Notes and observations from West Virginia's loss to No. 2 Baylor

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia hung with Baylor early, but a familiar set of issues kept the Mountaineers from keeping things close as the Bears pulled away in the second half.

  • ·         Baylor wasted no time showing off its quick strike offense, driving 80 yards on four plays in 58 seconds for a touchdown on the first possession of the game. Seth Russell found the lightning-fast Corey Coleman behind the WVU defense for a 50 yard gain on the second play from scrimmage to take the Bears into the red zone. Russell finished the job himself two plays later with a 16 yard touchdown run.
  • ·         West Virginia appeared unfazed on its ensuing possession, matching the Bears quick start with one of its own. Skyler Howard hooked up with a wide open Shelton Gibson, who sprinted past the Baylor secondary for a 70 yard touchdown, capping a three-play, 81 yard drive that took 1:17 off the clock.
  • ·         WVU’s secondary sustained another crushing injury early in the game, when cornerback Terrell Chestnut suffered a shoulder injury during the first quarter. Chestnut’s injury forced Nassau Community College transfer Rasul Douglas into an increased role. Half of WVU’s secondary that took the field in Week 1 has now sustained some sort of significant injury.
  • ·         Lackawanna Community College transfer Ka’Raun White, who is the younger brother of WVU All-American Kevin White, made the first catch of his WVU career late in the first quarter with a 15 yard grab on 3rd-and-12.
  • ·         David Sills, who was once one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the country, saw the first game action of his WVU career at receiver during the first quarter, exhausting his redshirt. Sills made the first catch of his career, a 29 yard reception on 3rd-and-15 from the Baylor 35. West Virginia scored on the next play when Howard found Cody Clay wide open in the end zone to draw the Mountaineers within 17-14 at the beginning of the second quarter. It was Clay’s first TD reception since November 2013 when he scored against TCU, and the second receiving TD of the senior’s career.
  • ·         Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman extended his streak of games with 100 yards and a touchdown to seven with just over two minutes gone in the second quarter. Coleman leads the FBS in touchdown receptions this year.
  • ·         West Virginia had three chances from inside the three yard line to cut Baylor’s lead to three points in the late stages of the second quarter, but couldn’t punch it in and settled for a field goal to bring the score to 24-17.
  • ·         The Mountaineers had another chance to cut their deficit to three after Wendell Smallwood busted a 52 yard run down to the Baylor 10. A personal foul on WVU offensive lineman Kyle Bosch pushed the Mountaineers back, and things got worse when the usually rock-solid Josh Lambert missed a 35-yard field goal. West Virginia could have seized momentum with a score going into the half, as it was set up to receive the second half kick. Instead, Baylor maintained its 10-point advantage and the momentum.
  • ·         Corey Coleman set the Baylor single season receiving touchdown record with his 16th, and third of the day, on the Bears’ first drive of the second half.
  • ·         David Sills continued to affirm Dana Holgorsen moving him to receiver in the second half, making a 35 yard touchdown grab, the first TD of his career, in the corner of the end zone on a high arcing throw from Skyler Howard and trimming Baylor’s lead to 34-24.
  • ·         The Bears seized control of the game from that point on, scoring on back-to-back drives and pushing their lead to 48-24 heading into the fourth quarter.

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