It took over four hours, but it was well worth the wait for West Virginia fans as their Mountaineers took down the fourth ranked Baylor Bears, 41-27, in Morgantown.
The story of this game, outside of Baylor picking up their first loss of the year, was the stunted pace of play. Every single factor that could slow down a football game came through in bulk on Saturday, from sloppy play to flag-happy refs. Both Baylor and West Virginia had a hard time sustaining much of anything all day, despite the relatively healthy point outputs. The Bears, specifically, were held to only 318 yards. They averaged 622.5 yards per game before this.
The difference for West Virginia was the passing game. Clint Trickett had a good day, but Kevin White showed just how big of a star he can be. He went off for 132 yards on eight receptions, hauling in two touchdowns, including this beauty.
GIF credit: Fox Sports 1
Oh, and to make the win even more impressive: West Virginia turned the ball over three times compared to zero from Baylor.
Three things we learned
1. The Mountaineer defense stepped up big time. The offense is usually the one to receive the acclaim in Morgantown, and for good reason, but the West Virginia defense did a great job against the explosive Baylor offense. The Bears were in a bit of a funk all game, but when you consider just how putrid this defense was in the past year or so, it's amazing that they were even able to take advantage of a disoriented opponent. I mean, they held Baylor to approximately 50 percent of their normal offensive output!
2. Congrats to the real winners, Big 12 refs. 32 penalties for 323 yards. That was the wreckage left in the wake of this Big 12 officiating crew. Sure, some of the penalties were warranted, but there were more soft pass interference penalties than I could count today. Oh, right, and also a review of an unreviewable play. It got to the point where these refs were doing such a bad job, all FOX commentator and former NFL referee Mike Pereira could do was hold up the rulebook in front of the camera.
Baylor now has 17 penalties for 205 yards. Surpassed Texas Tech for the highest one-game total for a Big 12 team this season.— David Ubben (@davidubben) October 18, 2014
They would receive one more penalty.
3. The Big 12 title race is a mess. We received a primer from Bill Connelly heading into this weekend on the Big 12 title race, and Baylor falling back into the pack, paired with Oklahoma losing to Kansas State, has made this whole thing go haywire. K-State and Oklahoma State are currently the only two undefeated teams, and the Cowboys may well lose to TCU by the time you read this.
This is still anyone's race, and it should be another manic stretch run before this thing gets sorted out.