Smith leads No. 7 WVU past No. 24 Baylor
Published: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Updated: Saturday, September 29, 2012 17:09
Oddly enough, 70 points used to be a rarity in Morgantown.
It has now become a common occurrence.
No. 7 West Virginia racked up 807 yards of total offense – breaking the previous single game record of 655 - and held off a late push from No. 24 Baylor to defeat the Bears 70-63 in front of 60,012 at Milan Puskar Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers (4-0, 1-0) outscored the Bears (3-1, 0-1) 21-7 in the third quarter and didn’t trail again.
“You witnessed the same thing I did,” said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. “I commend Baylor for playing the way they played. They played well offensively and had an opportunity to shut it down three or four times and didn’t.”
Baylor senior quarter back Nick Florence’s 581 passing yards were overshadowed by West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith’s 656 yard and eight touchdown performance – both single game school records.
His head coach would almost consider his performance perfect.
“Can you please tell me how you can improve on that,” Holgorsen said. “He played well. Nick Florence played well, too.”
Smith was able to find wide receivers Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and J.D. Woods consistently throughout the game.
The three combined for 40 receptions for 632 yards and eight touchdowns.
Bailey set school records for receiving yards in a game and receiving touchdowns in a game, while Austin set the school record for receptions in a game.
The two also rank one and two in career receiving touchdowns at West Virginia University.
“Not every game is going to be like this,” Holgorsen said. “It was a situation where both offenses were playing at a pretty high level … It will be different next week.”
The game was the Mountaineers’ inaugural Big 12 Conference outing, and they didn’t disappoint.
Despite all of the mind-boggling statistics, perhaps the most impressive is the fact West Virginia hasn’t had a turnover since the season opener against Marshall.
“We haven’t turned the ball over in three games and you’re going to win if you do that,” Holgorsen said. “It’s a very up-tempo league and we understand it is going to be a very up-tempo league. We have to get better defensively and playing at a high tempo level.”
As the second-year head coach alluded to, the Mountaineer struggled mightily in slowing down the Bears’ offensive attack.
Baylor came into the game averaging more than 50 points an outing, but WVU defensive coordinator Joe Deforest wasn’t pleased with the result.
“I did a poor job of preparing them. I did a poor job of calling the game,” DeForest said. “Ultimately, it's on me."
Baylor was able to convert 11 of 16 on third down, while the Mountaineers converted on 12 of 15.
The game only had four punts.