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West Virginia7772142
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73


West Virginia (3-2) at (17) Baylor (3-0)



Saturday, October 5, 8 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Frank Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: Fresh off their biggest win of the season, the West Virginia Mountaineers face another major obstacle as they head to the Lone Star State for this Saturday's Big 12 Conference clash with the 17th-ranked Baylor Bears.

West Virginia took out No. 11 Oklahoma State at home last weekend, pushing the team a game over .500 on the season at 3-2. It was a huge effort for a club that was completely dominated the week prior by regional rival Maryland (37-0). The Mountaineers' other victories came against FCS foe William & Mary, as well as FBS newcomer Georgia State, while its first loss came in the conference opener against Oklahoma. WVU is only in its second season as a member of the Big 12.

It's little wonder why Baylor is undefeated at this point in the season, as the Bears own the nation's top offense. BU was idle last week, giving coach Art Briles' club ample time to prepare for its conference opener this week against WVU. The Bears opened the campaign by blasting FCS foe Wofford (69-3), but they upped the production from there, putting up 70 points in back-to-back wins over Buffalo and ULM. Critics will say Baylor hasn't played anyone yet, and while the level of competition hasn't been what the team will face the rest of the way, there is no discounting the merit of Briles' offense.

These two teams met for the first time last season, with the Mountaineers claiming a wild 70-63 triumph in Morgantown.

Spotting Oklahoma State a 7-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, the Mountaineers took control of matters, outscoring the Cowboys 30-14 the rest of the way to pull off the upset. West Virginia had trouble establishing the run (68 net yards), but got a solid effort from first-time starter Clint Trickett at quarterback, the former Florida State Seminole completing 24-of-50 passes for 309 yards and a TD. He was picked off twice and sacked once, but managed the game effectively in helping the home team claim a six-minute edge in the time of possession battle. Charles Sims, Ronald Carswell and Daikiel Shorts all tallied five catches for a combined 190 yards, while Sims paced the ground game with 60 yards and a TD on 18 carries.

For the most part, the West Virginia defense was on top of its game last week in allowing 433 yards to the Cowboys, the bulk of which came through the air (322). The Mountaineers proved to be an opportunistic bunch in coming up with three turnovers and holding the Pokes to just 6-of-20 success on third-down conversion attempts. Jared Barber was high man on the defense with his nine tackles, while Ismael Banks took an interception back 58 yards for a TD to record WVU's first points in the game.

Coach Dana Holgorsen praised his team for the effort, particularly the guys charged with stopping the opposition.

"Our defense played well. They created turnovers and stuck people. They held a team to 21 points that hasn't been held to that for quite some time."

The Mountaineers haven't had a ton of success on offense this season, averaging a mere 20.4 ppg behind typical outputs of 153.4 ypg on the ground and 239.2 ypg via the pass. Coach Dana Holgorsen has used three QBs, and the trio has combined to hit just over half of their pass attempts, but with only five TDs against six interceptions. Shorts and Sims have both hauled in 17 balls, with the former leading the team with a pair of receiving TDs. Sims paces the ground attack with 388 yards and three scores.

Foes are generating 345.4 ypg against the Mountaineers defense, but that has resulted in an average yield of only 19.6 ppg. Darwin Cook is the leading tackler with 31 stops, but Barber is hot on his heels with 30. Both Will Clarke and Brandon Golson have posted three sacks, while Cook already has three picks.

Baylor averages an eye-popping 69.7 points and 751.3 yards per game, both of which rank the team first in the nation, the former being more than 10 points better than the second-ranked team (Oregon), and the latter nearly 140 ypg more than No. 2 UCLA. Bryce Petty has performed exceptionally well as the Bears' next great signal caller, completing 74.6 percent of his passes for 1,001 yards, eight TDs and no interceptions. Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley have combined for 29 receptions, 720 yards and seven scores, while the BU ground attack boasts the talents of Lache Seastrunk and his 417 yards and six TDs. Shock Linwood lends a hand as he has scored four times, giving the Bears 14 rushing TDs on the season.

Baylor's defensive effort, while coming against inferior opponents, has resulted in the team permitting a scant 7.7 ppg, which is the second-lowest yield in the FBS. Eddie Lackey leads the Bears with 23 tackles, Bryce Hager has 22, and the unit as a whole has been credited with nine takeaways and 10 sacks. Shawn Oakman is second in the country with 2.7 TFL per game.

Baylor matched a school record by scoring 35 points in the first quarter of its 70-7 rout of ULM on Sept. 21, churning out 781 yards of total offense compared to just 295 for the overmatched visitors. Petty threw for 351 yards with four TDs, with both Goodley and Reese going over 100 yards with 156 and 123, respectively, and they combined for three TDs. Seastrunk rumbled his way to 156 yards and a score.

Hager paced the defense with eight tackles, while the unit as a whole came up with four turnovers, two of which were returned for TDs on picks by Joe Williams and Terrell Burt in the record-tying opening quarter.

While not necessarily a fan of early byes, Briles likes the fact that his team is well-rested heading into the conference opener.

"The thing about these open dates early in the season is that you feel like you're just starting and stopping, and that's kind of the way we feel right now without question. But the good thing is that our guys are fresh, energized, and anxious, and when you're anxious to do something then you usually have a lot of anticipation and get out there and do it."

As high as the Mountaineers were after last week's win, hitting the road to challenge a club as potent as Baylor is likely to take much of the wind out of their sails. Expect the Bears to come back to Earth a bit after starting the season at such a high level, but there is little chance this one ends up falling in favor of the visiting team.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 56, West Virginia 20

10/02 10:34:41 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR