- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Reviewing West Virginia's Gold-Blue spring game from Friday night, won by the offense 83-17:
Offensive MVP: Quarterback Geno Smith completed 26 of 37 passes for 388 yards and four touchdowns as Dana Holgorsen's offense was fully unleashed against the Mountaineers' second-string defense. Smith's night included 44- and 67-yard touchdown passes to Stedman Bailey and a 38-yard scoring strike to Tavon Austin. Backup quarterback Paul Millard added 253 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-30 passing. Overall, the offense racked up 838 total yards and 683 in the air on 104 plays.
Defensive MVP: Julian Miller had two sacks and four total tackles, though this was clearly a night set up for the offense.
Costly injury? Starting offensive guard Josh Jenkins suffered an MCL sprain and a strain of another ligament around his kneecap. Jenkins will be put in a brace and go through physical therapy for six to eight weeks to let the MCL sprain heal. The West Virginia medical staff will decide after that time whether Jenkins needs surgery on his knee cap. Not having Jenkins would be a big loss for the Mountaineers.
Running back battle: One of the more intriguing subplots of the spring for the Mountaineers was who would claim the No. 1 tailback spot. It's a battle that probably will continue into the fall. True freshman Vernard Roberts led all rushers with 64 yards on 10 carries Friday. Trey Johnson had 57 yards on nine attempts and the only rushing touchdown. Johnson also had a 65-yard reception for a score.
Other notes: The estimated crowd of 22,000 was the largest for a Big East spring game this year. ... Ryan Nehlen was given the Nickolich Award as the top walk-on of the spring, and he caught five passes for 79 yards in the spring game. ... Defensive lineman Will Clarke, linebacker Najee Goode and cornerback Keith Tandy received the Iron Mountaineer Award, presented to the most outstanding performers in the team's offseason strength and conditioning program.