WACO, Texas — Did the worst defensive performance in West Virginia (and Big 12) football history unravel all the morale-building from the season’s first five weeks?

No. 17 Baylor’s 73-42 runaway victory erupted in a cacophony of 864 yards, 10 touchdowns and more breakdowns than Keith Patterson cared to count. The loss sapped WVU’s defensive coordinator of all the optimism he derived from the previous week’s upset of Oklahoma State.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson had no answers during Saturday’s 73-42 loss in which Baylor set a Big 12 record with 864 yards.

“I thought our kids would gain a lot of momentum from last week … but today we didn’t have it,” Patterson said.

From the third play of the game—when Bryce Petty fired a 61-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Antwan Goodley—WVU’s defense looked baffled and punch-drunk.

Petty finished 17-of-25 for 347 yards and two touchdowns, numbers compiled despite exiting after the first drive of the third quarter, by which time Baylor led 63-21. In fact, the Bears’ first-team offense did to West Virginia (3-3, 1-2) just what it had done to Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe.

After scoring on 22-of-26 drives in three nonconference games, Baylor’s starters scored touchdowns on nine of 10 drives Saturday, a parade of points interrupted only by Petty throwing an interception to Daryl Worley on third-and-20 deep in WVU territory.

That stop was an anomaly for WVU’s defense, which surrendered 468 yards rushing, including 172 to Lache Seastrunk, who turned his mere 15 carries into a Heisman highlight reel. Most impressive was an 80-yard gallop that put Baylor up 28-7 barely 10 minutes into the first quarter.

Consider how many yards Seastrunk might have added had he carried the ball in the second half. That’s when Baylor turned instead to freshman Shock Linwood, who netted 126 yards on 14 rushes, including a 55-yarder that is easily the longest of this young career. Before the night ended, Baylor had eight rushing touchdowns.

“We didn’t do anything we set out to do,” Patterson said. “We didn’t stop the run. We couldn’t stop the vertical shot.

“We got whipped everywhere. We tried every coverage, every set. We tried moving our anchor points, we tried zone pressure. But you’ve got to give Baylor credit—they physically whipped us. It seemed like absolutely nothing worked.”

More about that frantic first quarter: Baylor’s 369 yards in the opening 15 minutes were the most by any NCAA team in any quarter in the past decade.

This wasn’t just a low point for 2013. It was an all-time slaughter, with WVU made to look more feeble than at any point from last season, which we wrongly believed to be as low as a Mountaineers defense could sink.

“I’ve never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like (Baylor) did,” said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen, who promoted Patterson to coordinator over Joe DeForest before last year’s Pinstripe Bowl. The move seemed to be paying dividends until Saturday night, when Baylor accumulated the most yards ever by a Big 12 offense. The

“We’ve been pretty proud about how we’ve been playing defense around here the last five games,” Holgorsen said, “but you can’t play defense when the line of scrimmage is 5 yards backward every single play.”

“It’s on us—you can’t put it on schemes,” said West Virginia senior safety Darwin Cook. “We just came out here and laid an egg.

“The way we practiced and the way we prepared, it wasn’t about having a hangover from the Oklahoma State game or anything like that. I didn’t think we were too high on ourselves or nothing.”

Yet Patterson clearly saw the emotional contrast between his unit succeeding against Oklahoma State and being blasted by Baylor seven days later.

“It’s not good enough to do it one week and then take a step back the next week,” Patterson said. “You’re going to play good teams in the Big 12 week after week, and we’ve got to learn how to handle success.”

If coping with success really is an obstacle, the next two weeks should be a breeze.

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Comments

  • LegalLou

    Dana is not a head coach.

  • Robin

    Listen there is nothing wrong with being a Mountaineer fan and speaking the truth. This team sucks. It is as simple as that. I don't think it is a complete lack of talent as we have had great years with less. I think it is a lack of coaches using the talent we have available. Good coaches can adapt to their talent and get the best out of their players. This coaching staff seem to want to force players into situations that do not fit their abilities.

    I said at the beginning this is going to be a very long season and I see no reason to change my mind especially now.

  • Spell Checker

    We wanted The Big Time, we had a Big Time opponent, we got beat Big Time.

  • RPP

    We simply don't have the athletes to compete in the Big 12.

    • Barry

      Or against Maryland.

    • Greg

      I agee. This team has lost 15-16 starters the past two years. Probably eighty percent of these wound up on NFL rosters at some point in time. Not all of them lasted but they were at least good enough to get the call. This was a team built to compete in a conference (without a transition period no less) with a completely different style of play. And Stew, God rest his soul, didn't recruit players to play Big 12 style football. .

      That being said, the program is not dead. It just has to retool. Holgs has to restock with a totally different style of player. Most importantly he's got to put the right coaches in place and I see progress there too. The 3 toughest teams we've had to play are behind us now. We stole one game and lost one we shouldn't have. I doubt we'll win out as most of our conference foes have bye weeks before they play us. But let's see how things play out before we throw dirt on the grave of Mountaineer football y'all.

    • len

      Or Syracuse?

    • James

      That is the problem RPP !!

  • Oh Boy

    I just don't understand what has happened since the Texas Tech game last season. How fast has it changed? I don't think we need to start talking about the coaching now but, if by the end of the season there is no improvement, let it start.

  • Tim C

    We lost for several reasons ..... We absolutely put no pressure on the QB, almost no blitzes, safeties playing way too deep, we did not jam the receivers off the line, we only had 6 guys to stop the run because the safeties were too deep to help, it way basically pitch and catch all night. On offense, Trickett couldn't hit the broadside of a barn. We went way too deep, too many times. What happened to our short passing game? Our OLine couldn't open a hole that a bug could crawl through because Baylor had 8-9 men in the box all night. It was a horrendous offensive and defensive game plan. There are obvious problems in Morgantown and Ollie Luck needs to address this if there is significant improvement by seasons end. This was embarrassing.

  • Matt

    William just lives to bash WVU, did anyone REALLY think this was going to be any different?? I love this team and I think they win 8 games, but come on, give Baylor the credit they deserve, they are an offensive BEAST. This was at night in their house with the best offense in college football, we all know how things change at night at home. So I'm not the least bit upset about this in fact I am encouraged by the toughness trickett showed as well as the end still scoring. Notice one thing.... William didn't say much after we beat OK State.....now his mouth is running like a bell clapper in a gooses hind end. Keep driving coach Holgerson, I believe in you!

    • 2019jones

      Really 8 wins....lol

    • Richard

      Matt,
      William is another Herd98 or whatever the troll was. However, you are on the crack pipe if you think we will win 8 games.

    • Duggie

      What they are not even thinking about in their hatred for Holgerson Matt, is the fact that if they fire Holgerson after this year. Who would want to come here. This fan bases demands you win the Big 12 in less than 3 years. The next coach will have to a knew staff, using a new offense and defense with Holersons recruits that are most likely not a fit for the new coach. It would take 3 to 5 years for Holgerson recruits to get through school before the new coaches recruits would see the field. Kinda hard to do when they Marshall fans demand you win at WVU in 3 years while your rebuilding.

      • WVniteowl

        We went through this when Rich Rod came in. But, we started to see improvement in the 3rd year. Not so much with Dana's teams. They seem to be getting worse year after year. I have been positive to this point.

  • Magic Mike

    Can we actually get a new coach now.

    • jeco

      Mike Magic: Don't you think that Baylor was very good. ALSO, it would take over 23 million dollars to buy out all our coaches contracts. I take for granted that's pocket change for you, so put your money where your mouth is. WELL! The best way to make things better is to develope a positive fan attitude and to support our caoches and student athletes.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Our schedule gets easier now.I still think we will have a winning season

  • Teufel

    I couldn't bare to watch it thru first half - is it true that Baylor was putting band members in game for second half.....

  • wvajoker

    William stuff it down your throat. It still a good year to be a Mountaineer. It is a lot better than the alternative.

  • Lo boy

    Hats off to Clint Trickett. He played through tremendous pain and battled.

  • Shepindcwv

    Sadly, I think you are correct.

  • William

    WOW! WVU defense gives up 864 yards.
    864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864 864
    WOW - It's a sad year to be a Mountaineer fan no matter where you may be
    How bad is Holgorsen recruiting?
    Get use to losing WVU fans, because it starts at the top and Holgorsen is as BAD AS IT GETS. He will be gone soon, it's only a matter of time

    • Chuck

      Why were you not the second person to post something last week. But this week when the wheels fall off WILLIAM is there to shout and spout negativity.

      • Richard

        Chuck,
        I don't agree with William always. But, Holgerson is not head coaching material.

    • 2019jones

      AMEN 2 THAT...

    • RJ

      You got it right William! Were as bad as it gets!! Clean house time!

  • Joe

    So, uh, basically Patterson is saying, "We didn't tackle well, but we made up for it with no coverage either". Unbelievable.

    What do you think our chances against BYE next week?!

    • jeco

      It appears their football team is just as great as their Medical School!

      • Red Dwarf

        If that were the case, Duke would be national champions.

      • Goose

        Maybe they could send real doctors to Huntington. Saw the segment on the multimillion dollar disability fraud racket going on down there on 60 Minutes last night. Of course, should any less be expected? Marshall always has been pretenders.

    • William

      DOES ANYONE HAVE A PHONE NUMBER FOR A GOOD COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH?

      • tom c

        yes...he's at waco...coaching the Bears...
        Baylor was Nobody 6 yrs ago....
        Briles is a miracle worker..