Fantasy Football 2014:

Baylor's offense overwhelms West Virginia

The SportsXchange

WACO, Texas -- The Baylor Bears don't mess around.

After a nonconference schedule in which 17th-ranked Baylor defeated three undermanned opponents by an average of 62 points, the Bears stepped into Big 12 play on Saturday.

Not much changed.

Baylor sped past West Virginia on the way to a 73-42 victory at Floyd Casey Steadium, once again crushing its opponent's spirit well before halftime.

West Virginia (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) was the fourth straight opponent to come into Waco this season and leave with a losing margin of more than 30 points. Baylor (4-0, 1-0), which has led by at least 38 points at halftime of every game this season, leaves home for the first time when it plays at Kansas State next week, but it's difficult to see much changing then either.

"I would recommend giving Baylor some credit," West Virginia coach Dana Holgersen said. "I've never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like they did. We've been pretty proud of how we have been playing defense for the last five games, but you can't play defense when the line of scrimmage is five yards backwards every single time they play."

Baylor has demolished every team in front of them, but the Bears haven't faced a top 25 foe yet and the Bears came into the game outside of the nation's top 15. Their place on the national stage is beginning to be a thorn in the Baylor players' sides.

"I feel that Baylor is a 'but' team," Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty said. "Baylor is good, but ... That's good because it puts a chip on our shoulder."

Baylor jumped on West Virginia from the start and scarcely let up. The Bears have scored on their opening drive of the game in each of its four games, averaging 3.5 plays on those drives with a maximum of six.

Against the Mountaineers, it took Baylor just three plays for Petty to hit Antwan Goodley for a 61-yard score.

Petty finished with 347 passing yards and two touchdowns, completing 17 of 25 attempts. Goodley led Baylor in receiving with seven catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. The Bears finished with 864 yards of total offense to 404 for West Virginia.

Baylor coach Art Briles said his team expects to have the kind of numbers they've had so far this season. In fact, he called it "predictable."

"It's execution and production," Briles said. "We're doing what we're supposed to do and doing it with a lot of predictable outcomes."

Baylor shrugged off an early miscue that allowed West Virginia to tie the score at 7.

Bears punt returner Levi Norwood failed to catch West Virginia's first punt of the game with Baylor leading 7-0. Norwood was standing inside his own 10 when he fumbled the punt catch and the ball spilled into the end zone, where West Virginia's Karl Joseph recovered it for a touchdown.

However, that would be the height of West Virginia's success in the first quarter and a half.

Baylor responded with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that took 3:33 -- an extremely long and grueling drive by Baylor's standards. Petty capped it with a 2-yard touchdown run.

"You're going to have adversity," Petty said. "So you have to have teammates around you to pick you up."

With the lead, Baylor went back to lightning-fast scoring drives and long scoring plays.

West Virginia, perhaps astutely, went for it on fourth-and-2 from its own 49. Baylor linebacker Eddie Lackey dropped Mountaineers running back Dreamius Smith for a 2-yard loss.

On the next play, Petty hit Tevin Reese for a 47-yard touchdown to boost Baylor's lead to 21-7 with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

"That's what we wanted," Petty said. "To use that momentum and go out and attack."

And Baylor needed only one play to score on its next possession as running back Lache Seastrunk sprung loose and dashed 80 yards for a touchdown.

Baylor kept the pedal down, though not in the same one-and-done fashion. Bears running back Glasco Martin scored two touchdowns, capping 14- and eight-play drives.

"This is without a doubt the best offense I've been a part of," Martin said. "I think we're just hitting on all cylinders."

Seastrunk scored his second touchdown on a 19-yard run and finished the half with 172 rushing yards on 15 carries. Seastrunk has rushed for more than 100 yards in eight straight games. His second score gave Baylor a 49-14 lead with 4:02 left in the second quarter

By that time, Baylor had once again left little doubt by halftime.

"We didn't make them punt once all game," Holgersen said. "Offensively, we are not at the point where we are able to keep up at this time."

NOTES: In support of the city of West, Texas, which suffered a tragic explosion on April 17 that killed 15, Baylor celebrated West Day as part of the game festivities. Baylor hosted an estimated 3,500 members of the West community attending the game with complimentary tickets and honored West officials, first responders and West schools personnel with an on-field ceremony. West is located about 15 miles north of Waco. ... Baylor has scored at least 28 points in the first quarter of all four of its games this season. ... Baylor's 369 offensive yards in the first quarter was the most by any team in any quarter in the last decade.

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