WVU's Smith Earns Manning Player of the Week Honor park
Geno Smith, a senior from West Virginia, has been selected as this week's Manning Award Player of the Week. Smith earns the honor for the second time this season over seven other Manning Award Stars of the Week in the Allstate Sugar Bowl's Facebook contest.
Smith, a native of Miami, FL, had a simply sensational performance going 45-of-51 for 656 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions. His performance tied the conference record for TD passes and set school marks for TDs, passing yards and completions as the Mountaineers needed every point in a wild 70-63 win over Baylor in their Big 12 debut.This was Smith's second win and third nomination so far this season. He was the winner the week of Sept. 17, as well as once last year. The Mountaineers are looking to go 5-0 as they travel to Austin to face undefeated Texas on Saturday.
The West Virginia fans showed their appreciation for Smith's spectacular performance for the second time this season by voting him to the top of this week's list. Behind Smith were Nick Florence of Baylor and Fresno State's Derek Carr. Florence, who also rushed for a touchdown, broke RGIII's school record for passing yards, leading the Bears to 63 points, but it was not enough against Smith and the Mountaineers' 70 points. Carr became the first Bulldog quarterback to throw for 500 yards since his older brother David in 2001 as he led Fresno State to a 52-40 victory over San Diego State in its Mountain West debut.
The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates' bowl performances in its balloting.
The honor will be recognizing its eighth winner this year. USC's Matt Leinart was the inaugural winner of the award in 2005, followed by Texas' Vince Young in 2006. Both went on to be top 10 NFL draft picks. In 2007, LSU's JaMarcus Russell earned the award and was the NFL's No. 1 draft pick. Boston College's Matt Ryan claimed the award in 2008 and was drafted No. 3, quickly becoming the starting uarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. In 2009, Florida star Tim Tebow earned the honor – he also went on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The 2010 winner was Texas signal-caller Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in college football history, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the draft. Auburn's Cameron Newton earn the award in 2011, prior to being selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. This past season's honoree was Robert Griffin, III, from Baylor, who was also a top NFL draft pick (No. 2 overall by the Washington Redskins).