West Virginia finally kicks of its Big 12 season on Saturday, taking on a good Baylor team in Morgantown. This is a game with a lot of storylines and a significant amount of intrigue. West Virginia might just be the best team in this league in its first season there. With quarterback Geno Smith leading the way and a host of good skilled players, West Virginia will have no trouble whatsoever scoring points. Last week, they took down Maryland in a game that probably shouldn’t have been so close. Now, they get a Baylor team that almost lost its game last Friday.
What do we make of Baylor in the year after Robert Griffin? What you should know is that they have lost more than just the QB. Baylor also lost its best running back and its best receiver. It lost a lot of skill on defense, too. These things can take their toll and they appear to have made life a little bit more difficult on Baylor. Last week, the Bears nearly lose on the road at Louisiana Monroe. They had to come from behind and hold on at the very end. If they come up with that kind of performance again, the Bears will struggle on the road.
This game presents some interesting challenges for Baylor. They have to make a long trip to West Virginia. The Mountaineers play in a tough stadium in the middle of nowhere. To be sure, this will be a foreign atmosphere for most of the Baylor guys. This game is also at altitude, so that should help West Virginia. Another challenge comes on the field. Baylor just could not tackle in its game against Monroe. They struggled to bring down running backs and wide receivers alike. If that continues, you can bet that West Virginia will have a lot of success through the air and on the ground.
West Virginia has not truly been tested up to this point. A big question remains about whether they will be tested in this game. West Virginia comes into this game as an overwhelming favorite – almost two touchdowns at many shops – and should have an easy time. If Baylor and its quarterback Nick Florence can take care of the football, they might have a chance to put some points on the board. Getting into a shootout with a good West Virginia offense might not be the best course of action, though.
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