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Overall Game Grade: B-
Geno Smith’s final game with the Mountaineers did not end the way he had hoped, and did not match the type of high scoring affair that the team had seen throughout the season.
The first quarter saw Smith, and the rest of the Mountaineers offense, have to adjust to the snowy weather conditions at Yankee Stadium. Smith threw for just 17 yards, and had completed just three of six passes for eight yards early in the quarter. By the end of the quarter Smith had a nine-yard completion, but was throwing to receivers who also had to adjust to the conditions, leading to a few dropped passes early.
Smith was able to connect with Stedman Bailey for a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter, but the score came after Smith was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The second quarter saw only one drive for the Mountaineers go for more than 10 yards, as two drives resulted in negative yardage.
Smith again found Bailey in the third quarter for a deep gain, this time connecting for a 59-yard completion. Both of Smith’s passes to Bailey were for short gains, but Bailey was able to pick up extra yardage after the catch. Smith hit Bailey for another touchdown for 29-yards, but the score came between a fumble by Smith and another safety.
Unfortunately, Smith and the Mountaineers offense had the ball for just a few minutes in the fourth quarter. Smith completed a pass to Tavon Austin on a play in which a holding penalty was called against the Mountaineers, before hitting Bailey for minor gains late in the quarter.
Despite the slow start, Smith was able to complete 16 of 24 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. Smith hit five different players with passes, with the largest gains going to Bailey.
Smith averaged 7.8 yards per completion, but the Mountaineers lack of a rushing attack as the game continued made it difficult for the offense to establish a passing game. However, Smith managed to find a rhythm in the third quarter and bring the Mountaineers to within two scores of taking the lead.
Smith did his best to help the Mountaineers offense keep up with the Orange, but a slow start made it difficult to match the Orange’s scoring.