By Dave Ackermann (The Orchestrator)
If the Mountaineers are to enjoy a “Country Roads” Senior Day, they must avoid quick-strike “Bear Track” big plays in Morgantown this Saturday. In three of the previous four conference match ups between these teams, the victor has scored 60 points or more. In fact, each offense has hung 70 on the others defense in a game. In 2012 the Geno Smith led Mountaineers won 70-63 in a thrilling “Pin Ball” machine-like contest. In 2013, Baylor returned the favor in a 73-42 Bear Track blowout.
The anomaly in the four game series came in 2014, when the WVU defense held BU to only 27 points as the Mountaineers cruised to victory late (41-27). Which brings us to the subject of last year’s contest: a 62-38 Baylor white washing of the Mountaineers. Most of that white wash occurred in the first and third quarters. In the first andThe Mountaineers either turned it over, or, did not score any points from the red zone (twice) on an opportunity from inside the ten and a missed 35 yard field goal. If WVU had converted those opportunities, its likely the game would have been tied (27-27) at the half. Instead it was a BU lead (34-14).
The third quarter would again see WVU miss opportunities from inside the three yard line on a Jordan Thompson 47 yard reception resulted in only a field goal. Later on a 4th and one from The Baylor 44 yard line, the Mountaineers would jump off sides and then fail to convert on a 4th and 6 pass. That led to more Baylor points.
WVU would put up 289 yards passing and 182 yards rushing in the game. Trouble was Baylor left 8 TD “Bear Tracks” on the field and a couple of Callahan field goals as they amassed 304 yards rushing and and 380 yards passing.
Baylor is on a 5 game losing streak after opening with 6 straight victories. That makes for a very dangerous team looking to finish on a positive note with all of the distractions faced this season off the field. The Mountaineers had better show up with their muskets loaded for Bear and look to dominate this team both on the ground and through the air. WVU special teams needs to contribute as well. For Baylor, it will require their best effort on the road to escape with a victory in Morgantown, a very tough place to play, especially on senior day.
Prediction: WVU 44 Baylor 31
Game is set to air Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 3:30 EST (2:30 CST) on Fox Sports 1.
Featured image credit USA Today Sports