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Look out Big 12! Here comes the Mountaineers!
This game looked like an old-school PlayStation 3 matchup. Both teams scored at will and racked up yardage in big chunks. West Virginia was playing their first Big 12 game and their stadium was rocking. Baylor had their hands full, but they continued to battle and comeback time after time. Even though they scored 63 points, it seem like the Bears were in an uphill battle all afternoon. West Virginia took a 21 point lead in the third quarter and it looked like the game was over, but the Bears fought back and got the game back within 7, but they never could quite get over the hump. After closing to within 70-63, the Bears just couldn’t get that one last stop to give their offense the chance to send the game to overtime.
West Virginia had a school record 807 yards and the two teams combined for 1,507 yards and 67 first downs. The 136 points scored was an FBS record for most points in a regulation game and Baylor set an FBS record for most points by a losing team. It can’t imagine what it feels like to hang 63 on a team and lose.
Here are my thoughts on the draft eligible players from this game. I will start with the winning team:
Geno Smith – QB- Sr: Geno Smith has been in the September Heisman talk and he made a big case with this performance. This was his Heisman moment; the only question is if it was too early in the year. Normally the Heisman is won late in the year, so only time will tell if Smith is still the frontrunner in December. I’ve never experienced a performance quite like this one. When a QB has more TD passes than incompletions, that’s just insane. Smith tied a Big 12 record with 8 TD passes and set single game school records for completions and yardage and touchdowns. He also set a school record with 14 straight completions. He completed 45 of 51 for 656 yards and 8 TD. Smith was in complete control of the offense and was finding his 2nd and 3rd receivers. He is a perfectionist that is always striving for perfection. He was about as close to it as anyone could get. Smith has yet to throw an interception this year. I had him tied with Landry Jones as my #5 draft eligible QB, but after this game, he will be moving up my rankings.
Tavon Austin-WR-Sr: Tavon Austin is one of the most explosive players in the country. He is a big play threat and if he gets a step on the defense, it’s all over. The Mountaineers look to get the ball in his hands in every way possible. He has amazing ability once he gets into open space. Austin had 14 catches for 215 yards and 2 TD. He had touchdown catches of 45 and 52 yards. He also had a 45 yard catch that did not go for a touchdown and he returned a kickoff 41 yards. He is my #3 draft eligible wide receiver and is probably the most versatile skill player available for this year’s draft.
Stedman Bailey-WR-Jr: Stedman Bailey doesn’t get the publicity that Tavon Austin gets, but he is a major weapon in his own right. He has big hands and long arms which allow him to snatch the ball out of the air. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he slices through the defense with ease. Bailey had 13 catches for 303 yards and 5 touchdowns. He had touchdown catches of 47, 20, 2, 87 and 39 yards. He also had catches of 22 and 47 yards that did not go for scores.
J.D. Woods-WR-Sr: J.D. Woods is a name that might not have been known outside the state of West Virginia before Saturday. Woods had a very productive game. He did a lot of the underneath work while Austin and Bailey went deep. Woods made some amazing catches including a one-handed catch to ice the game. That catch will be on SportsCenter for weeks to come. Woods had 13 catches for 114 yards and 1 TD.
Will Clarke-DE-Jr: Clarke did a good job getting penetration and creating havoc in the Bears backfield. He had 5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and a batted pass.
Tyler Anderson-LB-Jr: Tyler Anderson had a busy afternoon attempting to defend the Bears passing attack. He had 2 tackles and 1 diving pass breakup that was almost an interception.
Terence Garvin-LB-Sr: Garvin made several plays for the West Virginia defense. He forced one sack while getting two sacks of his own. He was all over the field and showed that he doesn’t give up on a play. Garvin also had 6 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
Pat Miller-CB-Sr: Pat Miller had a tough day. He was victimized frequently, especially by Terrance Williams. He gave way too much cushion and had a silly personal foul that gave the Bears a 1st down after making a 3rd down stop. He gave good effort, but needs to work on his field awareness.
Darwin Cook-S-Jr: Darwin Cook gave the Mountaineers their first big break of the game getting a pick on the first drive of the game after the ball was tipped. He also had 2 tackles and 1 pass breakup.
Nick Florence – QB – Sr: Nick Florence is trying to get out of the shadow of the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, but he is not an inexperience quarterback. In 2009, he started 10 games after Robert Griffin III was injured. Florence showed a lot of poise in a hostile environment. He attacked the Mountaineer defense all night long and he did everything he could do to get his team the win. Florence broke RG3’s single game record for passing yards and completed 29 of 47 for 581 yards with 5 TD and 1 INT. He has at least 300 yards passing in every game this year.
Glasco Martin-RB-Jr: Glasco Martin is a big back that the Bears like to use in short yardage and red zone situations. He has good burst for a big back. Martin keeps his feet moving and he has the ability to move the pile. He had 13 carries for 39 yards and 2 TD.
Jarred Salubi-RB-Sr: Salubi is a quick back that does a good job finding creases in the defense. He is willing to run it between the tackles and will deliver a blow to tacklers. Salubi had 20 carries for 75 yards and 1 TD.
Lanear Sampson-WR-Sr: Lanear Sampson had a huge 67 yard TD catch on the last play of the half to tie the game at the half. He does a good job bailing out the QB when he is under pressure and had 4 catches for 109 yards and 1 TD.
Tevin Reese-WR-Jr: Tevin Reese has good deep speed and breaks tackles once he gets the ball. Reese tipped a pass on the first drive that was intercepted. He recovered to have 4 catches for 120 yards and a 65 yard TD.
Terrance Williams-WR-Sr: Terrance Williams is a big, fast receiver who had his way with the Mountaineers defense. He has good hands and knows how to get open. He has good balance and can use his size to get above the defender. Williams set career highs with 17 catches for 314 yards and 2 TD. He had TD catches of 37 and 8 yards and also had catches of 20, 44 and 50 yards that did not go for a touchdown. Williams set a Big 12 single game record for receiving yards. He is my #5 ranked wide receiver for the 2013 draft.
Nick Johnson-DT-Sr: Nick Johnson is a big defensive tackle that controls the middle of the line. He moves better than you think and pursues well. Johnson had 3 tackles.
Joe Williams-CB-Jr: Williams is an aggressive defensive back that breaks well on the ball. He had 3 tackles and 1 pass broken up.
Sam Holl-S-Jr: Holl is a good blitzer off the edge. He had 2 tackles and 1 QB hurry.
by Dwayne Wilton DraftManiacs.com