MORGANTOWN - It was just under two months ago that both Geno Smith and Dana Holgorsen downplayed the quite visible change in Smith's body.
After six months in the weight room, West Virginia's senior quarterback was bigger and stronger than he'd ever been. But how that might translate into improved performance wasn't quite clear.
"Other than it probably makes me a better NFL prospect, I don't think it does much for my game,'' Smith said at the Big 12's football media days in Dallas in late July. "Maybe I'll feel different and maybe I won't.''
And this from Holgorsen:
"We haven't won a game this year yet so I don't know if it does us any good or not,'' Holgorsen said at that same July gathering. "But it's not going to hurt.''
Well, two games into the season, perhaps the proof is there. Smith's added size and strength, and even speed, has made a big difference.
It's not readily evident in Smith's passing numbers. After all, he might be 66 for 75 for 734 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions without the added size and strength. He might even be averaging 41.5 yards rushing. A handful of successful scrambles might be enough to duplicate those numbers. He's done that in the past.
But after those two games, in which Smith hasn't been sacked and has even shed tacklers at times, Holgorsen seems to be a committed believer that Smith's size is now an advantage.
"Something happens to guys when they're seniors, but his body is different,'' Holgorsen said Monday. "He's gained weight, he's bigger, he's stronger, he's faster, he's more confident.''
And if one can get past the gaudy passing numbers, it is showing in his play.
"He's getting rushing yards because he's doing a good job of getting out of bad situations in the pocket and extending the play,'' Holgorsen said.
That's unusual for a quarterback in Holgorsen's offense. He's had some good ones, of course, but few who could use their legs to the degree that Smith has done through the first two games.