Heisman in the offing?
Geno Smith. That's all you need to know. Seriously.
OK, OK, there's a lot more to the Mountaineer quarterbacks than just Geno Smith. But, we Mountaineer fans can pretty much count on the Mountaineer fortunes hinging on Geno making it through the season healthy. The second year for a quarterback under Holgorsen's system has been historically outstanding and one look at Geno's numbers from last season and you have to wonder how much higher can they get. 4385 yards passing and 31 touchdowns passed and equaled (respectively) previous single season records set by Marc Bulger.
Geno enters the season as the player with the 5th best odds to win the Heisman Trophy at 7/1. He has a year's worth of tutelage and understanding of the system. A self described perfectionist, Geno has admitted that he is a completely different quarterback than the one that entered the 2011 season. He even added a few more pounds of muscle to help him withstand hits better than in years past. In a league with some fear inducing defensive lines, sacks could be an area of concern this season. But, improved decision making and an improved offensive line should cut down on the sack totals that WVU was plagued with last season.
It's not a knock on the backups at all, but a healthy, smarter Geno Smith will make an already outstanding offensive unit potentially other-worldly. In a league as deep as the Big 12 and with the question marks on defense, even higher point totals may be necessary for WVU to compete for the league title in 2012. If he can remain healthy and with the weapons Geno has at his disposal, including Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, Geno should put up numbers this year that will make Heisman voters stand up and definitely take notice. He just might be the one to lead WVU to the ever elusive promised land as well.
Paul Millard is also entering his second year under Holgorsen and will serve as Geno's immediate backup initially. The sophomore from Texas has no lack of confidence and will not cede the backup role/heir apparent starter role to highly regarded freshman, and fellow Texan Ford Childress. Millard obviously has the edge early in the season simply due to an extra year's worth of experience, but the 6'5" Childress isn't ceding anything either.
Rounding out the stable of quarterbacks for Coach Spavital are Morgantown native Travis Maraney and Fairmont State transfer Logan Moore. While neither of these guys are expecting to compete for much playing time, simply having them on the team was a necessary depth upgrade over last season due to the amount of throws required in practice daily.
The quarterback situation at WVU is in good hands with Geno and the future is definitely bright with the prospects of Millard or Childress leading the team next year and into the future.