First Look: West Virginia Mountaineers

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day information, TV listings, tickets, links, previews, and everything else for Baylor vs. West Virginia, this coming Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.

vs.
17/16 BAYLOR (3-0, 0-0) vs. NR/NR WEST VIRGINIA (3-2, 1-1)
Oct. 5, 2013 | 7:00 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)

TV: FOX Sports 1
Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game NotesNotes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central

OPPONENT: West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12)
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
: WVUSports.com
2013 ROSTER, DEPTH CHART (opens as a .pdf)
LAST MEETING: 70-63 WVU win, ODB Game Hub, Highlights
LAST GAME (for WVU): 30-21 win over #11 Oklahoma State
SB NATION BLOG: The Smoking Musket
SPREAD: Baylor -27.5 (or 28, depending on the place)
TV COVERAGE: Fox Sports 1
FLOYD CASEY SEATING CHART: Virtual Seat View
BAYLOR FOOTBALL TICKETS: BaylorBears.com/tickets
WEATHER FORECAST: High of 71 for Saturday, 10% chance of rain

SB Nation Preview: Dana Holgerson's Biggest Challenge Yet


Mountaineers Football Schedule

William & Mary Sat 08/31 W 24 - 17
@ Oklahoma Sat 09/07 L 7 - 16
Georgia State Sat 09/14 W 41 - 7
@ Maryland Sat 09/21 L 0 - 37
Oklahoma St. Sat 09/28 W 30 - 21
@ Baylor Sat 10/05 7:00 PM CDT
Texas Tech Sat 10/19 TBA
@ Kansas St. Sat 10/26 TBA
@ TCU Sat 11/02 TBA
Texas Sat 11/09 TBA
@ Kansas Sat 11/16 TBA
Iowa St. Sat 11/30 TBA

As Spencer Hall said yesterday, no team in the country has been as schizophrenic as West Virginia this season. The Mountaineers began the season with a startlingly close win over FCS William & Mary with their offense in shambles before very nearly scaring the Oklahoma Sooners on the road. Georgia State didn't pose much of a problem the following week, but Maryland did, shutting out WVU in Maryland and sending the program into what seemed like a total tailspin. Then came last week's Oklahoma State game, where the Mountaineers either resurrected themselves as a program or pulled an incredible trap game against the preseason Big 12 favorites.

Overall, the stats will probably show that though the offense has disappointed thus far, the defense at West Virginia has improved tremendously from last season, exactly as everyone expected, I'm sure.

West Virginia Team Statistics

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 78 392.6
Rushing Offense 79 153.4
Passing Offense 57 239.2
Team Passing Efficiency 96 113.17
Scoring Offense 99 20.4
Total Defense 37 345.4
Rushing Defense 67 157.0
Passing Yards Allowed 31 188.4
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 40 116.49
Scoring Defense 35 19.6
Turnover Margin 97 -0.6
3rd Down Conversion Pct 107 0.311
4th Down Conversion Pct T-42 0.500
3rd Down Converstion Pct Defense 35 0.337
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense T-56 0.500
Red Zone Offense 91 0.769
Red Zone Defense T-54 0.786
Net Punting 8 42.81
Punt Returns T-102 4.00
Kickoff Returns 110 18.06
First Downs Offense 35 100
First Downs Defense 46 78
Fewest Penalties Per Game 65 6.00
Fewest Penatly Yards Per Game 73 52.40
Time of Possession 84 28:26
View Complete Ranking Summary

I'm still not crazy about what the NCAA stats people have done with the team profiles, but we'll do the best we can. Later, once the advanced stats from FootballOutsiders update, we'll get a better look at how the teams stack up. For now, the absolute stats we have available seem to indicate a TCU-like overall profile, with a defense that is good, not great, and an offense that is below average. Whether that changes with Clint Trickett at the helm now, we'll find out together. Perhaps, though, S&P+ had a better view of WVU than we thought this past week, when it had WVU significantly higher than FEI?

Indeed, now that I look again, it seems that win pushed them 8 points up in overall F/+, where the Bears are now listed at #3 in the country. We'll talk more about that later.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Gone are most of the faces you probably remember from that shootout last year. Tavon Austin, Geno Smith, and Stedman Bailey are all in the NFL now, where they can't hurt us anymore. In their places are names like Clint Trickett, Paul Millard, and Charles Sims (who is really, really good). West Virginia is a significantly changed team from a year ago, relying now on their defense to bottle up opposing offenses and their offense to do just enough. Will it, versus Baylor's high-flying offense, the best in the land? That's the million dollar question this week.

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