After being thoroughly dominated by Texas Tech, a team that had just lost to Iowa State by 56 points, many observers wondered if Baylor has simply packed it in and given up on the 2016 football season. Interim head coach Jim Grobe has fielded several questions related to the focus of his football team and the Huntington, W.Va. native said he felt that in the midst of a six game losing stream his team and coaching staff has only lost its focus for a short amount of time and that his group will continue to prepare with the same intensity as they get ready to take on West Virginia.
"Honestly we did lose our focus there for a while," Grobe said. "For a couple of weeks we we lost some focus with some things that came out in the press and our coaches were upset which in turn upset the players. I thought we had a great chance to get a win at Texas and we didn't get it done and I thought that carried over to the TCU game and we played very poorly against TCU but in reality we now have the coaches back on board and the players back on board. We have really played hard in the last few weeks but we haven't played well enough to win. We have played some really talented football teams but I think the thing we need to do is to get up and try to play the best we can."
This week the schedule won't get any easier for the Bears as they prepare for a West Virginia team that is looking for its ninth 10 win season in school history. In the earlier part of the season many speculated that this game could be the de facto Big 12 championship, as both teams started the season at 6-0. While West Virginia has dropped a pair to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, they still look like an upper echelon Big 12 team. Baylor, on the other hand, hasn't won since that 6-0 start and despite Grobe's insistence, looks like a team that has completely given up on the season. It didn't help that senior quarterback Seth Russell suffered a season-ending injury in the Nov 12th loss to Oklahoma, and Baylor will now have to go against the Big 12's best defense with true freshman Zach Smith. Grobe spoke about the challenges of facing West Virginia, a team he said is clicking on all cylinders.
"Dana does a great job with their offense and he always has," Grobe said. "He's got a great reputation for offensive football but I think the thing that makes West Virginia really tough is that they're playing great defense right now. That's the big challenge for us going into Morgantown and trying to play West Virginia who is hitting on all cylinders right now. They're moving the ball offensively and scoring points. The big thing for West Virginia that makes them stand out in the Big 12 is that they're playing great defense."