Holliday Says Geno Smith Should Win Heisman - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Holliday Says Geno Smith Should Win Heisman

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MORGANTOWN -

Marshall will make its final trip to Morgantown for the Friends of Coal Bowl on Saturday. This is the final year of the seven-year series with no meetings planned in the near future.

That means it will be Doc Holliday's final chance to upset WVU. If Marshall is to pull off the upset, it will have to keep West Virginia's high octane offense in check.

"They are one of the top ten teams in America," Holliday said of WVU. "With Tavon Austin, (Stedman) Bailey and Geno (Smith) and their whole offensive line back and a great player at every position. They are a talented bunch and we are going to have to play extremely well."

Holliday spent more than 20 seasons as an assistant coach at WVU in two different stops in Morgantown. Holliday was there from 1979-1999 and then again from 2008-2009.

In his most recent stint at WVU, Holliday was responsible for recruiting quarterback Geno Smith to Morgantown. Now he must try and find a way to slow Smith and the rest of the Mountaineers down.

"They have Geno Smith at quarterback, who probably should win the Heisman Trophy," Holliday stated. "He is picked to win the Heisman, he is also picked to be the offensive player of the year in the Big 12. If he wasn't picked, Tavon Austin probably would have been."

Smith cannot beat Marshall all by himself. He does enter the season with several proven weapons in receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

"They are going to get their yards and they are going to get their catches," Holliday said of West Virginia's offense. "You have to do a great job of minimizing big plays and when they do catch it you have to get them on the ground. That is easier said than done when you have guys like Stedman and Tavon doing it."

While Holliday knows what to expect out of the WVU offense, he does not yet know what he will see out of the West Virginia defense. WVU changed its defensive system in the offseason from a 3-3-5 odd stack to a 3-4.

"I think there are a lot of unknowns with that defense. They have two new coordinators over there. They will be a little different on defense than they have been in the past. They have good players on defense too, not just offense, but they have good players and are well coached. There are a lot of unknowns in that first game."

The countdown to the final Friends of Coal Bowl continues. Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday in Morgantown.

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