Smith, Bailey ready for matchup against other Miramar products in ‘Cuse
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2011 01:10
The Miramar, Fla., natives who come to play football at West Virginia have always been an exciting source of talent.
This year's class may be the most productive so far, with junior quarterback Geno Smith, redshirt sophomore receiver Stedman Bailey and sophomore Ivan McCartney combining for more than 3,200 yards in the first six games.
The three high school teammates will look to maintain those big numbers against some Syracuse players who also came from Miramar.
Syracuse cornerbacks, sophomore Keon Lyn and junior Ri'Shard Anderson played in the Miramar area, and Lyn went to the same high school as Smith, Bailey and McCartney.
"I really don't know too much about one of their corners (Lyn) who did play for Miramar (High School), because he wasn't there the year I was there. He played the year after me," Bailey said. "From going back and watching the games from high school, he's pretty good."
Bailey has been friends with Anderson since they were little kids, but said he hasn't spoken to Anderson about the game and is not one to trash talk.
"I just let it speak on the field," he said.
Smith admitted he's been longtime friends with some of those Syracuse defenders like free safety Phillip Thomas (of the Miami area,) but he knows it will be all business come Friday night.
"I know one thing about them," Smith said. "They're going to be ready to play, and we have to do the same."
Smith is focused on coming out with a win and is not going to let the fact he knows some of the opponents get in the way of his performance on the field.
"So from watching film I have a pretty good idea of what I think they're going to do and how we can attack them," Smith said. "It has nothing to do with my personal relationship with them."
Despite the success of all of these secondary players during their high school years, the Orange defense ranks 111th in the nation in pass defense up to this point, according to USA Today polls, with 293 passing yards per game against them.
The WVU offense knows the game plan it has come up with this week; it should be able to have success in the passing game.
"With that being said, I feel like we could probably put up some good numbers passing-wise," Bailey said. "The whole key to this game is to win."
The redshirt sophomore receiver already has more receiving yards than he did last year, and is looking to reach his goal of 1,000 yards receiving this week against Syracuse.
Since 1995, West Virginia has only had three receivers record 30 or more catches in a season five times.
The triple threat of junior receiver Tavon Austin, Bailey and McCartney have already accomplished that feat this season. The three lead the team in catches with 42, 34 and 34, respectively.
The Miramar talent will be out on the field Friday, and we'll see which group comes out on top.