When a player begins to transcend what seems humanly possible on the football field, he has usually given us some warning. Vince Young had many wonderful moments (just ask Michigan and Oklahoma State) in the previous calendar year before his historic performance against USC. Desmond Howard was a preseason All American and a Heisman candidate before he struck “the pose“. Tim Tebow was a backup quarterback on a Florida championship team that owned the Red Zone before he became Tim Tebow. Greatness reveals itself to us, but sometimes we caught a glimpse and just didn’t realize it yet.
Much has been written about last weekend’s performance by West Virginia’s Gino Smith. He was listed as a preseason all Big XII candidate and provided many highlights last year against Big East competition. But that was against the Big East, we all thought. Can he do it week in, week out against the Oklahomas, Kansas States and Texases? Can he lead West Virginia to enough points to outscore the Oklahoma States and Baylors? Can he prove it against tougher competition? Can he do it on the big stage? In his first Big XII game last week, the answer was an unquestionable “yes he can”.
On the season, Gino Smith has 20 touchdown passes. On the season, Gino Smith has 28 incompletions. On the season, he has 1827 yards of offense (thats 457 yards per game). On the season, he has a 208.4 quarterback rating, which is 16.6 points higher than the single season record. On the season, Gino Smith has put up numbers most people dream about putting up in football video games. Gino Smith has simply been amazing.
On Saturday night Gino Smith leads West Virginia to Austin to face the undefeated University of Texas. This is the first time these two programs have faced each other as conference rivals and only the second time they’ve faced each other ever. UT’s quarterback is currently the #2 ranked quarterback in the NCAA (behind Smith, of course) and their defense is filled with future NFL players. Can Smith keep up his run on the road, at night, against this talented a team? I don’t know, but I do know that Gino Smith has become must see tv and I know that this is my game of the week.
Other Games I’ll be Watching:
LSU at Florida: LSU has struggled the last two weeks and Florida was supposed to be a year away from contending. The game will go a long way in determining which team is for real.
Oklahoma at Texas Tech: Oklahoma has had a tough time in Lubbock recently and is coming off a home loss to Kansas State. Are the undefeated Red Raiders ready to rejoin the Big XII’s elite?
Georgia at South Carolina: Another week, another game with undefeated top 10 ranked SEC teams.
Miami at Notre Dame: I just like that it’s reminded me of my favorite unlicensed college t-shirt of all time.
Washington at Oregon: Oregon is just fun to watch. And Washington seems to have been resurrected under former USC coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
*All opinions are from Dustin and not from Gameday Cloth. He may be a genius, he may be an idiot, but either way, he’s responsible for this blogpost.