MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Quinton Spain saw first-hand how a few innocuous comments muttered in Morgantown can mean something entirely different upon reaching New York.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

West Virginia left tackle Quinton Spain says the media took quotes about WVU’s poor finish in 2012 and “twisted the whole thing up”.

“They just twisted the whole thing up,” Spain said Tuesday, referencing misdirected media assertions that he, Dustin Garrison and Andrew Buie criticized Geno Smith for a lack of leadership in 2012.

None of those current WVU players cited Smith personally or insinuated the quarterback was at fault for the Mountaineers losing six of their final eight games last season.

But New York Jets coach Rex Ryan took the bait nonetheless, firing back at a West Virginia program that hadn’t fired in the first place.

“It tells me I’m glad my kid never went there. Tell you that much. I don’t get that,” Ryan said. “Geno was a tremendous player for West Virginia.”

Ryan’s son Seth walked on at Clemson where, hopefully, he’s learning reading comprehension skills his father clearly lacks. Here were the players’ direct quotes that spawned this silliness:

— “Last year we didn’t have a lot of leadership,” Garrison said.
— “I feel like last year, we fell apart,” Buie said. “At certain moments where we needed to be a team, we weren’t a team.”
— “There wasn’t no team,” Spain said. “I could say there was a team early, but once we started losing we saw the I’s come up, so it just hurt the team worse.”

If you can detect a Geno Smith reference in there, you’re not just reading between the lines, you’re scripting the lines between the lines. Yet from those comments come inaccurate headlines such as:

“Rex Ryan responds to WVU’s veiled shots at Geno Smith” (Sporting News)
“Rex doesn’t get why Geno is taking hits from West Virginia (
“Rex Ryan has some words for Geno Smith detractors (

In this age of content aggregation, the error snowballs into a faux controversy when media members who have never interviewed any of the source participants fan the fervor.

On Tuesday, Spain could only laugh.

“Geno was a good leader,” he said.

Receiver Kevin White, adorned in a green non-contact jersey during Monday’s practice, said Tuesday he doesn’t anticipate being sidelined much longer.

“I kind of nicked my shoulder up a little bit — nothing major,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m ready.”

The junior transfer from Lackawanna (Pa.) College has noticed a definite spike in intensity from coaches as preseason camp enters its final week.

“A lot more yelling and screaming,” White said. “The coaches want it to be crisp and not anything looking crappy.”

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  • cutty77

    Offense sells Tickets,and Defense wins Championships.

    • Bobby M

      That old phrase has been going around FOR ages! And is one of the most true football mottos! Thanks for reliving it!

      • BH

        "Passing scores points, running wins games"; (Coach Herm Edwards). I couldn't agree more.

  • jfk

    Rex Ryan is an idiot

  • Geno

    Rex Ryan will be an after thought D-Coordinator in the NFL after this year anyways who cares its NY they blow everything out of the proportion and try and read between the lines when theres nothing there to be read, no one is pointing fingers here, coaches players everyones to blame on the fall apart at the end of the year last year perfect example Manson not keeping his grades up and missing the bowl game on top of that we are in a tougher league then the Big East now with Marquee schools with rich history theres going to be tough loses and rough roads, Dana is a fine coach and were lucky to have a younger up and coming head coach like him right now anyways, and as far as Rex son is concerned I didnt even know he had a son going to college and if hes carrying the same kind of character as his dad I wouldn't want someone like that wearing the old gold & blue anyways plus probably not up to our standards at WVU Football, walk on at Clemson huh? 70-33 is my only response to that enjoy Dabo kid

  • bva24

    I don't get the blind loyalty of our fans toward Holgorsen. In my view, he hasn't done much to deserve it. Throwing players under the bus sends a great message to high school recruits. Maybe this is why he has yet to recruit a real impact player for WVU.

    Ollie will pull the plug if this year is the disaster that it has the potential to be. Its already off to a great start.

    • Geno

      We as fans are spoiled over the last 12 years of success out of the Big East dont forget how we struggled as a program before the last decade or so, Ollie won't pull the plug he just extended his contract this past year where have you been? He will have a long leash now that all the stars are gone plus he has a BCS win under his belt and hes rebuilding a new without the guys from Stew/Rich Rod, I give him 3 years to put something together and then you will see Ollie judge midway through his new contract when money is less substantial on a buyout start making decisions, plus Dana's offense has succeeded everywhere including here if you can get a decent defense around him he should succeed, too many people ready to rush to the fire him angle after one bad season in a tougher league welcome to reality were in a stronger league with talent we had in the big east not yet built to play Texas & OU caliber teams week in and week out you have to build towards that, and Danas getting the backing to upgrade facilities and Ollies doing stuff to upgrades stadiums, to bring that kinda of talent here, the good old boys put us years behind other schools in facilities and now we have the revenue to take care of those things. Dana will be fine so chill give it time

      In Dana & Ollie I trust

      • Brian

        I have an issue with talent angle ... 1: That talent level that played in the Big East kicked the crap out of Oklahoma a few years ago. 2: The SU team that schooled us in the bowl game was a Big East team. The problem last year was coaching, a young defense, coaching, a new defensive system, and oh, did I mention coaching. The offense was solid, but struggled when Bailey was nicked up, and the defense struggled when they got on the field. So please lay off the talent line. There's not that big of difference in the talent levels.

        • WVU fan 44

          That talent level that beat Oklahoma a few years ago would've been 7-5 at best if they had to play an OU caliber team every single week. There's a HUGE difference in talent between the BEast and the Big XII. Last year had we been in the BEast we would've been a 10 win team.

      • Bruce

        Dude, does your computer/iphone not have a period button?

        • Jason

          This ^^^ !!!

  • Frank H.

    Any chance Rex Ryan's son will take Podiatry classes while at Clemson?

    And does "walked on at Clemson" REALLY MEAN >>> "My daddy wrote a big check to let me play at Clemson?"

  • richard

    i'm as loyal a mountaineer as they come----BUT, geno did pout when things went wrong last year. he put on a good front but you could just tell by his body language that he was aggravated and i saw him yell and act (non leader like) many times the last half of the season. some players wouldn't even sit next to him or talk to him on the sidelines last year. stedman was the same way. BUT!!! i did see one player give it his all every game, all the time, no questions asked----TAVON! you could tell he gave it his all and left it on the field. bottom line though------that defense stunk stunk stunk!!! they were clueless and didn't know how to tackle. i saw so many defensive players run half speed, bump instead of wrapping up and tackling and just seem outplayed and out of their league. big 12 or defense should be that bad. hope this year is a complete turn around....didn't help with deforest on the sideline with his hat on backwards looking clueless and helpless. i think him being shifted to special teams was a great move that will pay off.

    • farm kid

      the kicker cost us two games. the TCU and sooners. should be 9 and four. being 9 and3 could have got us into a better bowl. another piece that geno choked he could not beat the cuse in four meetings.

  • College Ave

    Is it possible that Geno Smith read his own name between the lines and Rex Ryan felt he had to come to the defense of his potentially starting but definitely sensitive QB?

    Rex Ryan might be a loudmouthed idiot but it's quite possible that he's smart enough to realize that he has to babysit some players.

  • pghmountaineer

    Rex is a looser and a loud mouth. He's never won anything. He's great for press conferences but he's at best a below average coach.
    Trust me, he will find a way to mess with Geno's mind.

    • Bobby M

      I'm not defending him but we should leave room to accept the condition that he MIGHT have got misleading information! Maybe he wasnt reading quotes himself but receiving reports from media personal. We need to consider ALL odds before we judge!

      • Brian

        Then he's more a fool for not confirming something before speaking to it.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    I am SOOO glad Rex's son doesn't go here, just so that we don't have to deal with Rex. I am so sick of his big mouth going off on subjects he has no business getting involved with in the first place. Perhaps he is just deflecting his attention from the fact that the J-E-T-S, Jets-Jets-Jets, S-U-C-K, Suck-Suck-Suck.

  • MountainMover

    All I saw was how Geno, Tavon and Stedman led by example by continuously putting points on the board only to see a non-existent defense give it all back and worse. If WVU players or coaches thought those three guys weren't leaders they sure looked to them constantly to bail them out of countless defensive AND special teams lapses - especially on kick coverage after a score.

    Holgorsen was likely referring to the defense which had no self-respect and often looked lost. He didn't want to call players out by name because what would that accomplish? Rex Ryan is clueless, and all you have to do is look at the Jets' record the past two years.

    • bva24


  • In da stickes

    If I were Geno, I wouldn't let Rex Ryan near my toes. That's all I got.

    • Ugotbeardenvy


  • dave r

    not sure if he didn't lead.....but he sure did choke down the stretch though, him and the lack of defense

  • WVWho

    Its easy to see who the comments from teammates were pointed at. Geno said all the right things and pretended to be a leader when WVU was undefeated and he was a heisman frontrunner. Once that fell to the wayside everyone saw his attitude and pouting. The QB is the leader period. He couldn't play defense but he could have motivated and continued to carry himself the way he did in preseason and the first 5 weeks of the year. Cmon Allan, no microscope needed, they were referring to him and you know it.

    • WVUinNYC

      Please dude. You must have never watched WVU play this year. Did Geno get flustered a few times when he'd lead the team down the field for a TD, only to watch the defense give it right back in a hurry, sure... But he, Tavon and Steadman killed it on offense overall. The DEFENSE is clearly who everyone was talking about in those quotes. I mean we are talking about a QB who lead his team to an average of 40 points of offense a game. Any college or pro coach in America would kill for a QB that has the ability to do that. I live in NYC, media coverage here is sensationalistic and overblown. Just like this fabricated story. Go and pray that Marshall actually wins a few game this year, quit embarrassing the state of WV and stop trolling.

      • farm kid

        what games did you watch? I sat in the stands watch seven home games Tavan, Stedman, woods save smith's bacon many times. smith's problems started at TTU the wind was the excuse. after that the offence stopped putting up points. the real geno showed up at nfl draft not receiving first round pick geno pouted. was ready to go home.the nfl made him stay in ny. this kid will not make it jets do not have receivers like tavon,stedman, woods on the field.

  • CaptainQ

    Who would WANT Rex Ryan's son as a member of the Blue and Gold? Besides that, Rex better be careful about burning a lot of bridges now since he will be looking for a job by the end of this NFL season after the Jets only manage to win a few games this year.

    Maybe WVU could offer Rex a job, as a, latrine orderly? It'd fit his personality to a tee!

    • Bobby M

      If REXS son was a 5 star footballer I'd take him! But I haven't heard anything and didnt even know his son played and even if he did - he's probably an EAST COAST kid!

      • CaptainQ

        If Rex's son is an egostical basketcase like his dad, are you SURE you'd want him on YOUR football team? Better check it out first. Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson had talent too, but who wants the 'circus' that goes with having them as teammates? Same principle here.

        • Bobby M

          But sometimes thats a RISK you have to take! You never know how a kid will turn out. What about people saying things about Noel Devine? People even said things about TAVON too! You sometimes have to take risks and hope you have an establishment that is built on SUCCESSFUL outcomes for troubled youth! I think we have a great system and we have people who CARE greatly! And that my friend is ingredients for true success because its not about wins and losses!

  • cutty77

    When Geno First got Drafted to the Jets I sadi,Oh My. Do they need a QB,yes but they need everything from front office on down. They may need new Bathrooms. LOL They have the worse press coverage to go along with the worse Team. Geno has no shot to suceed in This Town.

    • William

      "YOU KNOW" HOLGERSON is a great fit as head coach at WVU. He is a man of great character!

      • cutty77

        William I'm sure your a Pillar of your neighborhood too. lol