There’s nothing new about West Virginia beating top 5 teams, as they hand Baylor their first loss of the season, 41-27 in Morgantown. In according to Mountaineers tradition, the streets of the college town weren’t safe from rioting fans and students, leading to the usual police intervention.
It’s not always actual Morgantown locals that set on destroying streets by tearing out street signs and burning couches. There are plenty of out-of-state fans that come to wreck some havoc in Morgantown following big wins, and this was probably the biggest for the school since joining the Big 12, which has been something of an up and down experience so far. The biggest winners of this result are Kansas State, the only undefeated team remaining in the conference.
West Virginia are now 5-2 with a 3-1 record in the conference, with Oklahoma State (on the road), TCU, Texas (on the road), Kansas State and Iowa State (on the road) remaining on their schedule. Not exactly a paved highway for a perfect record from here on out, but after making things very difficult for both Alabama and Oklahoma and pulling off their wins at Texas Tech and now over Baylor, the Mountaineers shouldn’t be afraid of what’s left for them this season.
Baylor got a bad game from Bryce Petty, who can be one of the more impressive quarterbacks in the nation on a good day and a destructive force to his own team on bad days. He completed only 16-of-36 passes and although Baylor didn’t turn the ball over once, they did commit 18 penalties and lost 215 yards because of it. They also couldn’t run the ball, held to only 95 yards on 42 carries. West Virginia held them to only 24 yards in the first half on the ground.
As for the Mountaineers, they did turn the ball over once, but it didn’t matter in the end. Clint Trickett had a very good game with three touchdown passes and throwing for 322 yards. Things are made easy when it’s Kevin White he has to throw to. White just might be the best wide receiver in the nation so far this season, finishing this game with 8 receptions for 132 yards, grabbing a couple of touchdown passes. He’s had at least 100 receiving yards in each of his seven games this season, an indicator that he’s going to win the Biletnikoff award. Justin Blackmon (2010) and Michael Crabtree (2007) won the award, doing the same thing through the first seven games.
Xavien Howard was called for pass interference four times while covering White. In the end, it came down to setting a new Big 12 record in penalized yards, breaking the old mark of 183 by Texas Tech. The Bears were called seven times on pass interference. Art Briles said he didn’t feel like his team was out of control at any part of the game. On one hand, no coach passes an opportunity to complain about officials. On the other hand, Big 12 referees are pretty bad.
Maybe this loss was in the air. After barely managing to pull through against TCU in that insane 61-58 game last week, Baylor was in for an upset anyway. Petty was sacked four times and looked bad trying to escape pressure. His big arm didn’t help him. This doesn’t destroy Baylor’s chances of making the playoffs and winning the conference, but it does eliminate their wiggle room, especially with games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State still on the calendar.