Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor vs. West Virginia GameDay

Baylor and West Virginia kickoff in front of a national TV audience Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. Get the details for the big game as Baylor looks to stay perfect, and improve to 6-0.

The 2nd ranked Baylor Bears come home to face off against the 3-2 West Virginia Mountaineers.  Baylor is looking to get bowl eligible once again, and continue their climb to the College Football Playoffs.  A win over West Virginia would be a great step to take, especially against a team with a very strong defense. 

Media Information

Date Saturday, Oct. 17 | 11 a.m. CT
Location Waco, Texas | McLane Stadium (45,140)
TV FOX (FOX Sports Go)
TV Talent Bill Rosinski (pxp), David Norrie (analyst), 
Joe Schad (sideline)
Radio ESPN Central Texas | Sirius/XM 84/84
Online Audio Listen Online
Live Stats Gametracker
Ticket Information Purchase Tickets
Game Notes Baylor Notes | West Virginia Notes

Statistical Comparison

To say that this is the best defense the Bears will have played in 2015 is too easy.  This is a MASSIVE step forward in terms of talent, performance and ability.  West Virginia does a great job of getting stops on 3rd down, and keeping teams behind the chains. They play an aggressive style though, that gives up big plays.  That is their one weakness, and it also happens to be the Bears strength.  WVU is very stout against the run and has a strong secondary that allows them to be more aggressive up front. They can put more numbers in the box to take away the run game, and still have confidence that their secondary will hold up in man-coverage.  

  When Baylor has the Ball 

Baylor
Rank
WVU
Rank
AVG
Explosiveness
1.55 5 1.47 123 1.26
Efficiency
62.2% 1 28.1% 4 40.1%
Finishing Drives
6.42 1 3.70 22 4.65
Rushing S&P+
120.1 27 148.3 5 100
Rushing Success Rate
65.6% 1 26.8% 6 42.0%
Passing S&P+
120.4 23 130.4% 17 100
Passing Success Rate
58.1% 1 29.4% 11 40.1%

The West Virginia attack has been tremendously effective at times this year. They move the ball well, especially running the ball. They are a safer offense than we have seen from Dana Holgerson in the past, one that works the ball down the field methodically.  What has really hurt them has been turnovers, as those longer drives allow for more mistakes, and quarterback Skyler Howard has been prone to mistakes.  

 When WVU has the Ball

Baylor
Rank
WVU
Rank
AVG
Explosiveness
1.26 73 1.22 86 1.26
Efficiency
35.9% 34 45.8% 31 40.1%
Finishing Drives
4.27 49 4.50 87 4.65
Rushing S&P+

131.3

10 116.4 37 100
Rushing Success Rate
37.3% 39 46.7% 34 42.0%
Passing S&P+
108.3 44 121.2 21 100
Passing Success Rate
34.1% 31 44.6% 36 40.1%

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5-Things: Proving time for the Baylor Bears

The Baylor Bears have risen up to 2nd in both the AP and Coaches polls. With a big test against West Virginia this weekend, it is proving time for the Bears.

1.  The Baylor Bears are the second ranked team in the nation, in both the AP and Coaches Poll.  Think about that for a second.  Truly think about that.  It is amazing.  For older Baylor fans, this was unheard of just 10 years ago.  I speak about this often, but in my 4-years at Baylor, I saw 11 wins.  COMBINED.  The past two years, we have matched that win total.  Now, we are setting new program bests, as the Bears had never before reached the second spot in the polls.

Baylor picked up three first place votes in both the AP and Coaches poll, and are now closer to top ranked Ohio State than they are to 3rd place TCU in the AP Poll.  With Ohio State struggling the past two weeks with Maryland and Indiana, there is now an opening for the top spot.  When the year began, Ohio State had ALL of the 1st place votes.  While they still have the most in Week-7, they have just 44% of the top votes in the AP, and 74% in the Coaches Poll.  Baylor has the third most 1st place votes (Behind Ohio State and Utah), so with a dominant victory over West Virginia, the Bears have a legitimate chance of climbing that final rung up.   

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From the Other Side: West Virginia ($)

BearsIllustrated spoke with Jonathan Martin, publisher at BlueGoldNews.com, to get some insight on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The 2nd ranked Bears will host the Mountaineers at 11 am, on Saturday, at McLane Stadium.

BearsIllustrated spoke with Jonathan Martin, publisher at BlueGoldNews.com, to get some insight on the West Virginia Mountaineers. The 2nd ranked Bears will host the Mountaineers at 11 am, on Saturday, at McLane Stadium. 

1. The QB position is an important one for this offense. How would you rate the player of Skyler Howard through the first part of the season?

Skyler Howard's performance this season has been questionable at best. He seemingly cruised through the first three games of the year but has struggled of late. Dana Holgorsen has noted, on several occasions, that Howard gets too excited early in games and it affects his performance. The idea has been tossed around that backup quarterback William Crest could see action on Saturday, but that's only likely if Howard continues to struggle.

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Baylor Bears looking for win, not vengeance against West Virginia

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The 2nd ranked Baylor Bears come back home Saturday morning to face off against the 3-2 West Virginia Mountaineers, who are looking to end a 2-game Big 12 losing streak.

The 2nd ranked Baylor Bears come back home Saturday morning to face off against the 3-2 West Virginia Mountaineers, who are looking to end a 2-game Big 12 losing streak.  The Mountaineers started off the 2015 season strong with three impressive wins over Georgia Southern, Liberty, and Maryland, the Mountaineers have had two tough losses.  They battled hard against Oklahoma on the road, but fell late due to timely turnovers.  Last weekend, they came back to send the game to overtime against Oklahoma State, only to fall in extra time.  

The Mountaineer defense has been the strength of the team so far, bringing back a very expereinced and talented defense from last year, led by stars Nick Kwiatkoski and Karl Joseph who both were keys in the West Virginia upset win over the Bears in 2014.  Joseph has been lost for the season with a knee injury he suffered against Oklahoma. Even with Joseph out, the Mountaineers still have a very good defensvie backfield, with great depth and experience.  Kwiatkoski is one of the best linebackers in the Big 12, anchoring their West Virginia run defense. 

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Baylor vs. West Virginia Predictions ($)

The BearsIllustrated staff takes a look at the Bears and Mountaineers game this Saturday and what Baylor fans should expect

KEVIN BARERRA

BearsIllustrated Co-Owner and Recruiting Coordinator

This is an interesting game for the Bears. The offense has been dominant and explosive to start the year, but this will be the first real test for this team. The Mountaineers ended the chances for a perfect season, a year ago, and will look to do the same this year. This game, however, will be played in the comfortable confines of McLane Stadium. Previous results suggest that, although this will be one of the best defenses that Baylor will face, they will have no problem scoring or moving the ball. The Bears potent running attack will prove to be too much for this Mountaineers team to handle. Couple that with an explosive passing game and you have the formula for what could be a long day for West Virginia. I expect the chess match between WVU’s DC and BU’s OC to last all of 1 quarter. Baylor will go in to halftime with a 2 TD lead, and will pour it on in the 2nd half. Coach Art Briles is as determined as ever to get this team to a National Championship, and nothing will stop them. 

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