Geno Smith is Heisman Trophy fit, no matter how early in the season it is. The West Virginia quarterback has bolted out of the gate, far ahead of the pack, the rest of college football looking to catch up.
In a hard-to-believe performance Saturday night, Smith was remarkable, throwing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns (no interceptions). He misfired on just six of 51 passes and generally cut and spliced the No. 25 Baylor defense as if with a razor.
The Mountaineers need all of Smith’s brilliance to score 70 points and pull out a seven-point victory.
“Statistically, it’s my best game ever,” Smith said. “But I think it’s more about the team, and I think it just lets us know that we’re going to have to battle it out every week against some really tough teams in the Big 12.”
There is a humility about Smith, too, that is admirable.
“I could care less about a Heisman Trophy,” he insists. “The big thing for us was that we won the game. We’re on a mission, and we want to win them all.”
Smith tied a conference mark with eight touchdown passes and narrowly missed another one with 656 yards passing.
“It did feel like one of those classic Texas shootouts,” said Smith, whose school moved over from the Big East this season. “That’s kind of what the Big 12 is about.”
Smith outdueled Baylor’s Nick Florence, who broke Heisman Trophy-winning predecessor Robert Griffin III’s school record with 581 yards. Florence threw for five TDs.
The game also set a record for the most points scored involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous mark of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma’s 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980.
Smith had more TD passes than incompletions and still has not thrown an interception this season.
“Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said.
It was a rhetorical question.