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Baylor vs. WVU: Geno Smith wins Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for ridiculous performance

Geno Smith threw for an absurd 656 yards in a shootout against Baylor that turned out to be even wilder than expected.

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WVU over Baylor: Offense good, defense bad

WVU's video-game-like 70-63 win over Baylor on Saturday has college football fans all over the country buzzing. You're probably already familiar with the wild numbers Geno Smith, Nick Florence, Terrance Williams, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin put up, but let's check out the reactions from around the web.

From SB Nation's Mountaineeers blog, The Smoking Musket:

The one consolation I keep repeating to myself is that WVU will likely not face an offense of that caliber again the rest of the year (hopefully ever).

They're talking about the Mountaineers' defense, of course. It isn't every day that you win a game and give up 63 points in the process.

Here's Mark C. Moore from SB Nation's Baylor blog, Our Daily Bears, expressing support for defensive coordinator Phil Bennett.

Despite the scorn I heaped upon him in the heat of the moment on twitter, it's not his fault that our players don't tackle when they have the chance, and it's not his fault they make terrible decisions like leaving Tavon Austin wide open down the sideline. Our biggest problem at this point is clearly the defensive line, where we're playing a redshirt freshman in an alignment we've never used before because we lost our starter before the season. Over and over again before the game I stressed that pressure would make all the difference; we couldn't expect any secondary, much less ours, to cover receivers like WVU's indefinitely.

Moore goes on to praise Baylor's offense in glowing terms, which of course is sensible and is exactly what you'd expect. Reactions to this game have tended to be pretty straightforward, regardless of which of the two teams they're referring to: Offense great, defense bad. That's pretty much WVU's football team in four words. We probably won't see another game this season as extreme as Saturday's. We probably won't. It's hard to say for sure.


Big 12: Texas beats Oklahoma State, TCU, TTU win

West Virginia's 70-63 win over Baylor was one for the record books, and that absurd shootout in WVU's conference debut will be the talk of the Big 12 this week. There were, however, three more pedestrian games featuring Big 12 teams that took place Saturday.

Well, in the case of No. 12 Texas vs. Oklahoma State, somewhat more pedestrian. The Longhorns scored the game-winning touchdown -- a two-yard run by Joe Bergeron -- with 29 seconds remaining to pull out a 41-36 victory. For Texas, David Ash went 30-of-37 with 304 yards, three touchdowns (all of them to Jaxon Shipley) and an interception. He also keyed the Longhorns' final drive, with key passes to D.J. Grant and Mike Davis. For Oklahoma State, Joseph Randle had 199 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

No. 15 TCU knocked off SMU 24-16, a margin the Horned Frogs probably wish had been greater. (SMU isn't a great opponent, having been badly beaten by Baylor and Texas A&M already this season.) TCU picked off Garrett Gilbert five times, with Jason Verrett getting two of those.

Texas Tech beat Iowa State 24-13. Eric Ward caught nine passes for 122 yards and a touchdown for the Red Raiders, while Cyclones quarterback Steele Jantz had a terrible game, going 10-of-20 for 73 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.


Smith's absurd performance one of many vs. Baylor

Steven Godfrey looks at the absurd stat lines in WVU's ridiculous 70-63 victory over Baylor in the Mountaineers' Big 12 debut Saturday afternoon.

The game tied the FBS record for combined total passing touchdowns (13), tying Hawaii against BYU in 2001.

Baylor and WVU were 15 yards shy of the combined passing yards record, set by TCU and Houston in 1990. That game put up 1253, this game had a mere 1238.

Baylor tied the record most points scored by a FBS losing team, with Rice against SJS in 2004.

Yee-ow. Simpler ones work too: Baylor scored 63 points and lost. Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. He had two more touchdowns than incomplete passes. Tavon Austin had 215 yards receiving ... and didn't come within 85 yards of leading his own team in receiving yards. That honor went to Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and five touchdowns. Of course, neither of them led the game in receiving yards. That was Baylor's Terrance Williams, who had 314. Meanwhile, Nick Florence threw for 581 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort.

Make fun of West Virginia and Baylor's defenses all you want. Actually, you probably should. But keep in mind that these offenses weren't playing against FCS defenses. This was a matchup of two nationally-ranked teams. If Saturday's game was any indication, both these teams are going to have wacky shootouts all year long. Life in the Big 12 looks like it's going to be tons of fun.


Geno Smith throws 8 TDs in 70-63 win

The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Baylor Bears, 70-63, in an epic shootout on Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, W. Va.

The two teams combined for nearly 1,500 yards of total offense, as both quarterbacks put up gaudy numbers in picking apart the opposing defenses. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards, overshadowing Baylor's Nick Florence, who racked up 581 yards through the air.

The teams were deadlocked, 35-35, at halftime. They went back-and-forth for the first two quarters, as neither team led by more than a touchdown at any point. That changed in the third quarter, when the Mountaineers scored 21 unanswered points to begin the second half. Of course, that didn't last for long, as the Bears came storming back to get to within a score shortly after the start of the fourth quarter.

West Virginia went back up by two scores on two different occasions in the final quarter, but Baylor answered each time. The Mountaineers were ultimately able to run out the clock on their last possession, as the Bears elected to kick deep after their final touchdown. Their defense, of course, was unable to keep West Virginia from getting a couple of first downs to close things out.

Box Score Hero: Smith had a performance for the ages, throwing for more touchdowns (eight) than incomplete passes (six). His final line? 45-of-51 for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. Just for fun, he also added 31 yards on the ground. Five of Smith's touchdown passes were caught by Stedman Bailey, who reeled in 13 balls for 303 yards.

Baylor quarterback Nick Florence was terrific as well, completing 29 of 47 passes for 581 yards and five touchdowns.

Rankings Ramifications: Baylor should fall out of the rankings, while West Virginia will at least pass Stanford, who lost to Washington on Thursday.

But Did They Cover? The Mountaineers were 11 and a half-point favorites, but only won by seven. Baylor bettors get the money there, while anyone who took the over on total points is a winner.

For More On This Game: Head over to The Smoking Musket for more on West Virginia, while additional coverage on Baylor can be found at Our Daily Bears.

Next Week's Schedule: West Virginia: Oct. 6 at Texas; Baylor: Oct. 13 vs. TCU.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Geno Smith lighting it up through 3 quarters

Geno Smith and the West Virginia Mountaineers continue to pour it on in the second half against Baylor, scoring another 21 points in the third quarter to take a 56-42 lead. Geno Smith's Big 12 debut has been ridiculous, as the Heisman hopeful has hit 37 of 42 attempts for 490 yards and six touchdowns through the first three quarters. He had just two incompletions in the first half, and now he's achieved the incredible feat of throwing more touchdowns than incompletions.

Baylor's secondary has been overwhelmed by Dana Holgorsen's offense, but Smith's accuracy has certainly been the catalyst for the offensive explosion in Morgantown. Smith has already tied Marc Bulger's school record with six touchdowns in a game, and with a quarter left to play, it's likely the record will fall.

On the receiving end of Smith's darts have been the dynamic receiving duo of Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. Bailey has 11 catches for 177 yards, but it was Austin who starred in the third quarter, scoring two more touchdowns to add to his gaudy numbers. The speedy Austin has 13 catches for 207 yards so far.

While the offense continued to fire on all cylinders, the defense actually some a stop to swing the back-and-forth shootout into a two-touchdown lead.


Mountaineers, Bears tied at 35 after wild 1st half

West Virginia and Baylor were expected to engage in an offensive shootout, but the back-and-forth of the first half exceeded anyone's expectations when the teams went into the locker room all knotted up, 35-35. Geno Smith is absolutely on fire so far, hooking up with his dynamic duo of receivers in Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. Smith has hit 26-of-28 attempts for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Austin, who dominated Maryland last week, has nine catches for 107 yards, while Bailey has six catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

Art Briles and his offense have gone toe-to-toe with Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineers, however, racking up more than 320 yards through the air. Nick Florence was 11-of-16 for 321 yards and two touchdowns. An interception on the second play of the game was the only real mistake by the Baylor quarterback, as well as the only real defensive play for either side in the first half. It appeared the Mountaineers would take a seven-point lead into the locker room, but Florence found Lanear Sampson down the left sideline with five seconds remaining to even it up on the final play of the half. It was the apropos ending to an insane first half of football.


West Virginia-Baylor Preview

On Saturday, two of college football's most powerful offenses will square off in Morgantown.

The No. 25 Baylor Bears have averaged 51.3 points through three games. No. 9 West Virginia's mark is not much lower than that, at 47.3.

Both teams are 3-0, and neither has played a conference game yet.

For West Virginia, this will be their first taste of Big 12 action since leaving the Big East. Quarterback Geno Smith, along with wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will look to assert West Virginia as a force to be reckoned with.

For both schools, this is the beginning of a very difficult part of the schedule. In the next seven weeks, they'll have to take on No. 7 Kansas State, No. 12 Texas, No. 15 TCU, and No. 16 Oklahoma.

Saturday's game will kick off at noon and air on FX. The Mountaineers are favored by as much as 11.5 points, according to Vegas Insider.

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