Geno Smith didn’t throw for a touchdown Saturday night in Acrisure Stadium, but he did find the end zone.
Smith, the Seattle Seahawks’ starting quarterback in the team’s first preseason game, took all of the first-half snaps for Pete Carroll’s offense.
The former Mountaineer legend finished the game 10-15 passing for 101 yards. His lone score of the night came just before halftime. It was a rushing touchdown from two yards out, which capped a nine-play, 61-yard drive to send Seattle into the locker room trailing by seven points.
“I’ll have to watch the film. I’ll have to see exactly how everything went,” Smith said after the game. “But I felt great out there. Felt like my decision-making was on point. I was seeing things well. They had a few good blitzes, and things of that nature, but I was able to get the ball out of my hands when I needed to.”
Smith’s touchdown came three plays after a 21-yard strike that put Seattle inside the red zone. Seattle gained possession of the football with 1:48 remaining in the second quarter. Smith ran to paydirt with 21 seconds still showing on the clock.
“It was similar to this last year when we played here. We started out slow and then picked it up,” said Smith. “I feel like we got into a good groove somewhere in the second quarter. Obviously, with the two-minute (drill), just pushing the tempo allowed us to stay on them, and then being able to punch it in was really good for the team.”
Two-minute drills are something that Smith and Seattle practice often. Their practice paid off, much to the delight of Seattle’s head coach.
“The two-minute drill was excellent. It was a beautiful job, and just the way you want to do it,” said Carroll. “It was just done exactly the way we want to. Great calling by the offensive coaches, and then Geno executed the whole thing.”
Smith carried the ball just nine times for Seattle last season. He had two carries for nine yards and one score in Saturday’s preseason contest. Carroll said the WVU alum moved well on the field, adding that the quarterback has always been a great athlete.
Drew Lock, whom Smith is competing against for the Week One starting quarterback job in Seattle, completed 11 of 15 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers.
Speaking after the game, Carroll said both Lock and Smith were efficient. There were just nine incomplete passes between them.
“Both quarterbacks were efficient,” Carroll reiterated. “Geno could’ve been 10-for-10. He had two drops, and Noah (Fant) has to stay in bounds on a ball on the sidelines and he hits them all. And we moved the ball pretty well with Drew also.”
Seattle lost the game 32-25. Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett led the Steelers on a game-winning drive that ended in the end zone with just three seconds remaining.
Smith and the Seahawks return to action on Thursday, August 18, at home versus the Chicago Bears. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.