When Baylor comes to Morgantown in a few days, WVU will once again face some talented playmakers at receiver. Except, the Mountaineers will face more than one vs. the Bears.
"They have great skill," said defensive coordinator Joe DeForest. "They try to get you out-flanked. Sometimes they just fastball you, and just catch you off-guard. The game plan has to be simple enough to be able to execute in a game like this."
The Bears have a much different offense than that of Marshall, James Madison and Maryland. Baylor is a spread attack the likes the Mountaineers haven't seen in a long time.
The Bears put receivers outside the numbers on the field, and they run those receivers down the field often.
Baylor has three receivers in the top 10 in receiving yards in the Big 12 Conference – Terance Williams, Tevin Reese and Lanear Sampson. They combine for nine touchdowns and 41 catches so far this year.
"We want to go out and show that we can make plays too. Of course as a defense you never want to go out and expect to give up some points. You want to come out and say that we are going to make plays," said safety Terence Garvin.
Baylor's offense goes at a faster pace compared to what Maryland showed WVU a week ago when the Terrapins waited until the end of the play clock on nearly every down.
"It's a high advantage for us on defense. Last week we played Maryland, and it was slow tempo, which threw us off balance. We are used to an up-tempo offense and defense. We preach that every day in practice. I think we'll be fine with it on Saturday," said safety Darwin Cook. "They throw it up there. If they throw it deep 10 times, and we just get it one time then they're happy about that. They try to beat you vertically a lot of the time. It's a big challenge for us, because we aren't used to that. However, I feel like we've prepared for it all week, and we will be ready for Saturday."
It will force DeForest and crew to change up the way it handles just about everything – scheme, substitutions and aggressiveness.
"The two things we must do are tackle in space and get lined up," he said.
Cornerback Pat Miller brought up the fact that DeForest has been around the Big 12 for years. This will not be the first time he has seen Baylor's offense or an offense like this. In fact, many schools in the conference run some sort of spread attack.
Miller said that WVU will likely try to make BU quarterback Nick Florence force the ball into coverages that he wouldn't normally get into. To do so, WVU might have to confuse Florence and get pressure in his face early.
This will be the first test against Big 12 competition. It will be the first time the Mountaineers can see if they're ready to compete with these new teams.
"This is definitely going to be a first for us in seeing how much they spread out the whole field. They use the entire field to make us spread out and get us out of the box. That's going to be a challenge with respecting the run and going out to cover their receivers," said linebacker Isaiah Bruce. "The coaches know what they're doing, and we should know how to play them. A lot of our coaches have seen this conference before, and this team a lot, so that gives us a lot of confidence that they will have us prepared and ready for this week's game."