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Mountaineers whacked in Waco

WACO, Texas - A year ago in Morgantown, West Virginia and Baylor played a game in which the teams combined to ring up almost unprecedented offensive numbers. As an encore in front of the home fans Saturday night, the Bears tried to match those all by themselves.

They came about as close as anyone could expect, too, much to the chagrin of the Mountaineers.

Baylor's offense scored at will and its defense put the clamps on West Virginia to nearly the same degree Saturday night. It all added up to a rather humiliating 73-42 loss by the Mountaineers, just a week after their season appeared to pick up so much steam.

"We just came out here and laid an egg,'' West Virginia safety Darwin Cook said. "Today just wasn't our day.''

What an understatement that is.

How bad was it? Well, it was the most points ever surrendered by West Virginia in the modern era and the second-most ever given up by any Mountaineer team. The only prior opponent ever to score more points was Michigan in a 130-0 win in 1904. Washington & Jefferson's 72 points in a shutout win in 1891 now falls to third on the list.

Before the third quarter had ended, Baylor had broken its own record for total yards by a West Virginia opponent. The Bears set that mark at 700 yards in last year's 70-63 loss in Morgantown, and had 746 Saturday night before the fourth quarter ended.

When all was said and done Baylor had 872 yards, shattering its own school record of 781 set and matched the previous two games this season. The Bears had 617 in the first half alone. They had 476 rushing and 396 passing.

For that there was plenty of blame to go around. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson wasn't willing to spread it, though.

"Obviously I didn't have them ready to play football,'' Patterson said. "This is a game of emotion. They teams that play with emotion and intensity are the ones that succeed.

"And give Baylor credit, they just physically whipped us.''

And the final score actually made the game seem far closer than it really was. West Virginia trailed 42-7 midway through the second quarter, 56-14 at halftime and 66-21 midway through the third quarter. The Mountaineers added meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including TD passes by Paul Millard, who mercifully relieved a battered Clint Trickett after the game was out of hand. Those came against Baylor's second team, which played most of the second half.

Darwin Cook also added a score late in the game when he took a lateral from Travis Bell after an interception and returned it for a touchdown and the final points with 3:01 to play.

That late flurry, however, did little to make up for what happened at the outset, which was when Baylor simply ran away and hid, making the game a laugher before the first half was over.

In just the first quarter, Baylor gained 369 yards and built a 28-7 lead. The 369 yards was the highest total by any team in the FBS in any quarter of any game played in at least 10 years.

Baylor did not have a three-and-out all game - the Bears have not had one this season - and did not punt.

By halftime, Baylor had rolled up 617 yards of total offense, just 83 short of what the Bears had a year ago in that 70-63 loss in Morgantown. On 58 offensive plays, Baylor made 27 first downs in that half (finishing with 38 for the game). At one point, the Bears scored on three consecutive offensive plays - at the end of a 12-play drive and then on back-to-back one-play "drives" of 47 and 80 yards.

Meanwhile, West Virginia was getting nothing from its offense, which struggled so much that on consecutive series in the first quarter coach Dana Holgorsen took Trickett out of the game and replaced him with Millard. Both times Holgorsen said it was because he couldn't communicate with Trickett because the quarterback still doesn't understand his signals.

"I'm not doing something right,'' Holgorsen said of the inability to get Trickett up to speed with the communications aspect.

Trickett sat out the fourth quarter, but still appears to be West Virginia's starting quarterback. The Mountaineers are off next week before facing Texas Tech on Oct. 19, so Trickett will have some time to rest his injured shoulder and other sore parts.

"It's Clint,'' offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said when asked if he still had a starting quarterback. "Clint gave us a spark [last week in a win over Oklahoma State].''

West Virginia had one and only one crack of hope during the entire game, but that was over in a hurry. After Baylor's offense had scored in the first 40 seconds of the game and WVU was forced to punt after its first four plays, Baylor's Levi Norwood fumbled the punt near his own goal line. The ball went back into the end zone, where WVU's Karl Joseph recovered for a touchdown. And so with just 21/2 minutes gone, the Mountaineers were tied with the Bears, 7-7.

But that was it. Baylor would score on eight of its nine first-half possessions - all touchdowns - the only exception coming when freshman Daryl Worley intercepted Bryce Petty after the Bears had reached the WVU 32.

Aside from that, Petty was 17  of 25 for 347 yards passing (342 in the first half). Antwan Goodley caught seven passes for 170 yards and running back Lache Seastrunk, not to be outdone, had 172 yards and two touchdowns. Goodley and Seastrunk's numbers all came in the first half.

For the game, Trickett finished 9 of 28 for 161 yards. Millard was 8 of 13 for 115 yards and touchdowns to Ronald Carswell and White. West Virginia had 394 yards of offense after gaining just 147 in the first half.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.

 

 


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