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Weis: Smith is ‘kind of scary’

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - To the surprise of no one, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was named the Big 12 Conference's offensive player of the week Monday.

Smith's school records of 656 yards passing and eight touchdowns were the talk of college football over the weekend and then again Monday on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference.

"What Geno Smith did the other day, when you look at the numbers, you say, 'How can that possibly happen? How can a guy sit there with those types of numbers against a very good competitor?' " Kansas Coach Charlie Weis said. "It's kind of scary."

Smith passed for more yards in the 70-63 victory against Baylor than seven teams have passed for all season. His touchdown pass total was greater than what 51 teams have done this season.

"As good as the quarterbacks have been in our league, he's playing as good or better than any quarterback we've ever had," Texas Coach Mack Brown said. "It's just unbelievable. He hasn't made a mistake and he has a tremendous amount of pressure on himself handling all the Heisman Trophy stuff.

"We've been through that here with Ricky (Williams), Colt (McCoy) and Vince (Young) and it's a difficult thing to do, but he seems very unbothered by it. He plays the same each week."

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SMITH HAS now won the conference award and the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week award twice this season. Tavon Austin won the Big 12's weekly offensive award following the 31-21 victory against Maryland, meaning WVU has had the league's best offensive player in three of its four games.

WVU linebacker Isaiah Bruce was the defensive player of the week after the season-opener, giving the Mountaineers four of the league's 15 superlative awards this season. They haven't had a special teams player of the week yet.

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WVU'S ROAD GAME at Texas Tech Oct. 13 will start at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by ABC. WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen was a Red Raiders assistant from 2000-07.

Texas Tech (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) ranks No. 8 nationally in total offense and No. 1 in total defense.

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NO. 11 TEXAS,  which hosts the Mountaineers at 7 p.m. Saturday (FOX telecast) at Texas Memorial Stadium, beat Oklahoma State 41-36 on a short touchdown run with 29 seconds to go.

Cowboys Coach Mike Gundy wasn't so sure Texas running back Joe Bergeron crossed the goal line on his 2-yard touchdown run before he fumbled away possession. The play was reviewed and the call was upheld, even though Oklahoma State's Daytawion Lowe came out of the pile of players with the ball.

Gundy said Monday he believes Bergeron fumbled.

"But that doesn't go very far," he said. "By the middle of the week we'll get some sort of explanation on what happened there and how the touchdown was called. The Big 12 has always been good about that."

Gundy said he told the officials after the play that he thought Bergeron fumbled and asked how they'd ruled it a touchdown before the review.

"I just wanted to know now it was called a touchdown based on the time it was called a touchdown when the official came running in from the side and raised his arms in the air," Gundy said. "I think at that time we were all convinced the ball wasn't in (Bergeron's) hands when that happened, so at what point did somebody confirm it was a touchdown on the field?"

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THE COWBOYS had 301 of their 576 yards of offense come from redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh's passing. He started in place of true freshman Wes Lundt, who was injured in the previous game, a Sept. 15 win against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"We looked at the video and tried to figure out after 37 years of this stuff if he'd play or not," Brown said. "After watching the video and looking at the injury, we did not think he'd play."

Walsh completed 18 of his 27 pass attempts and had two touchdowns and one interception and added 57 yards rushing.

"That's what's worse," Brown said. "We thought he'd play and we still didn't stop him."

Oklahoma State (2-2, 0-1) was off the previous week and is off again this week. Lundt could be back for the Oct. 13 game at Kansas. Gundy said if Walsh continues to progress and impress coaches, the Cowboys might be able to find ways to use him in games.

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THOUGH IT could be driven more by necessity than luxury, Iowa State may be thinking about quarterbacks, too. Steele Jantz, the senior who was named the starter in the preseason over sophomore Jared Barnett, was 10-for-20 for 73 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown in the home loss to Texas Tech.

Jantz has completed 85-of-127 passes for 804 yards and has seven touchdowns and interceptions. The Cyclones (3-1, 0-1) had just 189 yards of offense in the 24-13 loss.

"I am concerned," said Coach Paul Rhoads, whose team took a 7-0 lead on an interception return in the first quarter. "We scored six points. We had under 200 yards. You can scan and look at a number of statistical categories and be concerned and be embarrassed."

The defensive touchdown belonged to all-conference linebacker A.J. Klein. His 87-yard score was his school-record fourth defensive touchdown and tied the FBS record for interception return scores by a linebacker.

Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at or 304-319-1142. His blog is at


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