The last time the Bears were in Morgantown they gave up 70 points, that was a much different Baylor defense than the one the Bears will put on the field today. That defense was historically bad, giving up over 500 yards per game and 6,529 total yards. It was in the second half of the 2012 season, though, that Baylor started their defensive upswing, now the Bears have a top 25 defense. The Bears will look to use this defense to hold the WVU offense, which has an explosive aerial attack, in check. One of the key matchups laid out by Tim earlier this week was the Baylor secondary vs. Kevin White. Xavien Howard is the most likely to draw the assignment against White, and he will need to keep White in check to try and disrupt WVU's gameplan.
On the other side of the ball, Tim's key matchup was the Baylor RBs vs. the WVU linebackers. WVU's linebackers are the best part of a defense that has otherwise struggled to stop the run. WVU is ranked 82nd in the FBS in run defense, while Baylor is a top 20 rushing team. Look for the Bears to run early and often as they look to take advantage of this. A week after throwing over 500 yards and 6 TDs, Bryce Petty will look to continue where he left off last week, throwing 6-9 for over 100 yards and 2 TDs in the last four drives of the game, and break the mold of a slow start on the road.
This is the earliest game the Bears have played all season, and they are coming off an emotional high after the come from behind victory against TCU last weekend. They need to stay poised and focused as they take on a dangerous Mountaineers team, which required the best of Oklahoma and Alabama to beat them. Baylor should be too much for the Mountaineers to handle, as the Bears have an excellent run game and a deadly pass game. Much like Alabama and Oklahoma, Baylor should be able to eventually pull away from WVU.