Saturday, 29 September 2012

Geno Smith, West Virginia outlast Baylor in historic Big 12 shootout

here’s a strong temptation right about now, with the Milan Puskar Stadium scoreboard still sparking and heaving from West Virginia’s 70-63 win over Baylor, to just start listing broken records. But we promise to curate carefully. So many records were snapped that to behold them all at once is to risk desensitization. West Virginia’s and Baylor’s 180 combined plays were a new stadium high. Both teams also set stadium production records with WVU’s 807 yards and Baylor’s tidy 700 (bit of a cowlick on the round number, there). Geno Smith broke the Mountaineers’ single-game scoring record with eight touchdown passes, the school’s consecutive completions record with 14 in a row and a national passing efficiency record previously held by Colt Brennan — Smith completed 88 percent of his passes (45-of-51), the most of any quarterback with at least 50 attempts — which is how you know he’s in rarefied air. His aerial yards (656) and total completions (45) are also new school records, both breaking the mark Smith set last year against LSU. Stedman Bailey is now the Mountaineers’ career leader in receiving touchdowns with 26, surpassing his pal Tavon Austin with 24. Not to be outdone, Austin is now WVU’s all-time leading receiver; he has 2,684 yards to his name. Bailey’s 303 receiving yards on the day are a school record, and Austin’s 215 are second on that list. Austin, J.D. Woods (13 catches, 114 yards) and Andrew Buie (25 carries, 82 yards) all had career days in both touches and yardage. Bailey and Austin are also the NCAA’s first receiving tandem to each surpass the 200-yard plateau since Texas Tech’s Danny Amendola and Michael Crabtree did so in 2007. (TRIVIA! Guess who their coordinator and position coach was at that time?)

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