WVU held a 38 – 13 lead going into the 4th quarter against Baylor. Then in the 4th quarter Baylor replaced QB Zach Smith with QB Charlie Brewer who sparked 21 unanswered points by Baylor. It was WVU LB Xavier Preston’s sack of Brewer with 7 seconds left in the game that sealed WVU’s 38 – 36 win.
The WVU offense continued a heavy passing attack in the 4th quarter instead of working the clock by running the ball. This took little time off the clock, and all WVU did was go three plays and out, putting up no points in the final quarter. HC Dana Holgorsen was clearly upset and in his Post Game Conference said he would be addressing this issue.
This was WVU’s first win in Waco, TX since joining the Big 12. It was evident that WVU DC Tony Gibson enjoyed this win. Since joining the Big 12 WVU has struggled beating Baylor on its home turf. However, one other Big 12 team presents a much bigger hurdle for the Mountaineers. WVU has yet to beat Oklahoma at home or on the road since joining the Big 12.
The last time WVU beat Oklahoma was in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, when then WVU HC Bill Stewart gave his infamous “Leave No Doubt” speech (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MW63PcDPPZk) and WVU went on to won 48 – 28.
I am truly beginning to doubt the play of WVU WR Marcus Simms. I have yet to see him use his speed to get open, and you just don’t throw him the ball in critical situations, for he can’t catch.
Someone on WVU’s staff must have read last weeks article and payed attention to my statement that Big 12 Teams run trick plays, all but WVU that is. Against Baylor, WVU ran a reverse with RB Kennedy McCoy that went for a first down. This is the first time under Holgorsen have I seen any trickeration.
Along with this win comes growing stats for 2 of WVU’s offensive players. WR David Sills V now has 15 touchdown catches. According to the Fox play-by-play commentators this is more touchdowns than 105 FSC schools. Sills is ranked 12th in receptions by College Football Statistics (CFS).
While WVU QB Will Grier is still putting up good numbers and according to CFS is ahead of Heisman hopefuls such as Oklahoma’s QB Baker Mayfield who is ranked 5th and Louisville QB Lamar Jackson who is ranked 13th, he still isn’t getting any love though he is ranked 4th.
Grier finished the Baylor game with 375 yards passing; completing 26 of 37 passes which is a 70% completion rate; with a QBR 85.4 (ESPN) and a rating of 172.30 (CFS). Grier can attribute much of his success to WRs: David Sills V, Gary Jennings, and KaRaun White.
The one offensive player for WVU that has slipped the past 2 weeks has been RB Justin Crawford. Crawford struggled against Texas Tech and again against Baylor. Until these 2 games, Crawford has been rushing for over 100 yards again. Against Baylor he had 10 carries for 30 yards.
Against Baylor it wasn’t just WVU’s offense that struggled, but WVU’s defense as well. There was a couple of times WVU’s defense didn’t get set and Baylor made them pay. Preston’s sack of Brewer was timely, for it sealed WVU’s win and was the defenses’ biggest play in the fourth.
There was a few WVU positives in this game. The kick-off return looked much improved, and so did the kicking game. WR Marcus Simms had 4 kick returns for 125 yards. However, it was evident that WVU lacks depth on defense and at receiver.
Until the next time…