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Geno struggles, Stedman shines in Pinstripe Bowl

Geno Smith Pic Getty Images

Although neither team is ranked nationally, Saturday’s Syracuse-West Virginia Pinstripe Bowl offered plenty of 2013 NFL draft implications. Mountaineers senior Geno Smith is seen in most circles as likely to be the first quarterback off the board in April. West Virginia receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin have early-round projections. Orange senior quarterback Ryan Nassib is viewed as a mid- to late-round prospect.

Snowy, soggy conditions affected on-field performance to some extent Saturday, but Smith generally performed poorly against the Orange. He completed 16-of-24 passes for 187 yards, showing suspect awareness by taking a pair of safeties, and failing to keep his team competitive in the 38-14 loss.

Smith did throw two touchdown passes, making his best throw of the game on a 29-yard scoring pass to Bailey midway through the third quarter. Smith adeptly identified Bailey in single coverage and trusted his receiver to make a play. Bailey executed, shoving Syracuse’s cornerback to the turf to secure what wound up as an easy trip to pay dirt.

Bailey, a junior who has declared for April’s draft, was the star of the Pinstripe Bowl on West Virginia’s side. He racked up eight catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, scoring for a second time on a slip-screen pass from Smith where Bailey busted a tackle and took the short reception 32 yards to the house. Bailey’s third impressive gain went for 59 in the third quarter on another screen. He piled up all 59 yards after the catch.

Austin, a possible first-round pick, was bottled up as a receiver, catching two passes for 21 yards. A movable chess piece-type weapon, Austin compensated with 58 rushing yards and 74 yards on kickoff returns. Austin’s offensive stats don’t jump off the page, but he continually turned plays that should have lost yards into positive gains. Austin was perhaps the single most dynamic skill-position player in 2012 college football.

Nassib went 12-of-24 for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick. He is a better thrower of the football inside the numbers than to the perimeter. Syracuse won the game on the strength of its rushing attack. Junior halfbacks Tyson Gulley and Jerome Smith combined for a whopping 373 yards and two touchdowns on 55 carries (6.78 YPC) as the Orange offensive line consistently blew the Mountaineers’ defensive front off the ball.

Expect to hear plenty more about draft-eligibles Smith, Bailey, Austin, and Nassib in the coming months.

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30 Responses to “Geno struggles, Stedman shines in Pinstripe Bowl”
  1. irishfan109 says: Dec 29, 2012 7:31 PM

    And with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select….

  2. jbaxt says: Dec 29, 2012 7:34 PM

    And with the 1st pick in the SECOND round, the Kansas City Chiefs select Geno Smith…

  3. pooflingingmonkey says: Dec 29, 2012 7:36 PM

    And with the first pick in the second round, the NY Jets have traded picks with Kansas City, and select…

  4. midwestwarrior says: Dec 29, 2012 7:43 PM

    LOL now teams like the chiefs will play to not get the 1st pick tomorrow if they are expected to draft geno smith LOL

  5. rudy5618 says: Dec 29, 2012 7:47 PM

    Geno Smith looked awful. In a normal draft year with more QB prospects he would be a mid to late third round pick. He is really shaky in decision making and poor under pressure. He reminds me a whole lot of Terelle Pryor.

  6. becausejaguars904 says: Dec 29, 2012 7:53 PM

    You guys know that if the Chieifs get the 1st overall pick that the 33rd pick (1st in the 2nd round) belongs to the Jags right?

  7. jr4real says: Dec 29, 2012 7:56 PM

    23 points in pool on WVU down the drain.

    For amusement only of course.

  8. nickp91 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:01 PM

    Geno Smith went from a 1st round draft pick to 3rd round in one day

  9. freemantowilliams says: Dec 29, 2012 8:04 PM

    Somewhere in Southern California Matt Barkley is smiling.

  10. shackdelrio says: Dec 29, 2012 8:06 PM

    Not much good from the QBs. But Austin and Bailey are legit playmakers.

  11. lightcleric says: Dec 29, 2012 8:06 PM

    Am I the only one who thinks having thirty-five bowls is about twenty too many?

  12. bigtrav425 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:08 PM

    he has a better arm and decision making skills then Pryor..and this is coming from a OSU fan…i doubt he is the first pick unless he blows ppl away at the combines

  13. detroitrollin22 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:10 PM

    I actually watched the game and I don’t believe Geno Smith played as bad as this article makes it seem.

    1. The 2nd safety occured when Smith was about to roll out of the pocket and the DE stuck out his leg and tripped him. It was very easy to see that the trip was intentional and should have been flagged.

    2. Geno made a number of impressive throws that included about 5 deep out routes to the wide side of the field.

    3. WVU shot themselves in the foot multiple times while marching down the field with penalties.

    4. WVU defense is horrible. The RBs from SU can be considered first round picks after the games they had today.

    5. As for the comment “and failing to keep his team competitive in the 38-14 loss” this is not even close to being true. Other than Geno Smith & Bailey, no other WVU player showed any heart or competitiveness.

    Overall, do I think Geno Smith should be the #1 overall pick? No. However, I do believe he has the potential to be a solid NFL QB. He has good arm strength & is accurate.

  14. chieffanforlifehelpme says: Dec 29, 2012 8:10 PM

    If the Chiefs draft Akili Smith, I mean Todd Blackledge, I mean Geno Smith Im becoming a CFL fan. This ISNT the year to draft ANY QB in the first round. They need help on the OL BUT if they draft Jarvis Jones to play the Von Miller of this talented defense, watch out. Jones, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston would wreck complete havoc chasing down QBs. In the 2nd round getting RB Giovani Bernard from NC (and resigning Hillis) means they wont need much from the QB position except to manage the game. Hello Alex Smith from SF for a 3rd round pick. That gets them to 8-8, even without Bowe. They keep Bowe and 10 wins in 13 isnt out of the question. But if the new GM selects Smith or worse, Barkley, its going to (continue) to suck for us loyal, frustrated Chief fans.

  15. atrophiedambitions says: Dec 29, 2012 8:10 PM

    I really hope my Chiefs don’t take a QB first overall but I fear they will. New GM will be in and his scouts will barely be moved into their offices. May knee-jerk to a QB.

  16. superputman says: Dec 29, 2012 8:16 PM

    Might be a good year to trade down in the draft and just take a shot at some of the QBs with good measurable but not a lot of talent around them. I sure hope Buffalo doesn’t take Geno Smith in the 1st if he drops that far :-/

  17. tonyugoh says: Dec 29, 2012 8:23 PM

    One game doesn’t really define a prospect for me, especially one played in these conditions. Personally I would take Jarvis Jones #1 but that doesn’t mean Geno isn’t a good QB prospect, he just needs to find the right system and I think he’ll be a solid NFL qb. For one, he still finished the season with 42 td’s to only 6 int’s and while he’s not Luck or RG3, he’s still considerably better than Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, and Ryan Tannehill were coming out and those guys were top 10 picks. People have too many kneejerk reactions when it comes to quarterbacks.

  18. vidae1 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:23 PM

    My god chiefsfanforlifehelpme, that would be the worst thing the Chiefs have done in years.

    Alex Smith for a 3rd? Another OLB when we have two monsters manning those positions?

    Are you sure you’re a Chiefs fan? It sure doesn’t sound like it to me.

  19. johnnycash19 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:23 PM

    Sorry but I’ve never really seen Geno as an NFL QB. He puts up big stats, but, the couple games I’ve seen from him this year, he doesn’t have it. Missing some easy throws, overthrowing WR’s, throwing wide. etc.

    Plus I always thought the offensive scheme really helped out his stats. I don’t watch a ton of WVU football but it seems like he throws a lot of short passes and lets his playmakers do the rest. Short screens, quick slants, quick hitches. I wonder how many of his yards are from WR’s YAC?

  20. cmich2006 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:35 PM

    Geno is not as good as his stats…anyone can dump the ball to Tavon an throw screens to Bailey

  21. cruzer1996 says: Dec 29, 2012 8:49 PM

    He was leg-whipped on the 2nd safety, which should have been a 15 yard penalty on the defense. I still think he’s a top-5 talent; the team that takes him might have to wait a year though.

  22. jhorton83 says: Dec 29, 2012 9:23 PM

    No QB should go in the 1st round this year. Weakest QB class I can remember. But some team will reach for Geno or Barkley, or maybe both, and likely be disappointed.

  23. pastabelly says: Dec 29, 2012 9:35 PM

    Smith is awful. It’s no wonder that Tyler Bray is coming out. Barkley and Smith will fall to the third.

  24. eatitfanboy says: Dec 29, 2012 9:35 PM

    To basically recap detroitrollin22 post, anyone who plans on spending the next 5 years making excuses for the poor play of their franchise QB should definitely consider drafting Geno Smith.

  25. yankeemofo says: Dec 29, 2012 10:44 PM

    The real story of the game was the weather. Syracuse’s o is built to handle the poor conditions, WV’s is not.

    ‘Cuse has been a tough out all year.

  26. cmdrsmooth says: Dec 29, 2012 11:48 PM

    If I were the Chief or Jaguars, I would trade the first pick to whoever wants to take Geno Smith. He will be an NFL bust. I’m sure the Jets will be desperate to make a splash.

  27. gbatap says: Dec 30, 2012 1:58 AM

    ” Short screens, quick slants, quick hitches. I wonder how many of his yards are from WR’s YAC??
    —————————————————-
    Almost 1500 from Austin and Bailey alone. That means those guys are adding 7 yac per completion and, 53% of their combined yardage is yac.

  28. MyTeamsAllStink says: Dec 30, 2012 5:46 AM

    akili smith 2.0 just like i said before and was mocked by a couple of you closet Mel Kiper Jrs.

  29. toonsterwu says: Dec 30, 2012 9:12 AM

    I’m really not the biggest fan of Geno Smith. I think he’s gotten overhyped a bit this year, due to the RG3 effect. Is he a first round talent? Well, considering how QB’s get bumped up … probably, but I really would be wary of taking him before the mid-late first. Could I see a team taking him beforehand? Yes, but there’s just too many questions with his overall decision making, field vision for me to be too excited about him.

    Leaving all that aside, I don’t think the Chiefs and Jaguars can gamble that high on a QB talent. I actually sorta agree with Kiper in that, if a QB emerges, I wonder if Mike Glennon is the one that makes the move up the ladder. I’m just not enthused about any of QB’s that high in the first. I think Barkley might be a solid pro, but top of the first? Eh, Lane Kiffin, for all his faults, did some really good schematic things that helped Barkley look better than he is, IMO. Logan Thomas? Eh … he really shouldn’t go pro. Tyler Wilson or Tyler Bray? Big arms, but not sold they have the football IQ. Could I see a team rationalizing their way into justifying a 1st overall pick in a QB? Stranger things have happened.

    While both teams have some pieces in place, they are picking that high because there are enough needs, so ideally, both team would trade down, particularly since there may be new regimes in place. That might not be that easy with a relatively weak top of the first. The Chiefs, if they stay put, IMO, should probably consider Luke Joeckel. I really don’t think they are in a position to give Branden Albert a long term deal, as it doesn’t make that much sense. I don’t know their cap situation well enough to know if they can go some sort of franchise/trade route, but it seems time to move on, and getting Joeckel in place makes a lot of sense. Go get yourself a veteran QB through FA/trade and draft a rookie in the 2nd/3rd to groom. There’s a bevy of possibilities depending on what the new regime does, but on paper right now, Joeckel seems to make the most sense in terms of value and position.

    The Jaguars seem to have a lot more options they could consider. The most obvious one is to address their glaring pass rush need, depending on who they view is the top guy.

  30. voight444 says: Dec 30, 2012 9:45 AM

    Kansas City would be making a huge mistake taking Geno Smith. He will be a major bust. Good luck KC if you go that route. Smith does not show the leadership skills necessary for a top notch franchise QB. he is far, far a from it. The Number overall pick needs to be a franchise QB. Smith is not.

    Q

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