Smith Determined Not to Let Loss Define Season - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Smith Determined Not to Let Loss Define Season


As the clock wore down Friday and with it any chance of WVU posting an undefeated season in the Big East, there was a bit of a commotion on the Mountaineers sideline.

Our cameras picked up the source of the stir, though I hadn't seen it at the time.

I had probably started packing up my camera at this point and begun chatting with Brock Burwell and his cheerleader gang, ready to get my work done for the night and move on to Rutgers prep.

That attitude is better kept to a person who reports on athletics than one who partakes in it.

The footage I saw was of Geno Smith surrounded by his offensive teammates, giving an emotion talk to them.

It was clear he wasn't being negative but rather trying to rally the troops to keep them focused on the fact that as much as this one was stinging at that moment, another one lies ahead. And more beyond that.

An abysmal performance in Big East game No. 2 would not define Smith's season.

"I just didn't want them to hang their heads and let this define our season because we are better than what we showed today and I believe that," Smith said after the game.

His teammates do, too. Just a week ago, this team was flying high with the belief that it was the premier program in the Big East. Lofty expectations came crashing down in just over three and a half hours.

Smith was doing everything he knows how as the leader of the team to keep his peers focused in the face of a dominating defeat.

"He was basically telling us to keep our heads up," says sophomore receiver Stedman Bailey. "There is a lot more football to be played. This game doesn't determine our season. We have to learn from the mistakes we made today and move forward from them."

It was just a short speech to his teammates. In total, it probably lasted less than a minute. But the message was clear as Smith implored anyone within earshot to remember the opportunity that still sits before them.

It's his job as the quarterback to maintain composure, both within himself and with the players on the sideline.

The coming week will determine how much of what he said in those final moments in the Carrier Dome Friday night soaked in and how much will be used to prove that West Virginia is a better team than what it showed against the Orange.

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