Special teams made the difference as West Virginia dropped their fourth straight game this year to Baylor, 17-14.
Both defenses played some of the best football they’ve played all year, keeping each respective offense under 20 points. The West Virginia defensive line especially showed out, tallying 8 total sacks to ironically tie Baylor for the lead in that category this year.
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer put the first touchdown of the game on the board with seconds to go in the first quarter, tossing a 13-yard pass to R.J. Sneed.
West Virginia scored minutes later in the second quarter, when quarterback Austin Kendall launched it to George Campbell for 83 yards, with the receiver winning the footrace for a touchdown. Kendall would finish 20-of-39 for the touchdown and an interception.
West Virginia had an improved run game from the week prior, with their running backs combining for 66 yards — but a pair of bad snaps and a sack would knock that number down to just 14 yards.
Brewer tacked one more touchdown on in the third quarter with a 21-yard strike to Denzel Mims.
From that point on, special teams took over. West Virginia’s Winston Wright would take the following kickoff to the end zone for 95 yards, tying the game right back up.
Baylor took the lead back with a field goal from John Mayers, bumping the score up to 17-14.
West Virginia would get a chance to tie after Sneed muffed Josh Growden’s punt, and it was recovered by Campbell. The Mountaineer offense would set up the first field goal try from Casey Legg, which he would make — but the kick got negated due to a delay of game penalty. The next try would get blocked by Baylor.
“We came up short,” said an emotional WVU head coach Neal Brown. “I don’t know if we necessarily got beat, but we came up short. And I don’t mean that as a slight to Baylor.”
Despite the loss, Brown felt for his players and was proud of how they played.
“Our kids really competed,” he said. “They competed, they had a really great last week and a half of preparation for this game.”
West Virginia returns home for their next contest, when they face Texas Tech on Nov. 9.