The West Virginia Mountaineer Football team will take on the No.17 Baylor Bears this Saturday night.
The game will be televised by Fox Sports 1 starting at 8pm. The announcing crew lines up this way (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece).
West Virginia won last year’s meeting in a shootout by the score of 70-63.
The Baylor Bears head coach is Art Briles, who shows a career record of (70-58) and is in his 6th season at Baylor.
Baylor is a four touchdown favorite coming into this game. This is their first Big 12 conference matchup of the season, they are (3-0) to this point.
West Virginia’s head coach is Dana Holgorsen, he shows a career mark of (20-11) and he’s in his third season at WVU.
Baylor currently owns a 7-game winning streak and has not lost since Nov. 10, 2012, at Oklahoma (tied for the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA).
Baylor leads the country in total offense, averaging 751.3 yards per game. In 3 games this season, Baylor has come up with 3 of the top-4 single game yardage totals in program history with 692 vs. Wofford and the school-record against Buffalo (781) and ULM (781).
Baylor is second in the country in scoring defense, surrendering only 7.7 points per game. The Bears have not allowed a touchdown after halftime this season. Baylor has won six straight home games.
Baylor’s defense has scored more touchdowns (4) than it has allowed (3) this season. Which makes the offensive stats look even more eye-popping.
Baylor is coming off an open week in their schedule, so they’ve had plenty of time to prepare for WVU.
They have posted at least 400 yards of offense in 30 straight games and are averaging 597.2 yards per game since 2011. Both lead the nation.
Baylor’s defense leads the country in forcing 3-and-outs, doing so on 25 of 46 chances.
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty leads the country with a passing efficiency rating of 239.5. He is 5th nationally and 1st in the Big 12 with 333.7 passing yards per game.
The Bears feature Heisman candidate Lache Seastrunk in their backfield, he is 9th nationally and 1st in the Big 12 with 139.0 rushing yards per game.
Baylor is the only school in the country with 2 receivers in the top 10 for receiving yards per game. Junior Antwan Goodley is 5th nationally and 1st in the conference with 123.3 per game, and senior Tevin Reese is 10th in the FBS and is 3rd in the Big 12 with 116.7 per game.
To put it mildly, this may be the best Baylor offense that’s ever played the game.
They are the first FBS team since LSU in 1930 to total at least 60 points in their first three games with victories of 69-3, 70-13 and 70-7, their wins have come against FCS Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe.
Now that doesn’t mean Baylor won’t set the world on fire against WVU, it just means they’ll need to prove themselves against Big 12 competition. Which I fully expect them to do.
West Virginia (3-2, 1-1) should provide the Bears with a decent challenge. The Mountaineers are coming off of last Saturday’s 30-21 win over then-No. 11 Oklahoma State.
Behind a much improved defense to this point, West Virginia will need to rely on it in order to keep the Baylor offense from turning this game into a blowout.
If the Mountaineers are interested in making this a ball game, they’ll most likely need to score 40 points or more, I’m just not sure they’re capable of it. The offense did show improvement against Oklahoma State, but they’ll really have to play well to keep up in this one.
Once again, the great equalizer is turnovers. West Virginia scored on a pick-six last week, which ended up being the difference against Oklahoma State.
If they can get pressure on Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and force some inadvertent throws, this game could turn into a dog fight, which may be WVU’s best hope on the road in a tough environment.
It’s hard to see the Mountaineers coming out on top in this one, but not many foresaw a win over OSU last weekend, so anything could happen.
Here’s a link to the College Gameday video from last week.