WACO, Texas — The superlatives from Baylor’s 73-42 full-throttle blistering of West Virginia:
Best evidence Baylor’s offense isn’t just abusive toward mid-majors and FCS teams: The ease with which the Bears piled up 56 first-half points against WVU was astonishing. “I just think it’s funny how people still say we still have something to prove, when we’ve had four (great) weeks,” said quarterback Bryce Petty. “I guess 70 points isn’t enough. We know that we’re the best—it doesn’t matter what someone on ESPN says or whoever.”
Worst reason to forget about the pain in your shoulder: West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett appeared to be kicked in the groin inadvertently after a knockdown.
Best response to a special-teams blunder: After WVU pounced on Levi Norwood’s fumbled punt for a first-quarter touchdown, the Bears reeled off 35 unanswered points in the next 13 minutes. “We felt like we might move and score some more, and that wasn’t an issue at all,” said coach Art Briles.
Worst opening act for a defense that mistakenly thought it had regained swagger: WVU’s secondary blowing an assignment on the game’s third play, resulting in Antwan Goodley’s 61-yard TD. “We bust a coverage right off the get-go,” said defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. “I don’t know how to explain it, but from that point on it was like we were on the ropes.”
Worst moment of panic that wound up being justified: Dana Holgorsen tried a fourth-and-2 at midfield with 6:34 left in the first quarter and WVU trailing only 14-7. The decision generated much squawking when Dreamius Smith was stuffed, but given the way Baylor’s offense zoomed up and the down the field, Holgorsen would have been correct to go for it on every fourth down.
Best pick-six that didn’t impact the outcome: Darwin Cook’s 32-yard touchdown return off a fourth-quarter interception and lateral from WVU cornerback Travis Bell. “If it had been anybody else, I wouldn’t have expected him to pitch not, but Travis is always trying to make a play,” said Cook.
Worst way to spend the first half of the upcoming Texas Tech game: Being suspended for targeting, which is the case for WVU offensive tackle Adam Pankey after his crack-back block on a defender with only 2:17 left.
Best freshman-on-freshman slobberknocker: Baylor receiver Corey Coleman belted WVU cornerback Daryl Worley after an interception.
Best receiving night for a player not wearing a chrome helmet: West Virginia’s Kevin White had seven catches for 130 yards and two scores in a breakthrough game overshadowed for obvious reasons.
Best rushing night for a player not wearing a chrome helmet: WVU’s Charles Sims made two tacklers miss on a 39-yard touchdown early in the second half and finished 92 yards on 19 carries.
Worst tackling: WVU linebackers Jared Barber and Doug Rigg—so solid throughout the first five weeks—each whiffed on Lache Seastrunk’s 80-yard touchdown run. (Recall Rigg’s rather prescient scouting report on Baylor’s running backs earlier this week: “If they break it through a seam, we’re not going to catch them.”)
Best reason (beside Vitek’s BBQ “gut pack”) to come back to Waco: Baylor’s Nov. 7 game against Oklahoma should be a dandy.