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Heisman contenders set to square off in Morgantown

Two of the nation’s top QBs to go head-to-head in WVU-K-State contest

October 19, 2012
By John Wickline Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

MORGANTOWN - Saturday's game between No. 17 West Virginia and No. 4 Kansas State not only pits two of the Big 12 Conference's best teams against each other, but also two of the top Heisman Trophy contenders.

The battle between quarterbacks Geno Smith of West Virginia and Collin Klein of Kansas State is the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award's Marquee Match-up for the week.

The Davey O'Brien Award is presented each year to the top collegiate quarterback and is the nation's oldest quarterback award. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. and be televised nationally by Fox.

Kansas State enters the game with an unblemished record after five games, including a 2-0 mark in the Big 12 Conference after escaping with the win over Iowa State. WVU, 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12, looks to recover after its first loss of the campaign at Texas Tech.

Klein is a run-first quarterback, rushing for 510 yards and 10 touchdowns in the Wildcats' first five games, that coming after a 2010 season when he rushed for 1,141 yards as a junior.

But he has thrown for 1,074 yards and seven touchdown so far this season.

"You look at (him) throwing the ball, and it doesn't look very good," WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. "But it goes exactly where you want it to go."

In direct contrast, Smith is a pass-first quarterback and is considered by many pigskin pundits to be the front-runner for this year's Heisman Trophy.

He has thrown for 2,271 yards and 25 touchdowns, and he still has not tossed an interception in his 259 passing attempts.

"His receivers do a nice job of breaking to the football," Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said. "You don't often see a quarterback and a group of receivers like that. He's very capable event when he gets a pass rush, so (stopping Smith) be the easiest task in the world."



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