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Smith off to strong start in practice

March 16, 2012

MORGANTOWN- Geno Smith, who broke passing and total offense records last season, is off to a strong start in West Virginia University's spring football drills.

"I feel much more seasoned," the 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior said. "I'm not trying to figure things out like I was last spring."

He admittedly has a better understanding of the new offense installed by Coach Dana Holgorsen in 2011. What's more, he can teach the younger players on offense a little bit more than he was able to in the past.

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Even Holgorsen could tell in the first day this spring that Geno was sharper in throwing the ball.

"Overall, I'm doing a great job at making my reads, progressions, timing and footwork," said Smith, last season's Big East Offensive Player of the Year.

"I'm making sure I understand what I have to do as a leader. And I'm making sure the offense runs at a good tempo."

Asked about the difference between this year and last year, Smith replied: "The mood has changed out there, which I think is good.

"I'm not going to say that (former head coach Bill) Stewart had us move slowly in the wrong direction because we were still good.

"But Coach Holgorsen has us believing a little bit more. And we all have a bit more confidence in ourselves."

Smith pointed out that all of the players are taking advantage of every chance they get out there on the field.

The Mountaineers feel they will be able to do more things earlier this spring than they did a year ago. Smith said, "The guys we had come in as freshmen did a good job (getting) at it.

"As veterans, we have carried over what we did in the Orange Bowl, and what we did last season."

The Mountaineers finished with a sparkling 10-3 record and a stunning 70-33 upset of Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Geno Smith was voted the game's Most Valuable Player.

Miami happens to be his hometown, and he wowed his fans with a record-setting performance.

But he said he and his teammates are not satisfied with past achievements. They have set their sights even higher this year.



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