Preview: Baylor at West Virginia
West Virginia looks to bounce back from a thorough beating when the No. 12 Mountaineers host Baylor on Thursday night in Big 12 play. West Virginia opened the season with five straight victories before getting outgained 498-152 in a 30-14 loss to Iowa State on Oct. 13.
The Mountaineers had a bye while they were nursing their pride and coach Dana Holgorsen is confident his team his ready to move on. “A lot of eyes will be on us to see how we respond to what happened up at Iowa State, so I’m looking forward to seeing us as well,” Holgorsen said during a press conference. “I think our guys are determined and it showed out there at practice. I think we’ll be ready to put our best foot forward.” Baylor also is coming off a bye and gave Texas a good battle before losing 23-17 in its last outing. “Going into Morgantown on a Thursday night will be raucous,” Bears coach Matt Rhule said during a press conference. “We better have the mentality where we can eliminate distractions and focus on the game and just take it one play at a time. West Virginia will make some big plays and we want to limit those big plays.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS1. LINE: West Virginia -14
ABOUT BAYLOR (4-3, 2-2 Big 12): The Bears are averaging 33.4 points per game and have topped 30 on four occasions behind the steadiness of quarterback Charlie Brewer. The sophomore has passed for 1,798 yards and 10 touchdowns against three interceptions while senior Jalen Hurd has been his favorite target with 47 receptions for 622 yards and three touchdowns. But the defense has been shaky by allowing 31 points per game – including a season-worst 66 versus Oklahoma – while sophomore defensive tackle James Lynch is enjoying a solid campaign with a team-best four sacks.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (5-1, 3-1): Senior quarterback Will Grier has thrown for 1,919 yards and 22 touchdowns against seven interceptions this season but passed for just 100 yards and one touchdown in a subpar performance against Iowa State. “They played us really hard and outplayed us in a lot of areas, and that was frustrating,” Grier said in a press conference. “We have to be able to produce better. We have to move the chains, we have to score points. That was frustrating, but it’s over and done with. We’ve all moved on to Baylor.” The Mountaineers allow an average of 20.5 points per game with junior outside linebacker David Long Jr. having a strong season with 10.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks.
1. West Virginia has won four of the six meetings, including a 38-36 road victory last season.
2. Grier passed for 375 yards and five touchdowns – including three to now-senior WR David Sills V – in last season’s game with Baylor.
3. Bears junior WR Denzel Mims has 100 career receptions – the 18th player in school history to reach the milestone.