70 points have been benchmark for No. 4 Baylor-WVU
Oct. 17, 2014
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Records do indeed get tossed into the scrap heap whenever Baylor and West Virginia get together. They just keep adding new ones.
The winner has reached 70 points and 800 yards of offense each time in their only two meetings, and another big offensive show could be in store Saturday when No. 4 Baylor meets the Mountaineers. The teams are averaging a combined 1,175 yards of offense.
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett just hopes to have a chance to make a difference this time.
A year ago, Baylor had bolted to a 35-point lead in Waco, Texas, before fans had gotten soda refills. The Bears ended up setting a Big 12 record with 864 total yards, breaking the mark of 807 that West Virginia had set against the Bears the year before.
And all Trickett could do was desperately try to keep up with Bryce Petty and the potent Baylor offense. Imagine scoring 42 points — and losing by 31.
"Not a fun one," Trickett said.
This time, Baylor and West Virginia are coming off last-second wins decided by field goals. Both had to come from far back — Baylor was down 21 against TCU with 11 minutes to go, and West Virginia trailed Texas Tech by 14 with seven minutes left.
It left both teams confident that any double-digit deficit can be erased — and no lead is safe.
"Especially with all the high-power offenses in the Big 12 conference," said West Virginia wide receiver Jordan Thompson. "People will generally quit when you get behind a certain amount of points, but this team didn't quit. We believed that we were going to win the game."
And West Virginia (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) believes it is has a chance this time against Baylor. The Mountaineers have produced a school-record five straight games with at least 500 yards of offense. Problem is, the defense has given up 500 yards in three of those games.
Baylor (6-0, 3-0) is trying to keep its perch atop the Big 12 standings — it's tied with Oklahoma State — and maintain a track toward the College Football Playoff.
After winning their first four games by an average of 43 points, the Bears haven't been as convincing of late. They didn't score on offense until the third quarter in an Oct. 4 win over Texas. Last week, TCU reeled off the first 10 points.
"I don't really know what to expect, but I just know we have to come out and start faster than what we have these past two weeks," said Baylor wide receiver Jay Lee.
Here are some things to know about Saturday's No. 4Baylor-West Virginia matchup:
READY, SET, SCORE: The last time these teams met in Morgantown in 2012, West Virginia won its Big 12 debut, 70-63. At least 10 conference and school records were set. The teams tied the Bowl Subdivision record with 13 touchdown passes and 19 combined TDs. Baylor's 63 points were the most scored by a losing team.
DON'T FORGET THE RUN: Baylor leads the Big 12 with 252 rushing yards per game. The Bears had 468 on the ground a year ago against the Mountaineers and tied a school record with eight rushing TDs. Shock Linwood ran for 126 yards a year ago and leads the Big 12 this year with 105 per game. "When he runs, he runs with everything he's got," said Baylor coach Art Briles, "and he's got a lot."
CONFIDENT PETTY: Leading the Bears' big comeback last week after his interception was returned by TCU for a touchdown reinforced the Baylor's quarterback's belief in his teammates. Petty draws upon something Briles told the team: Experience can't be taught or read in a book. "You just have to live it," Petty said. "So for us, that was living proof that we can come back literally from anything. So it's just a lot of confidence for the guys and for the team."
D-LINE REINFORCEMENTS: West Virginia could have defensive lineman Christian Brown and defensive end Dontrill Hyman back on Saturday. Brown was suspended for the Texas Tech game for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Hyman has missed the last two games with a knee injury.
TOUGH SCHEDULE: Both of West Virginia's losses were against teams that were ranked in the Top 5. While an argument could be made that West Virginia has one of the nation's toughest schedules, "it's not the easiest, that's for sure," Trickett said.