In what was a match up between two of the better defenses in the Big 12, both teams held up their end of the bargain on Saturday in Morgantown.
West Virginia and Baylor are both vying to be the team that can be the “surprise” team in the conference. And Saturday’s match up, despite the defensive prowess, started off with the Mountaineers putting together a 15-play, 70-yard drive that ended with QB Jarret Doege taking it from one-yard out to score a touchdown and give WVU a 7-0 lead.
But that would be the end of the scoring for a several combined drives. In WVU’s next eight possessions, they put together 104 total yards.
Meantime, the Baylor Bears offense was having itself a hard time against WVU’s front seven. The offensive line, despite welcoming back multiple senior starters for this game, were not handling the pressure well from Darius and Dante Stills.
Baylor’s first four drives went for a total of 21 yards and included two missed field goals. That’s because their defense was able to force two turnovers, a fumble recovery and an interception, but the offense could not capitalize.
But after the third turnover by the Baylor defense at the 9:27 mark in the second quarter following a JT Woods interception of Doege, Baylor finally found pay dirt. QB Charlie Brewer hooked up with R.J. Sneed for a seven-yard touchdown to cap off a five-play, 30-yard drive as the Bears tied the game with under seven minutes until halftime.
The second half picked up right where the first half ended, with little offense and lots of punts.
But as the third quarter started winding down, it was West Virginia getting momentum on their side as they put together a drive very similar to their opening drive: 11 plays for 72 yards and a four-yard touchdown run by Leddie Brown.
Then on the next drive, Baylor QB Charlie Brewer was picked off by Dreshun Miller, but WVU could not turn it into points as they held onto a 14-7 lead with 12 minutes left in the game.
Fast forward to under five minutes left and after Baylor had an interception thrown by Charlie Brewer overturned following WVU’s stepping on the back end line, the Bears could not punch it in from the goal line, as Gerry Bohanon got stood up on a 4th and goal. as they had four chances from the three-yard line and ended up with a turnover on downs.
However, West Virginia had to punt five plays later and with two minutes left, Baylor QB Charlie Brewer found Josh Fleeks for a 34-yard touchdown as the game was tied 14-14 with 1:19 to play.
The game went to overtime where the Mountaineers got the ball first and scored on a six-yard touchdown pass from Doege to Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Then on the first play for the Bears, Brewer found Ben Sims for a 25-yard score to tie the game at 21.
In the second overtime, Baylor got the ball first and Brewer was looking for the end zone again, but he was picked off by Tykee Smith. The Mountaineers then used four plays to put this game away as Leddie Brown ran it in from three yards out to give the Mountaineers a 27-21 win.
The game ending on the ground was appropriate considering that’s how WVU won the game with 134 rushing yards, while holding the Bears to just 27 rushing yards on 33 carries.
The Mountaineers got the win despite having more penalties (12-102) than the Bears and losing the turnover battle 4-2.
West Virginia is now 2-1 and has a week off before hosting the Kansas Jayhawks on October 17th. Meantime, Baylor is 1-1 and also is off next week before hosting Oklahoma State on October 17th.
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