Geno Smith's Success Begins In Film Room - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Geno Smith's Success Begins In Film Room


Most college football players look to celebrate a big win once the game is over. Not West Virginia University quarterback Geno Smith.

Smith completed 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns last weekend against Baylor with his mom in the stands. She came to the game from their hometown in South Florida.

Once Smith finished his postgame media obligations and wanted to get right to work.

"Geno's mom was here in the building and he walks up to her and hands her his box of pizza and then me and him go into a film room to watch some tape," Quarterbacks Coach Jake Spavital said.

Mothers are special and also understanding. Surely this decision by Smith had to sting a little. Smith's mom completely understood but was slightly upset with her son for something else.

"She gets mad at me because I am so calm and she wants me to be so excited about everything," Smith said. "She understands that I am very serious about what I do and I work very hard at it and that's just the way that I am."

Smith put the 70-63 win over Baylor behind him within a few hours of the game. He watched the film, took notes and began looking ahead to Texas.

"He started watching Texas and sent me a video message of some things he saw on Monday," Wide Receiver Stedman Bailey said. "That is considered our off day. We don't have practice and don't have to watch film or anything."

Smith commands respect from his teammates, not by anything he does vocally, but clearly by what he does both on and off the field. His dedication in the film room is noticed by his teammates.

"Geno definitely presents himself to us," Wide Receiver J.D. Woods stated. "If he wants us to come in and watch film, he lets us know and that is enough said."

Throughout the summer, Smith's film study reached far beyond watching himself. He asked for and received film on some of the top NFL quarterbacks like Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New England's Tom Brady. He was looking to pick up on any subtle techniques those players use to their advantage.

"One thing about Aaron is that he is very good when the play breaks down and there is nobody open and guys get covered," Smith said. "He scrambles and gets six or seven yards and stays ahead of the chains. He is very good with decision-making and has a tremendous ability to fit balls in very tight windows. Tom Brady is the same way, he moves subtly in the pocket and always keeps his eyes downfield and always looks for a guy to get open."

"If you look at a lot of our under the center stuff, he is trying to mimic Aaron Rodgers with his footwork and he is constantly watching other quarterbacks that have had success and get little things from here and there and complete his game," Spavital stated.

What you see on Saturday executed on the field is partially from direct input Geno Smith has on the game plan. He does have a voice in the WVU offensive preparation throughout the week.

"We normally have our game plan in on Monday," Spavital said. "He comes in throughout the day and chirps to us what he likes and once he comes in Tuesday he sees what we have on the board for him. We got out there and we execute it and watch the tape and then we sit there and talk about it. If there are things he doesn't like we will change it. If there are things he wants to add then we will add it."

"He watches film too," Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson said with a smile. "We respect him and respect his opinion. If he comes to us and says I think this, this and this will be good then we will look at it and if we agree with him we will do it."

No, this kind of role in the game plan is not typical for a starting quarterback. Then again, Geno Smith is not a typical starting quarterback. He has earned this responsibility through his play on the field and his devotion in the film room.

"It depends on who the quarterback is," Dawson shrugged. "We'll definitely listen to him."

Smith has gained loads and loads of respect from his coaches and his teammates. Enjoy watching him in his final season at WVU. Players like this do not come around often.

"We try to tell him to leave here and be a college student and have some fun, but the fun for him is watching football and I have never coached a player like this," Spavital stated. "The happiest he is, is when he walks out there on the field."

WVU fans hope he will be just as happy walking off of it Saturday night at Texas.

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