Following another West Virginia touchdown, a fan at Saturday’s game stood up and uttered the most prophetic words of the day.
“For everyone talking (crap) about our defense, it could be worse. We could have Baylor’s defense,” said the unknown fan just one row in front of me.
He was right, but not by much.
WVU scored 10 touchdowns, including eight via Geno Smith’s arm, but had to hold on for a 70-63 victory in the Mountaineers’ first Big 12 game. Afterward, WVU’s Dana Holgorsen called it a “perfect storm” of two offenses executing at near perfection.
Actually, our own Kevin McGuire at Crystal Ball Run put it better when he said the two teams were playing “Pro Bowl-style defense.” However, I’m not sure a Pro Bowl ever had this much offense — more than 1,500 yards combined and counting.
Even the best gamer couldn’t replicate the performances of Smith and Baylor’s Nick Florence on Xbox 360.
While the offensive explosion gave the partisan crowd plenty to cheer about, the poor tackling and inability of WVU’s defense to get off the field on third down was an exhausting experience.
The crowd, which did a nice job of striping the stadium in gold and blue, started to feel good about this one when WVU took a 21-point lead in the third quarter. But all Baylor did was scored 14 quick points to cut the lead to seven.
When West Virginia’s offense scored a quick touchdown, I turned to another fan and said, “It would have been nice to allow the defense a little more rest.” Her reply?
“How could they be tired, they have done anything all day.”
Well played ma’am.
So the WVU fans enjoyed getting a win and showing off one of the nation’s most prolific offenses as the Big 12 era opened in Morgantown, no one could hide their concern for how the Mountaineers’ defense will fare against teams like Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas State.
As long as Smith is around you have to like your chances. Hell, he broke about every school record and solidified his spot as the Heisman favorite, after completing 45-of-51 passes for 656 yards and eight touchdowns (and no interceptions).
If this is the way the Big 12 likes to play football, I may need psychiatric help down the road.