Indeed, and that variety is almost entirely determined by Smith. On every pass play he has as many as five potential receivers and on many plays he has a run-pass option with the ability to give the ball to a running back instead of throwing it.
"When you go back and look at the tape you see him hand it off, hand it off, throw it, hand it off, throw it, throw it, throw it, hand it off. He just did a great job of mixing it up,'' Spavital said. "That's pretty hard to coach because a lot of it's just how the game's going. We were running the ball well, so Geno went after that pretty quickly, but at the same time throwing it out there and keeping the defense honest.''
So if his decision making is nearly flawless and his execution the same, what else is there?
Well, the ongoing step is kind of like that line in a kindergarten evaluation: Works and plays well with others. Smith certainly gets a check mark there, but can he do it even better as the season goes along and he becomes more familiar with what amounts to his classmates?
"Oh, yeah,'' Spavital said. "And we got some of those questions answered about personnel. Because of the way we ran the ball, I think he's more comfortable handing it off, and when he throws the ball he's getting questions answered about Squirt [freshman Jordan Thompson] and J.D. [Woods]. J.D. had some pretty big catches and so now I think Geno's going to be relying more on him.''
That's going to be key to both Smith's improvement and West Virginia's progression on offense. Smith has always been comfortable with Bailey because the two have played together since high school. He quickly learned to trust Austin, too, for obvious reasons. He knows when and where they like to get the ball and how they like it delivered and he has the confidence in them to give it to them in crucial situations.
Woods and Thompson? Not so much. Alston and Buie? Perhaps he's just not quite as comfortable yet with them. Ditto the freshmen who come off the bench.
But as he throws or hands off to them more and more, that familiarity and comfort level will rise. In a close game, Bailey and Austin are going to get a lot of defensive attention because everyone on the planet knows how Smith likes to get them the ball. But imagine if he's just as comfortable throwing it or handing it to almost anyone else, too?
"The one thing I was pleased with was we got some questions answered with personnel,'' Spavital said. "J.D. had a good game, so I think he's going to be a guy Geno's going to rely on even more. The same way with the run game. The more games we play, the more he's going to get comfortable with the players around him.''
And a step closer to the perfection that will never come.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.