Geno Smith is the new face of the franchise for the Jets.
Well, at least for the opening game of the season.
The rookie quarterback will start for the Jets in the opener at home Sunday against the Buccaneers. The Jets finally confirmed Wednesday what had been expected since Mark Sanchez injured his right shoulder in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 24.
‘‘They’ll try to rattle my cage,’’ Smith said of the Buccaneers. ‘‘I expect those guys to come out fired up and they want to make a statement. They’ll want to hit me and get me off my game, but I expect those things. And I look forward to it.’’
Smith, who had an up-and-down preseason, was the team’s second-round draft pick out of West Virginia after he was projected by many to be selected early in the opening round. After Smith threw three interceptions and took a safety in three-plus quarters against the Giants, it was widely assumed Sanchez had won the job. But coach Rex Ryan chose to put Sanchez in the game in the fourth quarter — and he suffered the injury that could sideline him several weeks. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.