West Virginia arrived in Waco, Texas, this weekend tasked with getting its first Big 12 win of 2021, but following 60 minutes against the Baylor Bears, WVU is still winless in the conference.
Head coach Neal Brown credited the Bears with their level of play on Saturday for the win, but also said that the Mountaineers played ‘bad football’.
“Bad football,” Brown said following the loss. “Credit to Baylor and [head] coach [Dave] Aranda and their crew, they were ready to go and they soundly beat us in every phase. From the point in the third quarter when we botched the onside kick the game was never close.”
“If you can’t block them on offense and you can’t cover them on defense, it’s going to be a long day and it was,” Brown added. “We weren’t very good today. That’s the difference between this game and the rest of them.”
Impenetrable defense had been the defining feature of this West Virginia team, but it was not present on Saturday. The Mountaineers allowed 525 total yards while Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon had career highs in passing yardage (336) and touchdowns (4).
Brown said that the defense was ‘exposed’ on Saturday and that it hasn’t been consistent this year.
“We just got exposed a little bit,” Brown said. “Defensively we’ve played above average at times, but we haven’t been very consistent. We struggled with coverage and they [Baylor] came out and they hadn’t shown the ability early to do that as far as throwing the football, but they did today.”
The Baylor defense had continuous pressure on quarterbacks Jarret Doege and Garrett Greene throughout the afternoon. For the game, the Bears totaled six sacks and seven tackles for loss.
“We didn’t block them,” Brown said on the Baylor defensive pressure. “In particular on our right side. It doesn’t matter if you run or pass; when you lose one-on-one battles over and over and over again it’s going to be hard.”
“There’s some fundamental issues there,” Brown added. “We just didn’t play very well, but I don’t know if there was a time when we had more than one or two plays in a row where we blocked them.”
While the defense had its fair share of issues, the offense never found a rhythm. Doege threw for 237 yards before being benched for Greene in the fourth quarter. The rushing attack continued to be a black spot on the offense as it only totaled 90 yards.
Greene ended the game as the leading rusher with 55 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.
With the clear problems on the field, Brown emphasized solving the problems for WVU heading into the bye week.
“We have to solve some issues,” Brown said. “If you look at it through five games, we’ve been right there. So, we haven’t been far off.”
“Today was a totally different story, so I think everything is on the table,” Brown added. “Baylor has a good football team… they played well but we didn’t do enough to compete at this level and so when that happens, everything is on the table.”