(Update: WVU 70, Baylor 63: “To say the defenses didn’t play very well would probably be an understatement,” Dana Holgorsen said.)
One of my favorite parts of walking to the stadium is strolling past the practice field and seeing the event staff receive its pregame instructions. I like to imagine different scenarios every time. One time it was the “Inches” speech from “Any Given Sunday.” Another tie it was Billy Pullman’s monologue from “Independence Day.” Today it feels like this.
But then I change it up and instead of Mel Gibson on the horse, it’s Dan Hawkins.
Things get sillier in the live post. Click to continue.
Pat Miller gets cooked again and gets pulled and the crowd cheers. Yikes.
Make that plus 14. Stedman is actually double covered but played possum and tiptoes under a pass in the end zone. That’s a 39-yard score.
Touchdown:Punt ratio is plus 13…
J.D. now has 12 catches for 101 yards. School record for receptions was 13 coming in today.
WVU hasn’t allowed 50 points since 1991. I think we’ll see 50 again in the next 22 years.
Again, WVU has 63 points and is, in no way, safe.
If the participation chart on the stat tracker in the press box is accurate, that was Goodley’s first snap of the game.
Pat Miller commits interference — it was physical both ways — and the guy still gets past him for a 44 yard gain.
Hey, Tyler Anderson in coverage! That was a zone play, though, not a consequence of the pace.
Dave Kilnger, who has the yardage record, also threw 11 touchdowns … in a separate game.
Just for fun … NCAA record for passing is 716. Geno has 577.
Also, Tavon’s fake sweep completely suckered Baylor. WVU must have been waiting for that.
Ridiculous. And poor Tavon. He needed two yards for the school receiving record (Chris Henry had 209). He’s not behind Stedman by 57.
Seriously, what world are we in where WVU has 56 points and would be classified as “in danger”?
Second time Baylor has caught Tyler Anderson in coverage.
Scott Milanovich had an opponent record 451 yards against WVU in 1993. He needed 35 completions.
Nick Florence has 17 completions — 17! — for 416 yards.
Karl Joseph with a simple seal outside on a deep route … and that may be the best defensive play of the game.
Pat Miller gets his hands on someone and get overexcited and throws the receiver down out of bounds. He’s entertaining.
Mix in a safety, Baylor.
No. 6 goes to sleep when hit by his own teammate. Helmet to helmet, but he’s up and walking.
And, with no pressure, Florence drops one in a bucket over Garvin’s shoulders.
WVU subs six guys on this third-and-10…
Said this late against JMU and then last week, but Nick Kwiatowski has become a good special teams guy. He shoved his blocker to make the tackle there.
Also, all the passing and receiving records are disappearing today. In all likelihood, Tavon is going to get receptions and yards, Stedman will get receiving touchdowns and Geno will get passing yards and touchdowns.
Hey, thank these refs. Matt Wells just hurried over to me and said, “The ref interrupted your song…”
Well, Baylor doesn’t blitz against the five wide look and Tavon has all day to run across the field and avail himself for the pass. Third and 12 turns into a touchdown.
J.D. loses his helmet but holds onto the ball. He comes out and in comes … Ryan Nehlen.
Needless to say, with Tavon limping off with a left calf issue, this is a big moment for Jordan Thompson.
And people disagree with me. I thought it was incomplete.
Well, so, too, are the officials, who make the turnover disappear. I believe that’s the proper decision.
Meanwhile, I hate to keep harping on this, but no one has any idea where Shawne Alston is. He is not on the sideline. For all we know he’s not even in the country.
Darwin Cooke is a magician. This is not a coincidence.
Logic dictates this game ends something like 52-38 now.
And in the Tavon and Stedman sense, it makes no sense.
In the X and O sense, WVU can run the ball with great results. In the Jimmy and Joe sense, it’s not realistic.
The defenders on the left side needed to do two things there Not lose the defender and then not tackle a teammate. Remarkably, they did both.
I need to know what this celebration dance is that Josh Francis does.
Bolivia! That was fantastic.
First and goal at the 5 and WVU spots the ball with 54 seconds left and is tackled with 42 at the 2. Baylor calls a timeout with 33 seconds to go. Big 12!
Second and 2 at the Baylor 19 and the Bears call a timeout. Here’s a game management scenario for Dana. You can force Baylor to burn timeouts here.
Um, wrinkle! WVU runs a screen right and Tavon slips right to left and is doing jumping jacks in the middle of the field. Easy pitch and catch and Tavon runs it into a big play.
Timeout because WVU’s punt returner was asleep in a chaise lounge.
Baylor isolates Reese on Joseph in the slot and that’s a mismatch. Reese with a straight on pattern is too much for Joseph. It happened to fast and Joseph retreated and committed pass interference.
And they are booing Pat Miller now, but he’s being given no choice. He’s being asked to play very soft coverage, though likely because there isn’t much faith in coverage.
Baylor’s safety, No. 25, was really nice to Stedman. Not sure why he didn’t competitively blast Bailey on the back line there. He did nothing except look. That’s pretty weak.
Cody Clay as a slot receiver on that play. Shorthanded WVU has benefits.
I’ve never watched WVU, or any team, do 7 on 7 stuff in the summer … but this has to be reasonably close.
Touchdown pass on a play WVU told me to look out for. Unreal. Remember this?
WVU did no five receiver stuff on that drive, either. Baylor’s solution was to blitz the crap out of it. WVU took that away.
But … that’s a whale of a throw by Mr. Smith and superb timing by Stedman to be running through it when he did.
On the touchdown pass to Bailey, WVU had virtually the same thing earlier and Geno could have thrown him open, like he did there.
And there’s a flash by Garrison. He has that wiggle in traffic the offense lacks with Alston and even with Buie.
I don’t get it. I’ll never get it. It’s third-and-8 and Miller is 12 yards off the line of scrimmage and then backs up some more and leaves his man open AND THEN misses a tackle. This is liability stuff here.
Nick Florence will need a few aspirin tonight. And don’t look now, but WVU is doing a decent job with three and four pan pressure.
And there’s Corey. Line-drive punt and WVU can’t get down to set up the coverage. It actually went 45 yards, but had minimal hang time. Net of zero yards after a 45-yard return.
And there’s Ivan. Wouldn’t have been a first down, I don’t think, but he dropped it.
Quality stop by the defense there. Need a few of those to win this type of game. Sack changed the drive as WVU overwhelmed the right side of the line and freed up Will Clarke for the sack. The Mountaineers played the whole drive without Cook.
Third and 11 and Jenkins has his guy covered, but then jumps inside and leave his man open.
Looks like Baylor’s Demetri Goodson, a former Gonzaga basketball player and starting cornerback, is injured. They’re not deep there. Geno might wing it 55 times today.
Clarke has a big old black walking boot on his right foot. I’d wager to say he’s out a while.
No Cook in here, which means freshmen Dillon and Joseph on the back end.
Seriously, let’s stop the McCartney questions. Woods is just better. McCartney is doing fine, but Woods is better. Tremendous control on that touchdown reception.
Also, a few five receiver sets with five receivers. Dana usually has a running back in there, if for no other reason than he can hurry to the next play and at least present a possible run play. Not today.
Neat touch pass by Bailey there, but I bet that was at least part of the plan.
There was a big lane up the right side on the previous play. WVU lined up again after the penalty and flipped Stedman and Tavon and set up the return the same way. The kick went to Stedman and he flicked it to Tavon, who is a better return man.
Goodson is all over the field right now. Tackles Stedman on the kick return when it looked liek Bailey hada lane.
So strange. WVU had a Miller and Cook on receivers on the right and then floated Garvin outside, effectively removing him from the play. Baylor then ran for a pretty easy touchdown.
Baylor pace has Tyler Anderson in the slot. Baylor runs for a first down. This is fast.
Troy Gloster, one of WVU’s better special teamers, gets the first helmet penalty. He lost his helmet and continued to play. That’s a no-no and a 15-yard penalty, but Dana is arguing and believes Gloster’s helmet was removed.
Nobody knows where Alston is. I do know that Clarke is on the sideline with the running backs and wearing a toboggan.
Baylor’s going to leave Bailey one-on-one all day, it appears.
Joe Williams commits a penalty, saves a touchdown. Swift double move by Stedman, who’s been open numerous times on the left side. Baylor bringing safeties low and inside.
WVU’s second-down plays so far: gain of seven, loss of two, loss of one, no gain.
Another injury note: Safety Travis Bell, a good third down/pass player for WVU, isn’t dressed. He is on the dress list, though.
Not sure why we have these dress lists.
Replay: Play fake cooked the safety.
Fifty-yards, Florence to Williams via Pat Miller. And Williams was nearly on the sideline when that play started. He had a ton of room, with the cushion, for a post.
Don’t know if you saw Dana on the sideline there, but there was deliberation over the fourth down decision there. Also, Geno can’t take a sack on third down. That’s the one unacceptable outcome. You can go for fourth-and-6 at the 30.
Eu scrambles for two yards for the first down.
Second-and-1 and a loss of a yard by Buie.
Third-and-3 … it’d be nice to have Alston here, but the hot potato is good.
Darwin Cook … right place, right time. This is uncanny. Baylor chunked up Oklahoma State’s defense last season, but Baylor lost because of turnovers. Two plays in and WVU has the ball at the Baylor 40.
I don’t see Alston anywhere. Looks like he might be out. No one up here knows.
Man, if those two are out and Alston isn’t in uniform … yeesh.
Cody Clay announced as the backup A Back … behind who? Clarke and Miles are out.
We pause now for the alma mater and national anthem. WVU leads 14-7.
In the press box today: Fiesta Bowl reps. That’s not really newsworthy. But last week, there was an Orange Bowl rep in the press box.
And you thought the Fiesta folks wasted money!
Also, it didn’t dawn on me until late, and it might be nothing, but I did not see Shawne Alston warming up with the rest of the team.
Maybe he did earlier and he went back in before I caught it, but he was not with the running backs that I saw. He is, however, on the dress list.
Trivia question: How many top five NFL draft picks has the Big 12 had? Answer after the first quarter.
Also, @SIHolly is here. You should say hello.
Update on the striping gimmick: I think it’s going to work and look really good.
Also, I’d like to thank J.D. Woods for this scouting report.
As for WVU’s game plan? I attained this confidential tip at Novichenks.
While you’re waiting, here’s another look at Baylor’s offense. Behold the trips packages and all the possibilities therein.
No, I’m not obsessed…
Speaking of Dan Hawkins, allow me a reflection for a moment. I was thinking last night that it was pretty cool to see teams like Colorado and Auburn and, of course, LSU live at Mountaineer Field.
Baylor, really, isn’t much different than that because it’s way the hell different from the dregs of the Big East you had to talk yourself into season after season. The Bears have a nice little program that’s coming up and has an above average buzz. I mean, you’d look forward to that for an offseason.
Well, this is that game. And then it’s Texas. And then Texas Tech. And on and on. I think that’s when it sunk in for me.
Today’s WVU game captains: EUXII, Doug Rigg, Joshua Jenkins and Jorge Wright. That’s back-to-back weeks for Jorge.
Remind yourself this, too: It’s a reward for performance during practice. It’s possible you though Josh Jenkins didn’t have a very good game last week.
He must have responded favorably in practice.
The list of players OUT for today: Cornerback Avery Williams (4-for-4), big back Donovan Miles, big back Ryan Clarke, linebacker Jared Barner and safety Matt Moro (4-for-4).
That’s bad news for the running game: No Clarke or Miles. Cross your Cody Clay fingers.
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