Smith throws 2 TDs in WVU spring game
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Geno Smith completed 23 of 29 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns Saturday in West Virginia's spring football game.
As the Mountaineers prepare for their first season in the Big 12, the offense returns Smith and other playmakers from the team that beat Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl. And they hope to get contributions from freshman Jordan Thompson, who caught eight passes for 66 yards and a score Saturday.
And while the defense lost some key starters, there were several standout plays as the Mountaineers wrapped up spring practice.
Defensive backs Matt Moro and Brodrick Jenkins and lineman Will Clarke had interceptions as the Blue defense defeated the White offense 43-34.
With a modified scoring system, the defense earned its points for three-and-outs (five points), drive stops (three), fumble recoveries and interceptions (three apiece).
Smith was intercepted once, while backup Paul Millard threw two. Millard went 26 of 35 for 253 yards.
Avery Williams also had a fumble recovery for the defense.
West Virginia's defense will be the team's biggest question mark entering the fall.
The defense is breaking in several new assistants along with a 3-4 scheme after using a 3-3-5 system. Coach Dana Holgorsen hired defensive coordinator and safeties assistant Joe DeForest, co-coordinator and linebackers coach Keith Patterson and defensive line coach Erik Slaughter in the offseason following the departures of three assistants to Rich Rodriguez at Arizona in January.
The defense that ranked next-to-last in the Big East in points allowed and last in rushing yards allowed.
Rain fell in Morgantown leading up to Saturday's kickoff and the announced crowd was 10,000, although there appeared to be fewer fans in the stands.
Other offensive contributors Saturday included walk-on Vince Colaianni, who caught seven passes for 63 yards. Tavon Austin, who caught four TDs in the Orange Bowl, had five catches for 47 yards while redshirt freshman Dante Campbell had four catches for 45 yards and a score.
Shawne Alston was the leading rusher with 52 yards on 11 carries and Andrew Buie ran 12 times for 42 yards.