus on this one. He throws a 30 yard flick to the back of the end zone like it is no big deal and gets the touchdown. It sucks because he nearly didn’t read a massive blown coverage. He was SO locked onto his underneath targets that he ignored his peripheral vision. Bailey came open and ran about half of the back of the end zone before Geno got to read #3. That is bad news. Then, on a whim after pressure FINALLY got close, he nearly looked like he would throw it away.
2nd QTR, 2:10, 28 – 28
2nd & 6: Geno rolls right, then he throws across his body. The play was drawn up this way, 6 yards downfield, then plenty of room to run. The defense fell asleep, and Austin made them pay.
1st & 10: This play was a dual screen, but both were effectively covered. So, Geno ran up the middle himself for 8. Solid, smart play.
1st & 10: Throws about a 5 yard out. Connects.
2nd & 2: Geno fire on a deep slant, and connects from about 20 yards away.
2nd & Goal (2): Fade to Bailey, very well thrown over the top. Touchdown.
3rd QTR, 15:00, 35 – 35
1st & 10: Geno has tons of time, and he tries to connect 20-25 yards downfield. His throw is behind and in double coverage. Better defenders would have picked this lame duck off.
2nd & 10: WR quick out at LOS.
3rd & 4: WR screen to the middle behind LOS, works well.
1st & 10: I wondered why Baylor refused to blitz before this play. I get it, now. They brought five, so Geno hit his hot route dump off on a 4 yard slant to Tavon. Then they missed one tackle on Tavon, and he ran 40 yards into the end zone. Electric. Touchdown.
3rd QTR, 11:55, 42 – 35
1st & 10: Austin shovel for nothing.
2nd & 10: Sort of a delayed HB screen, slow to develop but still got 6 YAC.
3rd & 5: Baylor just sort of sat there in the world’s laziest zone, and Geno fired a 6 yard curl. First down.
1st & 10: WR screen makes Bailey look like a magician.
1st & 10: Quick slant to Tavon, is a little high and behind, and it goes through his hands.
3rd & 12: 3 man rush generates NO pressure. Geno waits, and launches on a deep flag, and hits his man in stride. Tavon was already way past the defense, and he didn’t get slowed down this time. Don’t give a good QB that time. Touchdown!
3rd QTR, 6:31, 49 – 35
2nd & 9: Geno immediately goes for the deep fly to Bailey. Bailey wins, the safety is slow to get over, and the throw is perfect. Down to the 5.
1st & Goal (4): Geno fires on the out to Tavon, but leads him too much. He dives and catches the ball at the one, but he lost his own TD on this one.
3rd QTR, 2:43, 56 – 42
2nd & 7: Geno has time, but gets overconfident and fires for the first down marker, but it is knocked down in double coverage.
3rd & 7: Kind of wimpy. Baylor brings a fifth man, and Geno dumps it off on a drag. They do not get the first down. Bad drive.
4th QTR, 14:07, 56 – 49
1st & 10: Oh boy. Geno makes a nice strike 15 yards down the field on a streak to Bailey. He does not hit him in stride, but that is fine because NO ONE IS BEHIND HIM. Bailey ran the rest of the way for a TD. Horrible defensive breakdown.
4th QTR, 10: 48, 63 – 56
1st & 10: HB screen destroyed in the backfield.
2nd & 11: Plenty of time hits 4 yard curl.
3rd & 7: Throws a 14 yard hitch for the first down.
2nd & 7: PA deep post to Austin, but Geno overthrows him.
3rd & 7: There is a hint of pressure, but no one in the middle of the field. Geno takes 12.
2nd & 4: WR screen at LOS, gets first.
2nd & 12: Smith might be a little late on this throw, but Bailey tricks the defense and takes an easy score. Geno navigates the pocket and delivers a perfect bomb. Touchdown.
4th QTR, 3:02, 70 – 63
2nd & 10: PA, rushes 3, Geno fires short to the right side and misses his throw badly. However, the receiver makes a phenomenal one-handed grab, and gets the first down.
2nd & 9: PA roll right, this is ideally for Austin, and hey—Austin is wide open. He hits Austin in stride 5 yards upfield, and Austin get right next to the marker and stays in.
And that is how Geno Smith’s best game went. He really took some super downfield strikes. The Heisman talk was really kind of nonsense before this game, but he really rocked it in this one. +24. I might have been lenient on occasion, but only because he so regularly fixed his mistakes. He commanded this game entirely, and showed his superstar potential by constantly attacking rather than just dumping off.
He rarely dealt with pressure this game. Because his biggest flaw has been how he handles pressure, this is not a great test. But if you want to argue a case for Geno, start at this game.---
@ TEXAS, W 48-45
Points Against: 74th
1st QTR, 14:19, 0 – 0
2nd & 7: Throw at LOS to WR, slight pressure.
3rd & 4: Steps up in pocket and delivers a fastball about 10 yards upfield.
1st & Goal (8): Slant to Austin. He stared him down, and I don’t think this flies in the NFL, but maybe against bad teams. Touchdown.
1st QTR, 8:01, 7 – 7
3rd & 9: Immediate pressure—this looked like a QB roll right after the PA left, but the defense didn’t bite at all (and why would they on 3rd and long? Awful playcall). Geno went with his instincts and ran middle, getting about 6. FG missed.
1st QTR, 3:44, 7 – 7
3rd & 11: Two consecutive 3rd and longs for Geno in a row. Hats off to the playcalling, again. Plenty of time, delayed blitz from a 4th defender picked up. Geno threw about 5 yards down the field, covered. Gain of 5, punt.
1st QTR, 2:44, 7 – 7
1st & 10: PA with time, Smith takes a shot at a mostly open man 15 yards downfield, he misses him inside. Need to make that pass better.
2nd & 10: 7 yard out to Bailey, which he juggles, and is called incomplete. The replay proves he did make the catch, but the ruling is upheld because some people, referees in this case, are a-holes.
3rd & 10: 5 man pressure, hits a hot route quick slant for 6 yards.
4th & 4: Take 1: 5 man pressure, whistle blows, and Geno is taken down immediately. His reaction tends to indicate he didn’t hear the whistle—doesn’t drop the ball or move backwards.
Take 2: 4 man rush, plenty of time, defense seems jumbled. Austin catches a slant 10 yards up field. He then turns on the jets and goes for the TD. Electric man.
2nd QTR, 15:00, 14 – 7
2nd & 8: HB screen, all YAC for first down.
1 & 10: PA roll right, the defense is there to pressure Geno from behind, and he throws it away (despite having pull away speed)
3rd & 9: Plenty of time, goes deep middle, but he throws into double coverage. Lucky it wasn’t picked as it bounced of the DBs hands. Very poor decision making, and poor pass.
4th & 9: 12 yard out, on the money. First down.
2nd and Goal (4): Tons of time, and the left middle is entirely unoccupied. He could have walked into the end zone, but stayed back and threw it away. He was given a gift, and he didn’t even realize it. A RB finished the job from the 4.
2nd QTR, 11:40, 21 – 7
2nd & 14: Flea Flicker. The secondary is not fooled, and Geno’s only choice is to run. Unfortunately, he does not realize that quickly enough and is sacked for a big loss. I can’t really fault him. After one look downfield, the damn burst with D-linemen flowing forth very suddenly
2nd QTR, 8:18, 21 – 14
2nd & 11: At this point, Geno hasn’t really done much. However, that is due in large part to a very poor performance by the play caller. More obvious play calls are on the way. WR screen in, read and devoured by the defense for a loss of 3.
3rd & 14: Another one that should heavily go on the play calling. The routes all took time to develop and both tackles were beaten. The LE was there by a 3 count (not his blind side), and he knocked the ball out. The ball-handling was careless and low, and he has to step up with obvious pressure. As it is Texas took 7 points from turnover on the 1.
2nd QTR, 7:37, 21 – 21
1st & 10: “Hey, maybe I should let my Heisman candidate throw,” said somebody, finally. This pass is a slant that is off-line thrown to far downfield, but it was a wide open space, and Bailey easily got to it. Thrown 8 yards downfield, easy YAC for the 1st down.
1st & 10: HB screen was dead in the water. Geno still threw close. Not smart, but not costly.
2nd & 10: Pressure from the ends, Geno tries to step up, but the LT is so badly beaten by the right end, that no one could step away. Geno would have had a better shot if the LT hadn’t touched him. He was hugging Geno at right around a 3, maybe a LITTLE but more. Entirely on the protection. Luckily for WVU, a penalty was called on Texas (that didn’t impact the play).
1st & 10: WR quick out to Bailey. The CB is immediately on him, but Bailey shakes the tackle and takes 7 or 8 himself.
2nd & 5 (11): Smith has a wide open slant from his right side. Hit him, and it is a sure TD. He throws it behind his man costing his team 6.
3rd & 5: The LG whiffed his block about as badly as you can. Sack, not Geno’s fault. FG.
2nd QTR, 0:54, 24 – 28
2nd & 3: 5 yard slant to Bailey. Good crisp throw, easy to take some YAC.
1st & 10: There is an obvious neutral zone infraction. As a result, there is quicker pressure. The play is a WR screen to Austin, but Geno is rattled, and buries the ball in the ground. It wasn’t his fault that pressure had an illegal head start (free 5 yards), but the easy rattle is not good.
1st & 5: WR screen, thrown to the wrong side of Austin. He still manages 4 yards, though it should have been more.
1st & 10: Poor read by Geno. Bailey is wide open on a 5 yard in. Austin is coming open on a 5-10 yard slant. Geno thinks his first target has beaten his man by a step or two so throws fly to him. He overthrows it, and it is a good thing. If the throw loses a couple inches, it is a sure pick by the safety. Not sure how you forget about that extremely clear help over the top.
2nd & 10: Texas neglects to cover the HB going straight up the middle. Geno sees the man open who is literally beating the close guy by over 5 yards. Geno throws perfectly hitting his HB in stride. It was a terribly blown play defensively and a sure TD. But the HB was tripped by the same invisible wire that got Decker this year. And that made Dante Hall fumble in front of the end zone. Or maybe it was a sprinkler. Either way, he no run good, and he fell at the 20.
1st & 10: Nothing appears to develop, and Geno throws to a covered man about 10 yards downfield, but it is broken up and nearly picked. There was a 5 yard option available and open. This is another example of him locking onto one man with very intricate routes that require development. This is PRIME example of why I am scared of Geno. He says that he understands the intricacies of his offense, and the game is won between the ears. Then why are you firing quickly on play that needs to development? You clearly didn’t understand the point of this play. The line was pushed back, but no one lost his guy.
2nd & 10: WR screen behind LOS. All YAC.
Drive Result: FG
3rd QTR, 7:04, 27 – 31
2nd & 2: Pressure stumbles, but time is limited. Geno throws about a 7 yard hitch. Wide open, first down, good throw.
2nd & 14: I’ve been mean to the play caller, but this was a beauty. HB screen with Texas bringing tons of heat. That left the HB with a LOT of space. If that is Austin in space, it is a TD, not a 20 yard gain.
1st & 10: I have no idea what that defensive play was. It was like a blitz, but in slow motion, and not at all good. Geno gladly takes the time and fires a 13 post in coverage, but right on the money.
3rd & 3 (9): All linemen are picked up, and a blitzing LB from Geno’s left has the QB in his sights. Geno sees it with his peripherals, steps up, and the HB has no choice but to provide a solid block. Geno fires 14 yards up to the middle of the end zone, and hits Bailey on the post. The throw was a little ahead of him, but it had to be, and old Steady made a beautiful catch. I’m not sure if he will be good enough to separate from NFL corners, but that man can catch. Touchdown.
4th QTR, 14:39, 34 – 38 (trailing in 4th)
1st & 10: Austin shovel devoured for loss of 4.
2nd & 14: Man coverage, hits Tavon on a 7 yard out. Nice throw, nice play. 3rd down is makeable.
3rd & 6: Geno throws a quick slant to not Bailey or Austin. The defender is glued to him (and even interferes a little). Incomplete pass, but a fine throw, and the correct decision. He could have gotten the pass a little more in front, but that is it.
4th & 6: Geno gets kind of lucky here, but gets the desired result. The slot man runs a 5 yard flag, and beats his man. Unfortunately, the coverage is not man. The slot man is open, and Geno is good to find him, but just barely. It looks like a Cover 3, and the CB didn’t keep his eyes open. He was late delivering the hit, and the WR was able to hold on. First down.
4th & 2: No passes? Well, great. A QB sneak is called for Geno, and his center grinds through his lineman. Geno takes nearly 10 on the botch by the defense cause Geno kept hustling.
2nd & 4 (7): It is tough to give a plus for this play. Bailey runs a 10 in. He is open right when he makes his move. That is where the throw needs to be. That is not what happened. Bailey keeps it up, and undercuts the safety, and the throw is strong enough to get by the LB, evne though Geno stared Bailey down after the PA. It worked out since no one else was open. The disappointment is not getting the ball out when a pro needs to get it out. Touchdown.
4th QTR, 7:47, 41 – 38
1st & 20: Geno intended to throw a deep ball down the left side. It looks like single coverage, but I can’t tell about the safety. Regardless, he doesn’t get there. His RT is bull-rushed backwards, and the football is knocked out. It is tough to blame Geno for the offensive line, but not securing the ball gave Texas the ball in the red zone. Second fumble of the day.
4th QTR, 3: 28, 41 – 38 (WVU miraculously remains ahead)
2nd & 11: 6 man rush, man coverage, Geno throws 12 yards to the sideline, and the WR brings it in.
No more Geno. After this, the running game ripped a couple big ones, including a TD. Then Texas answered, and then it was over, 48 – 45.
Geno has some pretty stats with 268 yards and 4 TDs, all to Bailey and Austin. I’m not sure that I would blame his other WRs for being lousy. After watching the tape, they don’t separate as well, but they are still decent. It feels a little like Geno is made by these guys. A lot of the passes are short, and try to use their skill, but he has definitely come a long way since game 1.
One thing to admire is that WVU faced 4th down 5 times. They converted every time. The truly impressive thing at this point of the year is the ZERO interceptions. He made a few passes now that should or could have been picked, but nothing Casselian. At this point, he is still locking onto WRs, getting rattled by pressure, and isn’t making decisions as quickly as he needs. His footwork looks a little better in that some exists. He showing strong accuracy on slants, and this was the most he had struggled throwing deep. His reads are meh, and and he can fit bullets into tight windows. This isn’t an elite NFL arm, but it is unarguably and NFL caliber arm. Total = +5 day. No amazing NFL plays.
Points Against: 92nd
1st QTR, 12:14, 0 – 7
1st & 10: Tavon shovel finally works for 13.
2nd & 11: 5 man rush, Geno stands tall and hits his hot route for 4 yards.
3rd & 7: 3 man rush still gets good pressure. Geno keeps his eyes down field, and shuffles left. He fires 10 yards for a man at the sideline, and delivers perfectly.
2nd & 7: Tosses behind the LOS to a WR drag. Doesn’t get much.
3rd & 4: Blitz comes off the edge, Geno didn’t foresee it, and just chucks it out of bounds.
4th & 4: Here’s a foolish play. 4th down, 4 man rush, and it is picked up. In fact, there is no hint of pressure from the left. In fact, NOBODY is there. Geno can moonwalk for a first down, but he throws a deep flag, and misses pretty badly. There is a hold on the O-Line, but Geno missing the chance to run not only for a 1st down, but a HUGE gain, was a certainty. If this play doesn’t convince you that Geno has not figured out how to blend his athleticism into true elite talent, nothing will. I don’t care that he is as fast as Kaepernick, he sure as heck doesn’t play as fast.
1st QTR, 5:55, 0 – 14
1st & 10: WR screen to Woods. He doesn’t do much in the YAC area.
2nd & 6: No blitz, but Geno fires out quickly with the defenders playing off. Very poorly thrown, and the WR is forced to dive backwards to gain a few.
1st & 10: No one covers Tavon running straight up the seam. Geno hangs it up a bit much since the play is a post, and the safety gets a shot on Austin now, but he hit the man.
1st & 10: SINGLEBACK FORMATION, Geno looks comfortable, uses the PA well, and fires a post for the back of the end zone through traffic. Perfect professional execution.
1st QTR 0:30, 7 – 14
1st & 10: HB screen, blowed up, sir.
2nd & 7: After a penalty to get back some yardage, a Tavon shuffle donates a play back. 1 yard gain.
3rd & 6: 4 man rush, but the interior runs a simple stunt. WVU responds by crapping the bed. The O-Line is confused, and the massive hole that Geno could have stepped up into and run through…he mostly just kept backing up, afraid. Then he threw inaccurately because he was off his back foot.
2nd QTR, 13:18, 7 – 14
1st & 10: Plenty of time, and Geno finds a man slanting 20 yards down the middle. He is wide open. Geno overshoots him.
3rd & 9: 3 man rush, Smith spots the hole in the zone, and finds his man 15 yards downfield. He keeps the throw low for no picks. Great play.
1st & 10: A blitz is coming (6 men), but the first wave is picked up. Geno stands tall, but throws inaccurately for Bailey who almost makes a phenomenal play. Unfortunately, Geno threw where no human could catch it.
3rd & 11: 4 man rush, Geno steps up in the pocket perfectly and delivers a slant 13 yards downfield with soft touch for his lesser WR. For those counting, this drive is bad, good, pretty bad, pretty good—though he was super duper open in the middle of the field.
1st & 10: 12 yard hitch, Geno throws too high and off, but Austin makes a terrific leaping catch. I hate giving a +1, but it is the rules.
2nd & 9: PA rollout. It is only a 3 man rush, so Geno is in trouble looking for a man. He throws into triple coverage and misses. No pick, though.
3rd & 9: Throws a hitch for 6 yards.
4th & 3: Red Raiders show blitz, they blitz, Geno jukes one guy, but mostly keeps backpeddling. He tries to force a pass on the sideline, but misses. Short options or a hot route did not occur to him.
2nd QTR, 9:02, 7 – 21
1st & 10: WR drag to Austin at LOS. Gets a few YAC.
2nd & 6: He has single coverage on the outside, so he just tosses it up. It is a bit long and well-covered, falling incomplete.
3rd and 6: 8 yard curl, slightly off target, but hauled in nonetheless.
2nd & 5: Geno has a man open on a roll-out, he sees him and makes the throw, but without sufficient gas to get to his WR.
3rd & 5: Blitz coming, Geno does not throw to the open slant, but forces the ball downfield to the right sideline. It is well covered and incomplete. Fortunately for WVU, there is a penalty.
2nd & 10: Geno liked his HB read out of the backfield, but then, most of the way through his motion, I think he realized it was a zone, and a CB was licking his chops for this pass. He buries the throw short.
3rd & 10: HB screen, dead in the water.
2nd QTR, 2:04, 7 – 28
1st & 10: 4 man rush, the pocket crumbles a bit, but holds together. Geno panics, and tries to run, but then realizes, the pocket is fine. He hurries a curl 3 yards upfield, but misses his target.
2nd & 10: WR screen, well set-up. Thrown at the LOS, YAC gets everything.
2nd & 8: Geno navigates the pocket well, steps up, and throws for the deep post middle. He overthrows his man in triple coverage.
3rd & 8: 3 man rush, tons of time, Geno steps up, and who the hell is he throwing that to? No one is open, so he overthrows everyone. This is not having the “it” factor. No one was open, so what would a good QB do with time? Is the answer “quit on the play?” Cause that’s what he did.
2nd QTR, 0:22, 7 – 35
1st & 10: 3 man rush, Geno throws a hard hitch 9 yards downfield. He throws high, too hard, and off-center, but the WR makes the catch.
1st & 10: Geno is forced back in the pocket, so he just launches one upfield into double coverage. The throw sails OOB.
2nd & 10: WR screen, poorly thrown too high, but still caught.
3rd & 4: Hail Mary play, Geno stays on his feet and makes the throw to the front of the end zone. Fine Hail Mary, but incomplete and not close.
3rd QTR, 15:00, 7 – 35
1st & 10: Nothing open downfield, no real pressure, Geno dumps at the LOS to Austin out of the backfield. He gets a couple.
3rd & 4: Another “it” factor issue. PA roll right, no major pressure, though defenders are in front of him. No one appears open, so Geno decides to run. Of course, he was jogging to this point, so a slow LB jabs him OOB after 2-3 yards. Couldn’t use that agility?
4th & 1: QB sneak is successful.
1st & 10: Blitz comes, so Geno throws deep into single coverage. He throws OOB, and I dearly hope he wanted to go OOB. The bad news is that when Geno read blitz, his hot route was “out of bounds deep down field.” It happens, I suppose.
3rd & 7: 2 man rush, good protection, Geno steps up and fires 9 yards to the sideline. It is a pretty good pass, but is defended well-enough to be incomplete.
4th & 7: Blitz coming, but is picked up. The defense guessed “slants,” and they were right. Geno stared down his #1 option, and a LB was in the way PLUS good coverage. He fired away, high and inside. No one is catching that pass. Maybe Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson. Bad play.
3rd QTR, 10:32, 7 – 35
1st & 10: WR quick out.
2nd & 10: Woods runs an out and up, and the CB is not fooled staying with him step for step. Geno throws the about 25 yards to the sideline. Beautiful pass, and Woods goes up over the CB and makes a fantastic grab, but the CB knocks it loose while going to the ground. Geno’s arm looked great, though I’m not sure why he would force the throw. I believe interference was called.
2nd & 6: 3 man rush, tons of time, Geno throws deep left for Austin on a streak. In the NFL, the safety will be there for the double coverage. As it is, he still under throws his man, and the pass is incomplete. A better CB has this picked off for sure. It hit him on the top of the helmet.
4th & 6: 3 man rush, and there may have been a man deep downfield, but it is tough to say. I think the best bet was running for a first down since 8 were back in a zone. Geno threw a sideline route over everyone’s head. Turnover on downs.
3rd QTR, 6:33, 7 – 35
1st & 10: PA roll left. Everyone is picked up, and I figured Geno would make a move on the LB angling to him, and he would take 5-15 yards. Then he just lobbed it deep. It was well overthrown in double coverage. It feels like Geno has either given up, or is caught in the Shane Falco quicksand. His decision making has fallen off the map.
3rd QTR, 3:30, 7 – 42
1st & 10: Tavon shovel for 17.
1st & 10: Pocket forms, Geno steps up, but his mechanics look sloppy. He flings the ball towards the sideline and double coverage. If the DB’s foot had not been out of bounds, it would have been an interception, instead of a regular awful pass.
1st & 10: 3 man rush, dumps 5 yard curl.
2nd & 4: slant to Austin, and complete. The OLB was supposed to fall directly into this path, but overran the zone since the RB was staying in. Austin came open and Geno hit him.
1st & 10: 4 man rush, 5 yard hitch hit.
3rd & Goal (2): PA, locks onto slant and makes a good throw, but it is well defended. Incomplete.
4th & Goal (2): PA, rolls right. Geno has the edge, and should run it, but he lazily rolls to the side, and forces a laser. It is nearly picked, and not nearly complete. Foolish play. The announcers point out that he should have run.
4th QTR, 5:33, 7 – 49
1st & 10: 3 man rush, wide open 12 yard curl.
1st & 10: 4 man rush, prevent type defense, hits another 10 yard curl. I refuse to give any more garbage time points.
1st & 10: 9 yard out.
1st & 10: Throws a hard back shoulder ball for Woods 20 yards downfield. Woods makes an outstanding catch on a ball thrown too high.
1st & Goal (8): The defense is no longer pure prevent. Geno goes for a short out route, but it is off the mark.
That is Geno’s final play. The RB would later score making the final 49 – 14. Obviously, this is Geno’s worst game to this point. He’ll make an NFL caliber play, then he’ll miss on the exact same play. This game, he was pressured (though I would say maybe more by Maryland) and frustrated. He kept trying to force balls down the field, and he wasn’t coming close. The accurate deep ball shown against inferior opponents was nowhere to be seen against an athletic defense. Not good, mind you. Athletic.
Overall, this was a -5 day, and he got some garbage credit. He was a little hot and cold early, and just cold late. Everyone has a bad day, and for the #1 overall pick, you only get one.
The things I love about Geno, his short slant accuracy, his deep touch, and his athleticism were buried on this day. Nothing went right.
vs. KANSAS STATE, L 55-14
Points Against: 28th
1st QTR, 10:27, 0 – 3
1st & 10: PA 5 yard curl underneath. Nice, accurate pass.
2nd & 1: HB screen, very poorly thrown by Geno and incomplete.
1st QTR, 3:00, 0 – 10
2nd & 8: 8 yard slant, good throw, though a little up.
1st & 10: Tavon shovel gets a couple.
3rd & 6: The pocket crumbles around Geno, and he steps up, but he leaves the ball out. A LB from the front (NOT BLIND SIDE and EASILY visible) runs up and whaps the ball out. Luck is on his side, and Geno picks it up. Here comes the “it” factor…he runs right, and calls for a block even though no one on his team was there. He had a man open on this side. He did not throw to him, or throw it away…he ran out of bounds for a 3-4 yard sack, and no one touched him.
2nd QTR, 11:20, 0 – 17
1st & 10: Good protection, Geno finds second target, who is open. Then he misses him high and away just 8 yards downfield. It is worth noting that his first option is now a very open Tavon Austin with tons of open field. He gets a minus for SEEING HIS #1 target come super open for a huge play, and he says “nah, let’s throw an inaccurate rocket.”
2nd & 10: Hits Austin on a 7 yard drag.
1st & 10: PA, looking short and deep left. I can’t see the field, but I will trust that he saw both. After the bull rush has closed in on him, he escapes the pocket and runs OOB for 3. It is kind of a wimpy run.
2nd & 7: Swing pass to HB at LOS, gets a couple YAC.
3rd & 4: WR screen at LOS. It plays perfectly against the KSU defense and gets 15.
2nd & 10: PA, and a quick hitch to Bailey. Unfortunately, the CB wasn’t playing way off like Geno though. He just stayed there. Geno knew it wasn’t open, but stayed locked on. Then he threw, and then it was knocked away. Casselian.
2nd & 10: Outside blitzer comes free and Geno has to react fast. He goes to the WR behind the LOS, and loses half a yard. It is worth noting that the sucker this play was the RT who ignored the outside blitz (it was well-disguised), and still failed to stop the DE. Two wildcats ended up in the backfield, and he missed both. Jordan Black would be proud.
3rd & 10: 4 man rush, Geno has time, but no men open (except a pretty open deep post), so he dumps it to the WR4 in the flat who almost gets 5. Punt.
2nd QTR, 0:17, 7 – 31 (Tavon Austin KO return—indicating it is not all of WVU who is overmatched)
1st & 10: 9 yard sideline hitch. The throw is off-line, but a great catch is made.
2nd & 1: 4 men rushing, mostly a prevent, Geno tries to go deep, but is WAY behind his man.
3rd & 1: Quick WR out to pad the numbers.
3rd QTR, 14:54, 7 – 31
1st & 10: Good pocket around Geno, has time, he throws a hitch for the sideline, but completely misses seeing the LB dropping into his zone. He jumps up and deflects the ball, then the ball is picked. Terrible read, terrible decision, terrible result. It was his second read.
3rd QTR, 13:50, 7 – 38
1st & 10: Swing to Austin at LOS, 2 YAC.
2nd & 8: Pocket seems good, doesn’t seem to progress through his read, and then the pocket collapses for the sack.
3rd & 16: 4 man rush, he steps up into the pocket, but the interior has already been pushed back, and he takes a sack at the 1. It was insufficient time.
3rd QTR, 8:37, 7 – 45
1st & 10: KSU thought a screen was coming at some point, and they guessed now. They guessed right. Caught 3 yards behind the LOS and immediately dropped.
2nd & 13: I-Form, PA. He has an open man out of the backfield and lobs it for him. He doesn’t set his feet, and the sails a little, forcing the back to adjust and taking away YAC.
1st & 10: Nice 11 yard hitch.
1st & 10: 8 yard out, nicely thrown, standing tall in the pocket.
2nd & 8: goes through his progression, but underthrows the ball, and this time he pays the price. He seemed very confused that the LB could drop in his zone to make the play. He had plenty of time, and it was a drive-killing play.
3rd QTR, 2:17, 7 – 52
1st & 10: Plenty of time on 4 man rush, throws 20 yards downfield, and only through the grace of God did the ball fall to the ground after hitting both of the DB’s hands. Easy pick in the NFL.
2nd & 10: 4 yard sit down curl, and that is all.
3rd & 6: HB screen behind the LOS gets about 8.
1st & 10: Drag route at LOS. It picks up 13 YAC.
2nd & 8: Plenty of time, eventually feels non-existant pressure and “escapes” pocket. Geno commits to the run, and take it 2-3 yards.
3rd & 5: 4 man rush, no pressure is generated, but Geno acts panicked. He runs left, but a LB stays with him and he only gets one yard beforing running OOB.
4th & 4: WR screen, and an OUTSTANDING play by Bailey. He look down at the LOS, but he never quit, and found the first down. Great job to bail out Geno.
1st & 10: PA pass, Geno stands tall, but the RT is beaten on the inside, and Geno is pulled down. It isn’t a “mistake,” per se, but Geno has a terrible feel for pressure, and it shows in a lot of his game. He throws off his back foot, gets frustrated and starts forcing throws, makes less accurate deliveries and generally seems to panic. Here, he just flat out ignores a rusher from his non-blind side. It is NOT okay to never see that. It just isn’t.
2nd & 16: 6 yard hitch.
3rd & 7: Looks right, doesn’t like it. Looks left, stays left, and throws a 7 yard hitch. The CB nearly picks it (pick 6 style), but only bats it down.
4th & 7: Throws an 8 yard out…out of bounds. Turnover.
4th QTR, 9:57, 7 – 52
2nd & 8: 10 yard curl left, connects. With some back-ups in, more positive plays are possible.
2nd & 2: Smith moves well in the pocket and fires long on a deep post. He overthrows the safety by several yards, and his own receiver by many more. Silly throw.
2nd & 7: Quick pass to Bailey at the LOS.
1st & Goal (5): Tavon shovel, and in for the touchdown.
And that’s the game. Geno contributed absolutely nothing but mistakes. Geno finally saw some athletic matches—not equals, just guys who could hang—and Geno couldn’t, anymore. This was at home, and there is no other way to say it, Geno was mentally overmatched. I feel a little bad ragging on a guy’s intellect, but he is the one TOUTING his intellect. This bell cannot be unrung, Mr. Smith. He would often look at only 2 WRs, and I’m not sure if he understood what he saw, given that he couldn’t make a play to save his life.
Obviously, with 143 yards passing and 2 picks, this was an awful game. Coming off of last week’s -5, this week he landed a -12. Really, the main difference between this game and the Texas Tech is an even BETTER defense that made Geno pay for his mistakes. His passing TD was a glorified hand-off. Terrible week.
vs. TCU, L 39-38 (2OT)
Points Against: 30th
1st QTR, 15:00, 0 – 0
1st & 10: 9 hitch to the middle. The throw is low, but good enough.
3rd & 1: Swing pass to the HB. It was a pretty questionable pass, and the HB barely got a yard, but he got it. There were plenty of defenders over there, and Geno got lucky.
3rd & 11: Drag behind the LOS to Austin who gets about 5. Geno was in a tough position, and he might now have had a say in the call.
1st QTR, 10:47, 0 – 0
2nd & 4: 8 yard out, on the money. Good throw.
1st QTR, 0:05, 0 – 7
1st and 10: 5 yard curl with some YAC.
1st & 10: Rollout and dump to the RB at the LOS who gets a few.
3rd & 5: The complaint about Geno being scared and not running effectively is silenced on this play. He goes through his left reads, and then is forced out right. Given what I have seen to this point, I thought Geno was a lock to get tackled or go OOB after 2 yards, but he makes a good cut, and gets the yardage. Great play! Let’s see that more often.
1st & 10: Dump to HB at LOS, gets about 8 YAC.
1st & 10: Geno doesn’t see the blind side pressure, and he gets hit as he heaves for the back of the end zone 28 yards away. I know I should give him a plus for the result, but 100% of the credit goes to Woods who makes an amazing adjustment, and an absurd catch. Touchdown.
2nd QTR, 12:13, 7 – 7
1st & 10: I-FORM PA deep post, Geno has time, he sets and throws it to God only knows where. He went 40 yards downfield, and the CB caught it in stride. There had to be miscommunication…but how can there be on a deep post. You saw where he was going an under-threw the ball by 5 yards, and the WR never adjusted.
2nd QTR, 11:18, 7 – 14
3rd & 7: 10 yard pass up the middle of the field on a crossing pattern. Nice throw and conversion.
1st & 10: Good protection, hits a 5 yard hitch.
3rd & 4: Tavon shovel, and Austin does amazing things. The electric man runs all over the field and takes it to the house. Touchdown (pass for Geno Smith—wink).
2nd QTR: 7:10, 14 – 14
2nd & 7: Geno overthrows, and misses his man.
3rd & 7: Geno gets rattled and throws to nobody.
1st & Goal (9): After a fumbled punt, dump pass to the HB at the LOS, gets a couple.
3rd & Goal (2): Geno tries to sneak, but is stuffed.
2nd QTR, 2:35, 21 – 14
3rd & 12: Geno dumps a drag at the LOS to Austin who runs very fast for 12 yards. Electric man.
1st & 10: Geno starts by dropping back WAY too far. It was a shotgun, and you don’t take a 5 step drop after the snap. The result was the LE easily and immediately knocking the ball loose. Geno picks it up, gets confused, and then gets back to the LOS because of his athleticism. The play was a mistake, and also a reminder of how Geno’s athleticism SHOULD be crushing opponents.
2nd & 10: Quick throw to WR at LOS, he gets about 9.
4th & 1: Geno lines up way back for a pooch kick. He bobbles the snap, and a man has a free run at him. Somehow, he misses. Geno looks puzzled for a moment, then realizes no one is out to the right. So he runs there, and it is a free first down. I believe the announcer called it a big “break.” Yeah.
2nd & 7: 4 yard slant to the middle, Austin gets the first down on YAC.
WVU does not score.
3rd QTR, 14:07, 21 – 14
1st & 10: WR screen behind LOS, Austin gets 8.
2nd & 20: Dump off at LOS, gets 5.
3rd & 14: Geno looks like he might have a deep option, but seems hesitant. The pocket collapses, and he manages to escape. He looks like he might get the yardage, but is tripped early.
3rd QTR, 9:23, 24 – 2
1st & 10: 5 yard curl outside, good accuracy, good throw.
3rd & 5: The edge rushers go for speed rushes, and Geno steps up has room. I thought he was a lock for the first down, but he can accelerate slowly when he is thinking too much.
4th & 1: QB sneak succeeds by a small margin.
2nd & 10: 12 yard out to the sideline. Nice back shoulder location, strong throw. NFL pass.
1st & 10: WR screen to Austin behind the LOS. He gets 5.
2nd & 4: Geno feels pressure, and he throws it to mostly nobody.
3rd & 5: Geno feels pressure, but is again unable to take advantage of his speed.
3rd QTR, 3:04, 24 – 21
1st & 10: WR screen behind LOS, blown up.
3rd & 11: Pressure gets to Geno who tries to find Bailey, but cannot.
4th QTR, 12:01, 24 – 24
1st & 10: Geno moves the pocket right, but throws across the field, high and lobbed for Bailey. Bailey goes up and almost makes a great play, but you can’t hang passes out like that and expect good things.
3rd & 5: Pocket collapses on Geno. He tries to flip the ball to a RB as he goes down, but didn’t see it soon enough. He probably should have, but the pocket collapsed pretty hard.
4th QTR, 6:34, 24 – 24 (NOTE: I have no film on these plays, only Play-by-Play Log)
1st & 10: Geno Smith pass incomplete.
3rd & 5: Geno Smith pass incomplete to Andrew Buie (RB).
4th QTR, 2:31, 31 – 24 (Tavon Austin punt return…electric)
1st & 10: WR screen for nothing.
2nd & 10: WR screen behind LOS, gets 2.
4th QTR, 1:28, 31 – 31
1st & 10: In case you weren’t counting, WVU’s last 4 drives were all 3 and outs, and they just let a dead opponent back in the game. Okay. Smith throws a 12 yard out, and it is pretty.
1st & 10: 7 yard out, pretty well covered and thrown a little high, but good enough. Only YAC was lost.
2nd & 4: PA option, and Geno runs for 7 (designed).
1st & 10 (38) Throws to a well-covered man despite time, the ball is batted away and nearly picked.
2nd & 10: Reads down the field, then to the flat, then throws downfield, and that should have been picked 100%. The CB jumped the route and got hit in the chest. It might have been a game-losing pick six if that guy had ANY hands.
3rd & 10: Geno Smith has decent time, though the pocket is collapsing. Geno goes for the deep ball to Woods. His man is beat by a step, and Geno overthrows him by a few yards. Clutch failure.
Then, another long FG was missed. While it should be noted the kicker was now 1-4, he was given nothing but long attempts.
OT (TCU had first possession and failed to score)
1st & 10: WR screen, gets about 5.
2nd & 4: Geno looks down the field for almost a second, then looks to the RB in the flat and throws. The problem is that he was well covered, and linemen were in the way. It was a scared attempted dump-off, and it was batted down.
3rd & 4: Quick throw to slot man, immediately brought down at LOS.
OT 2nd possession (the kicker missed the 37 yarder. Baaaad day, man)
1st & 10: Geno seems less scared and more pissed. He has a good pocket and looks right. Nothing. He looks left and fires a laser to the end zone, single coverage. Bailey plays the ball perfectly, and bring it in for the immediate TD. Not an “in stride” throw, but he stood tall, and looked like an NFL QB coming through when he absolutely had to do so.
That was Geno’s last play because WVU gave up a TD on their first play, then gave up a 2-point conversion. Game over, WVU loses. It is awfully hard to blame Geno on this one, but it is easy to look back on the second half of the game, and see he was highly unproductive for a long while. 4 straight 3 and outs, the game winning drive stalled at the 38 (and he SHOULD HAVE thrown a game-losing pick six). He looked scared to give the game away, and was not aggressive. The only possession he was aggressive nearly ended in disaster.
The throw in overtime is evidence that he can stand in there and be a mentally tough QB with all the skills. However, that is the FIRST TIME I thought that, especially given the rest of the game. Against tough defenses, he is managing fewer mistakes, but making fewer plays, too. His line was 260 yards, 3 TD (2 of which were aided greatly by the WR, and the third done ENTIRELY by the WR) and a pick. His good play/bad play score is -6. This is worse than the Tech game. But how? His team nearly won—in spite of him. Geno, the defense, and the kicker are all goats. The kicker and the defense are just more prominently goats. He has made some good throws, and I want to give credit where it is due. However, he hasn’t dropped a deep pass where necessary since playing JV teams.---
Unfortunately, I must skip the @OSU game. I have no tape to review. All I have are highlights. No interceptions, so that is good. Geno makes his first good deep ball throw in forever. With pressure in his face, he throws a perfect pass in stride nearly 50 yards downfield. That would be a +3. Geno later threw a 20 yard slant for a pretty TD. He also ran a QB sneak, but couldn’t keep things going late.---
vs. OKLAHOMA, L 50-49
Points Against: 50th
1st QTR, 9:44, 0 – 7
3rd & 10: Quick throw to WR, gets a first down on YAC.
2nd & 1: PA, goes middle 20 yards down field, but very well covered, and was NEARLY intercepted. The defender dropped the ball when he went to the ground.
2nd & 8: 3 step drop and slant to some guy I have never seen. He stopped the slant and sat in the zone. Geno threw to where the slant should have gone. This might be on the WR, but he seemed pretty pissed about it. Geno locked onto his first man, had another one open on the other side, and gave up a super easy pick. On a second look, it never looked like a slant, and Geno was confused. Can’t be sure, but definitely an awful play.
1st QTR, 4:36, 0 – 10
2nd & 5: Beautiful back shoulder throw to the sideline 12 yards downfield.
2nd & 3: Quick pass to Bailey at the LOS, he gets the first.
3rd & 8 (9): Hits Bailey on a 5 yard out, but Bailey couldn’t get the corner. FG.
2nd QTR, 14:09, 3 – 10
2nd & 10: 8 yard hitch outside, and Geno misfires throwing high and wide for Bailey.
3rd & 10: 12 yard out to Bailey, and again, Geno overthrows. Geno locked on, Bailey was open, and he missed.
2nd QTR, 11:58, 3 – 10 (thanks, immediate fumble!)
3rd & 7: Austin runs 10 yard out to perfection, and the ball is right in stride. Pretty stuff.
1st & 10: PA, Geno clearly wants Bailey and he stares him down. Bailey gets to the 8, 10 yards downfield, and Geno throws it well over his head. It was good coverage and he may have been throwing it away—but why not check a second option?
3rd & Goal (4): Quick 3 yard pass to the sideline for Woods, he gets it, but can’t get in.
2nd QTR 9:29, 10 – 17
1st & 10: 4 man rush slowly collapses pocket. Geno finds no one and is forced to retreat and roll out. Having nothing, he wisely throws the ball away.
3rd & 5: A fifth man comes on a blitz. Geno fires to his first option, but misses him badly.
2nd QTR, 5:08, 10 – 24
1st & 10: Here’s a beauty. Geno stands tall, checks a couple guys, and throws a deep ball 40 yards in stride to Tavon. Let’s call this a 2 point positive, because it was a big time throw, but Geno reacted to pressure by continuing to inch back rather than move up and use blocks.
1st & 10: quick pass out to Bailey at the LOS, the CB comes up and punches it out for an incompletion.
2nd & 10: Slot man blitzes on a delay, and no one has him. Geno has to rush a throw, and mostly throws it to no one.
3rd & 10: 5 men come, Geno stands in and fires a 15 yard post on the money.
2nd & 8: Big inside blitz, but picked up. Geno looks deep, and lo and behold, he throws another beauty. Another deep post to his man who only won by one or two steps. In stride, in the end zone, great pass. It reminded me a little of that Flacco pass against the Chiefs a couple years ago. All out blitz, he throws a perfect deep ball.
2nd QTR, 2:01, 17 – 31
1st & 10: Geno has time and a man running a 15 yard flag. Geno lobs the ball, and the defender is able to catch up and deflect it. The way behind throw then turned into a pick. As good as the last pass was, this was just as bad.
2nd QTR, 0:05, 17 – 31
1st & 10: Geno tries to dump to Austin and fires short.
2nd & 10: Despite being in Hail Mary distance, another behind the LOS pass is made to Austin. Weeeak.
3rd QTR, 11:49, 24 – 38 (Guess who ran it 74 yards for a TD. Just guess. Here’s a hint: he’s electric)
1st & 10: Geno immediately recognizes single coverage on the outside for Bailey. Unfortunately, he badly underthrows the ball (40 yards downfield), and a better CB pick it for sure. This guy even had the position, but it was SO underthrown that he couldn’t even get back to it.
3rd & 3: PA roll to the tight end—a Mike Shanahan favorite. Sure enough, the tight end was wide open at the marker. He caught the ball, broke a tackle, and added about 10 extra.
1st & 10: WR screen left in the backfield gets a couple.
2nd & 7: PA, Geno briefly looks right as a formality, then immediately left. And he stays there. And throws a 10 yard strike on a comebacker to Bailey. Good-ish.
1st & 10: Quick pass to Bailey at the LOS, but poorly thrown forces Baliey up and out. After the catch, because of the bad throw, he is dead in the water for 1 yard.
2nd & 9: Nothing that Geno likes opens up, but he avoids a rusher, and runs for the hole. A DB chases, but Geno outruns him for 6.
2nd & Goal (4): I-Form PA rollout. Clearly, they want the FB, but he is not open. Geno forces it anyways, and it is almost picked off. There was no deep option, so Geno was a bit screwed here.
3rd QTR, 2:03, 30 – 38
1st & 10: Bailey is running a fly route, and Geno makes his decision instantly when he see single coverage. Unfortunately, the ball is underthrown, and the CB drops a pick that hits him in the numbers. Lofted there. Inexcusably bad defense for not taking advantage of another bad deep pass.
3rd & 7: PA roll left. No one is open, so the correct option is to run. He tells the TE to block, and he runs hard for 6. It was a good play, but not enough. And the next play was stuffed.
4th QTR, 13:23, 30 – 38
1st & 10: This play was close to a disaster, but turned out crazy good. Geno does 2 bad Geno things. One, he locks onto option #1, and two, he is oblivious to the LE who is about to smash him into his own end zone for a safety. Luckily, he gets the ball out in time, and complete the post to the 35 with 3 defenders trying to get there. They don’t, Bailey makes a great jumping catch, and it is a big gain.
2nd & 9: 5 yard curl to Bailey, who then refuses to be tackled until he gets at least another 20 YAC.
1st & 10: Blitz comes, and pressure off the left side forces Geno out to the right. It is obvious, but he immediately see that no one is there, and running is the correct option. This was a terrific gain, and a good general decision by Geno. It is nice that instead panic and bad throws that he did the right thing. Unfortunately, I can see why doesn’t run more. He has bad vision. That’s right. A QB has bad vision. He could have made smarter cuts and gotten into the end zone, but he took a long route and ran out of gas at the end. The run went from majestic to kind of sad in the last few seconds.
1st & Goal (4): Bailey shovel pass, and he takes it in. Touchdown.
2 pt conv: Geno stares down his man, and then tries to get him on a quick out. The defense is on him, though. Ill-advised pass falls incomplete. He is forcing the ball to Bailey harder than Thigpen used to do to Gonzalez.
4th QTR, 7:20, 36 – 38 (amazing field position courtesy of Mr. Austin)
1st & Goal (8): Geno stares down Bailey, then keeps staring, then throws for the back of the end zone. I will give Geno credit, but Bailey made this happen. He boxed off the defender so only he could get the ball.
4th QTR, 3:01, 43 – 44
1st & 10: Geno stares down Bailey once again, a rush gets into his face, and he throws the deep ball for Bailey. I would be more impressed if #14 hadn’t been beaten so badly all night, but Geno still has to make a perfect throw. Yes, he was taking advantage of a bad secondary and not using intelligence—you do what you do to win, and this was a very pretty throw over hapless double coverage. Touchdown.
2 pt conv: a nice pocket forms around Geno, but when it starts collapsing, he tries to run for the shred of light. He doesn’t get there and is sacked. Pretty lousy play call, as none of the 4 WRs ran to the middle of the field, and the HB only blocked. This was WVU’s 3rd missed conversion. 3 points left on the field—and now you are up by 5. Oops.
4th QTR, 0:21, 49 – 50 (uhhhh, DOUBLE oops?)
1st & 10: No one open, pressure is forced outside, so Geno runs up the middle and OOB for 13. I would give this a +1, but there are 12 seconds left, and now you have the ball at the 40.
1st & 10: 10 yard out to Bailey, and he flat drops it. The ball is a little behind, but Bailey reacts, and still just DROPS it.
2nd & 10: Geno waits, and rolls out of the pocket left. He hits a WR 10 yards on a crossing pattern at the sideline. Nice play—except he ground the clock into a fine powder. :02 left at the 50, now.
1st & 10: Hail Mary from 50 falls short of the end zone, and should have been picked. That ain’t good.
Obviously, Geno had a much more productive day than some of his previous games. If they could have executed JUST ONE of the 2-point plays, they go to OT. If they get 2—or just kick PATs…they win. That is on Geno some, but on the WVU coaching more. Tavon Austin ran for 344 yards. Bailey had 13 catches for 204 of Smith’s 320 (Austin had 82). If I had to make scouting comps to Austin and Bailey, it would be DeSean Jackson and Eric Decker. Geno goes to these guys because they are the best players, but the others aren’t THAT bad. I thought his O-line was terrible. They have their share of issues, but Geno has had plenty of clean pockets.
Geno did a couple of things prominently well today—the main one being hitting on the deep ball to Bailey. Even if he was beating up on a terrible CB, he was still locating passes better, and with some pressure on him. It is a little disheartening when a prospect gets fat against the bad opponents, but then looks ill against good opponents. That is what I am getting from Geno at this point. His +/- for the game was…0. Better than the negative performances, but he isn’t doing a great deal to lead the team to its offensive success. It is the WRs---
@ IOWA STATE, W 31-24
Points Against: 38th
1st QTR, 13:09, 0 – 0
1st& 10: Under center, PA Pass, Geno goes deep down the middle and overthrows his open man. Missed a possible TD.
2nd & 10: quick 5 yard out, on the money, and down.
2nd & 7: The pocket starts collapsing after several seconds, and Geno realizes the defense is man, and nobody has him. He takes the 20 yards, but never seems to really run.
1st & 20: Tries to dump a drag route on the LOS, but a defender appears, and Geno is forced to throw it over his head.
3rd & 3: Quick pass to Bailey sails WAAAAY over his head. Best case scenario, he thought the corner would take Bailey down easily. He wasn’t getting a pick. What was Geno thinking?
1st QTR, 6:34, 3 – 0
1st & 10: WR screen, but the defense gets in the backfield and easily knocks it down.
3rd & 4: Austin shovel, and he gets the first.
1st & 10: Quick 4 yard curl, Woods gets some nice YAC.
1st & 10: HB screen gets 8.
1st & 10: 5 yard curl.
1st & 10: Geno has tons of time and examines the field. He finds an open man 7 yards upfield, and he misfires badly, and the ball falls incomplete.
3rd & 13: WR screen is gobbled up after 1 yard.
2nd QTR, 12:07, 3 – 0
1st & 10: Zone defense withan open spot between the corner and safety. Geno finds Bailey there, and though the ball is behind, it is likely intentional due to the zone. 15 yard throw towards the sideline.
1st & 10: 4 man rush, but Geno has roughly ALL the time. He settles on a post 25 yards downfield that Bailey has to stop and comeback to catch at the 3. I cannot, in good conscience, give this a plus one. The ball wobbled like a lame duck. Just a terrible throw.
2nd QTR, 6:01, 10 – 7
2nd & 8: 5 yard quick pass, Woods racks up about 10 YAC.
1st & Goal (9): Austin shovel gets a couple.
2nd & Goal (6): 4 yard out to Bailey. The throw is online, and it is a touchdown. It is like Iowa State is severely overmatched physically, or something?
3rd QTR, 14:41, 17 – 7
2nd & 4: 4 yard out. Hits his man, gets the first down.
1st & 10: This only a gain of about 8, but it is impressive. Smith doesn’t look at all flustered, and he appears to go through his progression pretty quickly. At the conclusion he fires into traffic hitting an open man.
1st & 10: WR screen to that one guy I have only seen once. Loss of 2. Maybe stop throwing him the ball.
2nd & 12: Blitz coming, Geno locks to his man, and it isn’t a hot route. He makes a strong throw to the sideline, and has a man open about 7 yards up field. He is immediately hit after the catch, but a solid gain.
3rd & 5: Hey, that guy I just said shouldn’t get the ball was wide open on a drag around the marker, and he caught it and bumbled forward for a couple more. YAY, that guy!
3rd & 2: Tavon had to be the guy all the way. He comes out of the backfield going into the flat. Geno tosses to him, and he has to break one tackle to get the first down. Surely the mighty Tavon Austin will beat a lowly ISU defender, right? WR..wait….you’re right. He spun by him. Electric.
1st & 10: Geno looks to the middle of the field for about 3 seconds, then moves on. He has plenty of time, and Woods was wide open the whole time. Geno misfires by throwing behind Woods. He brings it in, but no YAC. Gain of 5.
1st & 20: Bailey shovel gets about 5.
3rd & 12: Blitz comes—it is initially picked up as Geno has a 3 count to throw, though it seems scarier, and several hands land on Smith. He starts to escape, but gets nowhere. He is eaten alive for the sack.
3rd QTR, 4:44, 20 – 21
1st & 10: Geno has time and examines the field. He finally decides on Bailey’s deep over route 20 yards downfield. However, the throw is behind, and the safety knocks the pass down.
3rd & 8: Geno has time, he looks at options. He throws a comebacker 10 yards downfield. It is a good pass, but the defender hits Woods as the ball gets there. Should have been caught, but a tough one.
4th QTR, 14:09, 20 – 21
3rd & 2: Rollout right, pressure coming up the middle. This is a good situation for WVU. Geno is scrambling, a TE is pulling across, and there is one defender for both of them. Instead of throwing with his momentum over the defender, or running at him, Geno throws behind the TE, hoping he would know to stop. He does stop, but the easy first down just became hard, and now it is a drop. The TE deserves more blame, but what a poor decision by Geno, who does not have a great deal of confidence in his running. For good reason.
4th QTR, 11:25, 20 – 21
2nd & 8: Long throw to the sideline from the left hash. That is a long throw, but it certainly looked long, too. Regardless, it was effective, a 9 yard out, and deserves credit. He appeared to survey the whole field efficiently, and made a solid pass for the first down. One of his better plays.
1st & 15: Quick screen to Austin behind the LOS. He gets 5 or so.
2nd & 9: Geno looks downfield, but the pocket begins collapsing so he throws to Austin in the flat. Fine pass behind the LOS. Austin takes it 6 yards.
3rd & 3: Rushing 4, Geno has time and oddly decides to go for a flag route to #10—whom I do not know. He throws this right on the sideline, and my God if it isn’t perfect. Absolutely PERFECT. A thing of beauty and a dagger in Iowa State. Oh yeah, and #10 dropped it. I’m still giving Geno a point.
4th QTR, 6:42, 23 – 24
1st & 10: Here comes the game winning 75 yard TD I’ve heard about. Aaaaand it is a bump shovel pass to Tavon Austin…and holy Jesus, he just ran past everyone. Tavon Austin won this game on this play…and it was glorious. And, of course, electric. This time, when they went for 2, they just gave it to Tavon. And he gave them 2 points. Weird.
WVU called 6 more plays, and all were runs. Hey, hey, they won, 31 – 24.
This was a pretty unproductive day for Geno, but he mostly limited mistakes, and found a few excellent throws in the ol’ football cannon. He didn’t seem quite as afraid under pressure, but is still antsy. Though he only threw for 190 yards and 1 TD (without the final Tavon masterpiece), he controlled the game. Yeah…that’s it. He was a game manager, and limited mistakes. He had a +2 for the day, which is exactly what you want from a game manager. And against the vaunted ISU defense, that is all you can ask for, right? ISU was 38th in points against, so that is something, kind of, a little.
He has improved his happy feet a bit, though he needs more work. His field vision improved, though he still will lock onto certain guys. You can tell his vision is improving, but he still isn’t putting everything together.
vs. KANSAS, W 59-10
Points Against: 112th
1st QTR, 14:53, 0 – 0
1st & 10: Geno has a little time, he waits, steps up, and throws a 40 yard deep skinny post to Bailey. The throw is a little behind, but Bailey catches it without a problem. His DB was beaten by a step, and that let him catch up, but no big deal.
2nd & 6: The play is a WR swing to the flat, but KU has it covered. Geno shrugs, looks the other way, has a billion years, and throws to the other sideline 7 yards downfield. The throw is a little low, but shut up, it is fine when it is on line.
2nd & Goal (1): Botched snap, stuffed.
1st QTR, 9:16, 7 – 0
3rd & 9: Blitz comes, and after an initial stuff, one man breaks past the tackle. Geno sidesteps him easily, but then fires to the middle of the field, hitting a Jayhawk in stride. Interception. The announcer blames Bailey for not coming back to the ball, and he has a point. During the blitz, he was open, open, open, and open. Then Geno threw, and he wasn’t open anymore. It is a blitz, for Pete’s sake. Get the ball out. Geno needs to read faster, or KU will can pick him. Minus 3.
1st QTR, 5:25, 7 – 0
2nd & 13: WR screen to Austin behind the LOS, and he takes 15 yards, no big deal.
2nd & 24: PA roll left, no pressure at all. Geno winds up and heaves the ball deep. His man wins the jump ball. Big completion, but not a particularly good pass. Just taking advantage of KU. By the way, note to KU—in a jump ball situation, don’t just fall down. If Geno throws that well, it is a free TD. Because KU’s play to break up the pass was “fall down.”
1st & 10: 3 yard swing to Bailey. He gets another 5.
1st & 20: Pressure gets around the LT. Geno feels it, and gets it out to Austin short. It isn’t a really accurate pass—thrown well wide, but it is good enough given the pressure and Austin being amazing. Austin is all alone, and takes it another 13 on his own.
2nd QTR, 12:57, 14 – 0
1st & 10: PA rolls right and fires 14 yards downfield where Bailey is sitting in the zone. No pressure, no worries, nice throw.
2nd & 11: Quick swing to Bailey at the LOS. He gets a few.
3rd & 7: WR screen in to Bailey, and he is untouched. Gain of 9—touchdown.
2nd QTR, 6:54, 21 – 7
1st & 10: The pocket slowly collapse since KU brings 5. Geno reads too slowly, and hands get on him around 3.5 seconds. Had he kept his head up, he wasn’t sacked until after 5 seconds. I won’t give a minus, but this was a bummer. Bad play. Note: KU got 10 sacks all year. Ugh, Geno.
3rd & 1: Blitz comes, Geno immediately goes to hot route Austin, who is sitting 4 yards upfield. Austin then runs fast for a long gain. Good play, but like the one before it, doesn’t merit grading up/down.
1st & Goal (5): Quick out to WR behind LOS, loses a yard.
2nd QTR, 2:35, 28 – 7
1st & 10: Crossing pattern, nails Bailey 13 yards down field. Child’s play, on the money.
2nd & 7: Geno has time, but looks a little antsy. He seems to lock on Austin a bit, then he throws behind Austin, but Tavon adjusts and brings the ball down for another big gain.
2nd & Goal (11): Geno reads, the pocket forms well, and Geno doesn’t see anything. He wobbles forward—I can’t say he RUNS, because he DOESN’T. He is in slow motion, and picks up 2 yards.
3rd & Goal (9): Geno has plenty of time, and no one has come wide open. It is man coverage, and Woods has won his match-up by the slightest margin. Geno rockets the pass to him for the TD. That was an NFL throw. WHEW!
3rd QTR, 12:36, 35 – 7,
It is worth noting that Geno is 14/15 for 279 at this point. He hasn’t done much to deserve it, but several throws have been quite good.
1st & 10: 5 yard hitch to the left. Bailey takes 8 more.
1st & 10: The edge rushers decide to go speed and end up 10 yards in the backfield. Geno probably chuckles, and steps up into a big throw. He goes deep for Bailey, who has his man beat by 3 yards. Geno underthrows this play, Bailey slows down, and the defender catches up. Luckily he goes to KU, and he simply collided with Bailey and never turned. That would be PI.
1st & 10: KU blitzes, it is picked up, Geno throws a 12 yard bullet to Bailey.
1st & 10: WR screen behind the LOS. Geno throws fine, but the WR is that guy I ripped on earlier, and he poops his pants, and it is a loss of one.
2nd & 11: I’m going to be harsh here. PA roll left, and his primary target is wide open. Wide, wide, wide open in the flat 5 yards up field. I think Geno just wanted to add some rushing yards, but he did it at the cost of his team. Runs OOB for a gain of 2 (and he could have had more) instead of the obvious throw? Boo.
1st & 10: Well, test my hypothesis and call me Jerry. Is that not a saying? Well, it shold be. PA roll right, and Geno had running on his mind from the snap. This time, he runs with authority and gets 9 yards. It is worth noting that his primary on this play was ALSO wide open.
3rd QTR, 6:54, 38 – 7
1st & 10: KU gets pressure up the middle. What the hell is this? Oh…it’s a HB screen. And he is going to get about 45 yards.
1st & 10: PA roll left, and HEY—Geno threw it! His man was wide open, he threw to the perfect spot, and that is an easy touchdown. It looked really easy, but nice play by Geno.
3rd QTR, 2:28, 45 – 7
1st & 10: WR screen is set up, but KU is on it. Bailey ran a straight fly up the sideline, and is open. Geno tosses it to him showing good awareness. Bailey is then smashed by the safety, but just to show how physically outmatched KU is…Bailey doesn’t go down. Geno did lead him a bit much, but it worked.
4th QTR, 8:56, 52 – 10
1st & 10: HB screen. One guy forgets to block, and the RB still takes 13 yards.
1st & 10: WR screen is shut down. It doesn’t slow down the run since the next pass is…
1st & 10: WR screen to Woods. Give him about 20.
Then they pulled Geno. Tough to blame them. His stat line was 23 for 24, 407 yards, and 3 TD to 1 INT. Holy smoking crap. Then again, the +/-? Just +5. He was dominant only because KU is atrocious. It was nice to see him develop some since the early season (and it is good comp since KU is equally a cupcake), but he hasn’t taken big strides. His big downfield strikes? The WRs had to adjust to all over 15 yards. He had 2 really impressive throws this game, and that is it. It is no coincidence that his stats look padded against garbage teams, but he is a mediocrity machine against defenses that are decent.
BOWL GAME: SYRACUSE, Result: L 38-14
Points Against: 46th
Unfortunately, I don’t have all the film on Geno, but I will go through what I do have eventually. Suffice it to say from a cursory glance, Geno had a poor game. He missed throws, his teammates occasionally let him down, and he made no big time NFL plays In fact, as far as +1s? He would get one this game. When a defense is even decent, Geno has severe problems.
Final Scouting Report:
+ has above average accuracy on slants and outs
+ strong enough to shake weak tackles, might need to add more weight for NFL whiffing
+ solid arm on the move
+ almost always pass first
+ pretty good about stepping up in pocket
+ typically very good about limiting turnovers and mitigating risks
+ good deep touch if he has time
+ above average arm strength, some scouting reports say elite…I would absolutely dispute that—can probably throw about 55-60 yards on the fly, maybe more, but didn’t see it. Can also really zip the ball.
+ quick release
+ good recognition and accuracy on WRs open 4-9 yards downfield.
+ great arm mechanics and full follow-through, can throw from multiple arm slots
+ hard worker and genuinely wants to be great
+/- good speed when he uses it, but often jogs or limits his athleticism; does not know how to blend the running with the throwing—despite a similar 40 time IS NOT a runner, and might never be.
+/- doesn’t watch rush, and keeps his eyes downfield, but also doesn’t see obvious threats leading to more fumbles
+/- gets scared by the pass rush, though he did less and less as the year went on (he also started taking more sacks, though)
+/- experienced in multiple systems and can handle being under center, but used almost all shotgun and pistol last season
+/- his deep ball can run behind some WRs if he is under pressure, but he usually gives the WR a shot unless his confidence is all gone
+/- improved footwork through the year, but still gets a little too antsy, and gets uncomfortable in a closing pocket
+/- can make all the reads, but often doesn’t, especially in crunch time
+/- plays without fear against bad opponents, plays scared with his back against the wall
- locks onto 1 WR far too often
- poor in recognizing advanced zones
- sometimes lobs balls he needs to zip, and often zips the ball on 7-13 yard passes. When he zips intermediate passes, he loses accuracy.
- often goes through progression too slowly
- when things go poorly, he gets caught in quicksand, and it is all over
- needs WRs to make plays for him
- struggles with wind
- can manipulate below average safeties, but is dominated by above average players; consistently struggled against above average talent
- has no elite tools
- did not lead any comebacks, and struggled with the game on the line
- not nearly as smart as other scouting reports indicate or as Geno himself claims
-poor runner in the open field, mediocre agility, and weak vision
Player comparison: poor man’s Sam Bradford
Like Bradford, he comes from a pass happy spread system, and excels at getting quick guys the balls in space with strong short accuracy. Bradford could throw intermediates quite a bit better, and never seemed to lose control of a situation. He also put better zip on deep balls, and is more intelligent and poised. Sam lacks the top end speed of Geno, but they use their feet similarly. Bradford dominated almost every opponent while Smith dominated only cupcakes.
Another comparison--I believe the one made on NFL.com--is Aaron Brooks. It is an odious trap to compare players to those of their own race, but he displays similar athleticism, arm strength, accuracy befitting a WCO, but mostly raw ability reading defenses. Brooks has more fluid athleticism, but Geno is more advanced than college Brooks. Fully groomed Brooks? That is probably not far off of Geno's ceiling. His raw athletic tools compared to college success might make people think of Josh Freeman, which is about where Geno should be drafted.
Geno is not ready to deal with NFL defenses right now. The best defense in the Big 12 gave him fits. He has the capacity to dominate a game with him ability, but he never has. When he interviews and talks about playing smart—he is right in that he limits turnovers. He is wrong in that I would guess his football IQ is in the bottom third of the league. Luck said he thought himself smart. His proof was a graduate degree from Stanford in Architecture. He has a professional education in special reasoning. RGIII claimed himself smart, and the proof was a 3 year poli-sci degree and Master’s in communications. Geno Smith says he is smart, and the evidence is what? Significantly slower decision making than the previous QBs or hearing nothing about his academic career.* That doesn’t really matter to football IQ, but that is what I am really looking at. For a guy concerned about winning with his head, he constantly forced balls to Austin and Bailey, and was crushed by good defensive schemes.
*I get the feeling that there is something cruel with insulting intelligence. I think that is nonsense. Plenty of people are smarter than me—by a whole hell of a lot. And I am smarter than others. Quick thinking and IQ are measurable, and while I don’t think Geno is stupid, I’m not sure he has the mental acuity to reach the zenith of his profession. Also, I have never heard him use words that big. This is troubling since those aren’t big words. Don’t get me wrong—this is NOT about maturity. He is a very mature guy, and very critical of himself. I like that. Let’s not confuse that with intellect.
Now that I have shit all over Geno, let me say that he has a lot of great attributes, and I think he can be a success in the NFL—probably not a top 10 guy, but with work, he might get in there. Right now, I would say he is in the mid to late 20s among QBs. That isn’t really a #1 overall pick. I have already read that if Gabbert was a prospect, he would be above Smith in this draft, and I believe it. Another scout comped him to Akili Smith. If Tannehill was coming out this year, I believe he would be the #1 overall pick. These are not good signs.
Despite the massive success of young QBs in recent years, I would advise that Smith is not Luck, RGIII, Kaepernick, or Wilson. Hoping he will be so due to the absence of a better QB is foolhardy.
I would draft Geno if I knew he could sit for 1-3 years and play in a WCO. I can’t put a draft slot, because draft areas are a reflection of the talent market, and obviously QB is terrible this year. Still, for a slight project with reasonably projectable upside…15 – 25, usually. #1? Forget it. I have been wrong about QBs before, but Geno has a long progression in front of him. He still gets a 1st round grade, and is the top QB in the draft.