Kevin Barrera - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Recruiting Analyst
Personally, I just think there is too much Baylor here. Both teams are coming off of big emotional wins, so there could be some sort of letdown, but I think Baylor truly found their identity during that magical 4th quarter, and that is a scary scary thought for the rest of the Big 12. Clint Trickett is one of the most improved players in the Big 12, and he has a huge target in Kevin White. The truth of the matter is, WVU is going to get their yards. The Baylor defense will apply pressure to Trickett early and often, and quite frankly Coach Bennett may let WVU get their yards at the expense of hitting Trickett. But in the end, the Bears will begin to impose their will and begin to shut down the Mountaineers offense. Bryce Petty will throw for 350+ yds, and Shock Linwood will have a huge 2nd half for the Bears. Many are worried about this game, but I’m not.
Score: Bears win 59-31
James Holloway - BearsIllustrated Contributor
It's the earliest game of the season for the Bears, and they are also coming of an emotional high after their come from behind win last weekend. The Bears will need to be focused for this game. Despite their success running against lesser foes, Kansas and Texas Tech, the West Virginia Mountaineers are a bit one dimensional on offense. Should Howard and company be able to slow down WVU WR Kevin White, their offense should struggle. On the other side of the ball, WVU has one of the worst rush defenses in the conference, and they give up the most yards per rush of any team in the Big 12. The Bears should continue to run early and run often against the Mountaineers with success, and that should open the passing game for them. WVU might be able to stick with the Bears for a little bit, but like Alabama and Oklahoma before them, look for Baylor to pull ahead and get the win.
Score: Bears win 52-34
Shehan Jeyarajah - BearsIllustrated Contributor, Lariat Sports Editor, and DMN Baylor Blog Writer
West Virginia is as tough an offense as Baylor has faced this season. The Mountaineers have the leading receiver in the nation, the third leading passer in the nation, and a solid receiving threat on the other side to challenge Ryan Reid. Unfortunately for WVU, the defense has no ability to keep up with Baylor's high-powered offense. Baylor has both a better secondary and front seven than the Mountaineers, and Bryce Petty must be licking his chops ready to take advantage. Even though Baylor does not play as effectively on the road, the Bear offense will more than find its rhythm. Petty seems to have taken a giant step forward against TCU, and I believe that continues for the rest of the season. Give me Baylor big.
Score: Bears win 56-28
Chase Medina - BearsIllustrated Contributor
West Virginia looks like a completely different offensive team this year. Clint Trickett has really settled into the offense this year and has arguably been one of the best QB’s in the Big 12. In addition, Kevin White has been the best WR in the Big 12 so far this year already amassing 888 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Mountaineers are averaging 36 points per game and haven’t scored less than 23 points in any game this year, and that was against Alabama. West Virginia is more reliant on the pass than any team we have faced this year. I expect the Baylor DB’s to be tested downfield a lot in this game. Early in games a lot of teams have taken shots at Ryan Reid. He will have to step up the same way he did at the end of the TCU game. If he doesn’t I expect that the Bears will have Howard shadow White like he did on Listenbee some last week. I think we will see the Bears dial up a lot of pressure on Trickett to try to get him off of his game and get him rattled in the pocket. If they can get that pressure with just the front four it will allow us to play more coverage and help on their weapons like White.
Morgantown is always a tough place to play for any Big 12 team, and when coupled with the early start time I expect both teams to get out to a slow start. West Virginia has played in a lot of close games this year and I expect this one to be close for most of the game as well. I think we will see an up and down game with the Bears taking control in the second half. Currently, the over/under is set at 80 points and I will take the over. I expect another scrappy game from this Baylor team, but a more comfortable win than last week.
Score: Bears win 56-45
Ryan Resch - BearsIllustrated Contributor
Well, I was going to write about WVU's recent resurgence in its rushing attack, but Tim and Kevin covered that pretty well in the last podcast. That said, I think the birth of a 1.45 dimensional offense helps put some more points on the board for the Mountaineers, if only due to the game's location. I mentioned this on the forum, but what I'll be most watching for on defense is the continued maturation of Ryan Reid. He seemed like an almost different player the second half of the TCU game and his play against a talented WVU passing offense will be key to disrupting the explosive nature of the Mountaineers. That said, if our defensive line continues to get significant, and quick, pressure of the QB, I think our defense has a shot at multiple turnovers against Trickett, who would rather sit in the pocket than run.
Offensively, I think Petty and company have gained an immeasurable amount of confidence after our comeback against TCU. Even though we still saw some questionable drops and throws from the tandem in the fourth quarter, I'm confident a new layer of polish is added to this offense each week. WVU ranks 76th in points against (27.2 papg), including giving up 33 and 37 points to Alabama and Maryland, respectively. Due to it being a road game the offense may struggle early, but we find our stride before halftime.
Score: Bears win 52-27
Tim Watkins - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Publisher
Last week, I had the margin of victory right (3), but the actual scores well off. Yes, I am bragging. This week though won't be nearly as close as last week, with the Bears scoring early and often on an over-matched West Virginia defense to get a 3-touchdown lead halfway through the 2nd quarter. The defense will be strong to start the game, but a big special teams touchdown will give the Mountaineers some hope going into halftime, down two scores with the ball coming their way. However, the Baylor defense will stiffen up in teh 2nd half and get two interceptions off of West Virginia Quarterback Clint Trickett, including one returned for a touchdown to swing the game wide open to the enjoyment of couches everywhere in the Virginias. Bryce Petty will continue his rise up the Heisman ladder with a 4-touchdown day and an easy road win.
Score: Bears win 55-28
Matt Wilson - BearsIllustrated Contributor
Did we mention that Texas Tech put up 34 against WVU? I don't see Baylor having any problems scoring the ball. Start the game off with a strong drive and it's a boat race. Falter a tad and the game gets a little uncomfortable. Even with the injury on the line, I think Shock has ANOTHER big day.
Our defense had a ton of teaching points from last week to go over, and I think the secondary takes a step forward. Kevin White will get his, even against Howard, and I fully expect one or two additional TD's through the air to Jordan Thompson. Rushsheel Sheselshelsel will have a substandard day.
WVU scores a few times in the later part of this game after it's already over.
Score: Bears win 52-31