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Bad Offense and Bad Officiating: Baylor Falls to West Virginia 27-21 in Double OT

A brutal call and awful offense doomed the Bears

NCAA Football: Baylor at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Eight years ago, Baylor-West Virginia ended 70-63, and Mitt Romney battled Barack Obama for the presidency. If you transported someone from 2012 to Morgantown today, they’d think time travel had screwed everything up. But despite the radically different world, Baylor lost again in Morgantown. The Bears fell 27-21 in double overtime. Baylor is now 1-1 and will play in two weeks against Oklahoma State in Waco.

There are two big takeaways from this one. First, terrible officiating. And second, an awful offensive day by the Bears. Let’s start with the officiating. Down 14-7 with five minutes left, John Lovett ran on 4th and goal and appeared to cross the line. The officials ruled he didn’t. Replay—although difficult to locate the ball—showed Lovett was past his lineman in the end zone. The referee ruled the call on the field stood.

After Josh Fleeks scored a touchdown to tie the game not long after, he was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct for a half second flex. That was the first time in West Virginia history that anyone was punished for showing off the guns.

The offense was putrid. Even with the return of three offensive line starters—Xavier Newman, Jake Burton and Blake Bedier—they couldn’t do anything. Charlie Brewer’s arm strength is a massive issue. The Bears lined up tight all day, apparently nonbelievers in the senior’s ability to zip the ball downfield. He took plenty of sacks, but several were on him too. He had Trestan Ebner open for a touchdown and missed him. Brewer threw a pick when Josh Fleeks could have walked in for a touchdown. A bad offensive day could have won the game for Baylor; catastrophic wasn’t sufficient. The Bears finished with just 256 yards.

Baylor missed five defensive starters and stopped West Virginia on 12-of-14 drives in regulation. TJ Franklin, Chidi Ogbonnaya, Gabe Hall, Ashton Loga and Kalon Barnes missed the game. In their absence, the Bears forced and recovered three turnovers in the half. Will Bradley-King forced a fumble and recovered it. JT Woods notched an interception. And Terrel Bernard added a pick too. The Bears forced three additional punts.

The Bears missed three field goals. But those were all from 45 plus yards away. The Bears squandered great field position to even have to kick.

Baylor won the turnover battle 4-to-1. It didn’t matter. That was only a good enough advantage to force overtime.

West Virginia opened overtime with a touchdown. Baylor responded with a touchdown on the first play to Ben Sims.

Unfortunately, Baylor’s next play brought disaster. Brewer got hit and threw the ball into the back of the end zone. The Mountaineers picked it off and took over. West Virginia ran it in on the next sequence for a touchdown.

Baylor’s offense was awful. Hopefully it gets to mediocre soon.