Healthy Pat Smith ready to get back under center in 2011
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 11:08
For the second season in a row, Pat Smith is entering the season as the starting quarterback.
Whether he finishes the season is a different issue. Last season ended early for Smith after an injury to his throwing hand during the second game of the season.
In 2011, Smith looks to stay healthy and make an impact on the IUP offense — something the team was sorely missing at the quarterback position in 2010.
"My thumb feels great, I'm ready to go" he said during an interview Aug. 21.
Despite not seeing any action in more than a year, Smith didn't hesitate to take his being sidelined as a learning experience and allowing himself room to grow.
"Being on the sideline with the injury really helped me to understand the game more and allowed me to get mental reps just so I would be ready to go for the spring," he said.
Based on his numbers in a recent intra-squad scrimmage, it may be fair to say he is putting together the pieces to be where needs to be.
During the scrimmage, Smith threw for 136 passing yards and two touchdowns.
"I do feel like I have room for improvement," Smith said.
The amount of work that Smith has shown is definitely being noticed, especially by first year IUP Head Coach Curt Cignetti.
"We've seen significant improvement in Pat since the first day of spring" Cignetti said. "He had a really good fall camp and he is getting better every day and he is playing with a lot of confidence."
The sophomore quarterback has high hopes this year, not just from a personal standpoint, but for the offense as well.
"[Not just] very high expectations from the offensive staff to put up big numbers on the scoreboard, but also to compete at practice against the defense" Smith said.
IUP was is picked to finish third in the PSAC West, but as far as what that means to Smith, he just wants to play.
"I honestly had no idea of the ranking," Smith said. "I really don't pay too much attention to the media because I really have to worry about what my goals are to get ready for the season and get myself where I need to be for the start of the season."
"I just want to compete, do my job and win," he added.