Wednesday, October 27, 2010

FORMER BUCKEYE, HEISMAN WINNER TROY SMITH TO START FOR 49ERS

Former Ohio State star Troy Smith, right, talks to Ted Ginn Jr. on the sidelines during the BCS title game in New Orleans in 2008. (The Buckeye Times/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
LONDON — Former Ohio State star Troy Smith has been named the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday when they play the Denver Broncos in London, head coach Mike Singletary announced on Wednesday.

"I think Troy Smith gives us a good opportunity to win the game," Singletary told the Associated Press. "He's been studying since he's been here and getting with the coaches as much as he possibly can. He has enough of the offense to play."
The former Heisman Trophy winner hasn't started in an NFL game since 2007 — then with the Baltimore Ravens. He is 48-of-89 passing in his career (53.9) with 558 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Smith has added 109 yards rushing and two scores in his four-year career, and has even recorded a reception for 36.

Smith will be taking over for a team that is 1-6 and struggling mightily, especially after many picked the Niners as the preseason favorite to win the NFC West.

Smith said he knows exactly what he has to do to win over his teammates.

"I think the easiest way to get through to your teammates that you're serious about what's going on is to know exactly what your job is," Smith said. "Know exactly what everyone expects from you and go out and execute. At the same time you have to respect your boundaries. I believe in not stepping on anybody's toes, I believe in getting in where you fit in."

Smith, who is one of the most beloved Buckeye players of all time, will also be reuniting with his high school and college teammate, wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

Smith and Ginn dazzled the college football world in their time at Ohio State and hope to rekindle that magic in the pro ranks this Sunday.

"It's great to be able to get back in tune with a guy that you've been playing with your whole life," Ginn said. "For us to go out and continue our journey that we've been on so far is great."