Six WVU players selected for Big 12 honors
Here's how good the Big 12 is this season: West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who passed for more than 4,000 yards for the second consecutive season, didn't receive first-team, all-conference honors.
Smith, second-team behind Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, was among six Mountaineers named to the All-Big 12 team Wednesday.
Other Mountaineers honored include receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey (second team), center Joe Madsen (second team), safety Karl Joseph (honorable mention) and receiver Ryan Nehlen (honorable mention, scholar-athlete).
The Mountaineers, who face Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium, went 7-5, 4-5 in their first season in the Big 12.
Smith, the Big 12 preseason offensive player of the year, passed for 4,004 yards and 40 touchdowns with six interceptions. Klein threw for 2,490 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions and rushed for 890 yards and 22 scores. One of three Heisman Trophy finalists, he also was named Big 12 offensive player of the year.
Austin (110) and Bailey (106) had more than 100 receptions while averaging more than 100 yards per game — the first time that has occurred in school history.
Bailey, a junior, leads the FBS with 23 TD catches.
Austin, who has scored via rushing, receiving, punt return and kickoff return, was named Big 12 co-special teams player of the year. He set a school record with 344 yards rushing against Oklahoma.
Madsen, a senior, started all 50 career games in which he has played.
Joseph, a freshman, led WVU with 95 tackles (73 unassisted). He also had 9 1⁄2 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, two interceptions and one sack.
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.