MORGANTOWN - Geno Smith laughs at the notion that he's now somehow considered a dual-threat quarterback after exceeding his career high for rushing yards in the first game of his senior season.
Jake Spavital goes a step further, sarcastically mocking the notion.
"In the quarterback room the over-under for the longest run of the year was 221/2 yards and he runs a 28-yard touchdown in the first game,'' Spavital, the West Virginia quarterbacks coach, said. "So yeah, we're a dual-threat team now and we're going to run the quarterback about 50 percent of the time.''
Well, not quite.
Sure, Smith ran for a career-best 65 yards in that 69-34 rout of Marshall on Sept. 1. And, yes, he had that 28-yard touchdown on a broken play.
But the fact is, West Virginia never called Smith's number on a designed run - save for the failed quarterback sneak he tried to execute on his own at the goal line - and the times that he will be asked to execute a designed run will be few and far between.
But Smith's ability to run the ball - if reluctantly - can only be a help to an offense that doesn't seem to need much of that after averaging 69.5 points in its last two games.
"It makes people think twice about rushing people up the field hard and it makes them think hard about dropping guys really, really deep into coverage,'' coach Dana Holgorsen said of Smith's demonstrated ability to scramble a bit if he is out of other options. "If they're deep into coverage, they better have someone to spy him.''
And boy, would that be a change for a Holgorsen quarterback. None that he's ever coached - not Graham Harrell at Texas Tech or Case Keenum at Houston or Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State - were what anyone would consider dual threats.
"No, I've never had someone spy one of my quarterbacks,'' Holgorsen said, referring to a defense that assigns a player to specifically watch the quarterback and keep him from taking off. "But obviously I've never had a guy have the offensive ability that Geno has.