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Nearly-perfect Smith regrets one throw

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey hauls in a 20-yard touchdown pass in front of Baylor cornerback Joe Williams in the second quarter at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown on September 29, 2012.

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Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, 7:56 p.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith would like to have one throw back.

Ironically, it was one of Smith's 45 completions in a 70-63 win over Baylor on Saturday that left him unsatisfied.

On second-and-10 at the Mountaineers 25 and his team leading, 70-63, in the closing minutes, Smith fired a pass in the direction of J.D. Woods, who made a twisting 13-yard catch for a much-needed first down.

The Mountaineers eventually ran out the clock, but Smith said his pass to Woods was the drive's biggest play.

“That was a terrible throw,” Smith said. “He did a great job of grabbing it with one hand.”

Smith finished with a school-record 656 passing yards, and Woods had 13 receptions for 114 yards, both career highs.

In addition to setting a school record with 303 receiving yards, Stedman Bailey set the WVU career record for receiving TDs with 26 after his five-TD performance against Baylor. Tavon Austin is second on the list with 24.

Bailey and Austin (215 yards) are the first pair of teammates with 200-yard receiving games since Texas Tech's Danny Amendola and Michael Crabtree in 2007. WVU's Dana Holgorsen was co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach on that Texas Tech team.

Odds and ends

Baylor coach Art Briles said he considered attempting an onside kick after his team pulled within 70-63 with 3:08 to play. The Bears kicked off to WVU and never got the ball back. “It entered our mind,” Briles said. “We had three timeouts. If you do it there and don't get it, then basically the game is over. We played percentages, and it didn't work out.” ... WVU running back Shawne Alston (thigh) did not play. ... Smith's 88 percent completion mark (45 of 51) is the nation's best since Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2007.

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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