One week after the biggest comeback win in program history kept the possibility of an undefeated season alive, Baylor's hopes came crashing down at the hands of an upset-minded Mountaineer team that got a lot of help from the refs, constantly stifled Baylor's high-powered offense, and then salted the game away in the fourth quarter while the Bears fell apart.
I was prepared to write a post-game focusing on the performance of the referees in this game, which was abjectly horrible in almost every possible way, but I'm not really going to bother. If they gave us the shovel, the performance of our offense early and defense late still dug the hole in which we were buried. Despite three early turnovers that should have given us a chance to build a sizable lead, we were never able to run the ball consistently, making us one-dimensional and allowing WVU to tee off on Bryce Petty repeatedly. As much as I think Baylor got by far the worse end of the officiating stick, we had our opportunities and never capitalized. Though we knew after about 10 minutes exactly what WVU would do defensively to confuse Petty and offensively to get the ball to Kevin White, we never adjusted our game plan on either side, hoping apparently that doing the same thing we've always done would yield the same result we've always gotten. It didn't. It's not the refs' fault that Baylor only put up 318 total yards against a team that had been allowing nearly 400, or that we gave up over 450. It's not the refs' fault that we missed wide-open receivers or gave up untouched sacks on critical downs.
The bottom line is that despite all the crap we want to talk about that went against us, Baylor got outplayed today. We couldn't stop Clint Trickett from throwing for 300+ yards as he'd done in however many consecutive games before us, we couldn't establish a running game at all until the game was mostly out of reach, and we never really started playing Baylor Football at all. As Baylor fans we kept hoping that things would suddenly turn around and we'd start to play as we've come to expect but they didn't. And we got to watch another team storm their field against us because of it.
Baylor can still do a lot of good things this season, and in the conference, everything we might want probably still lies ahead of us. But I'd be remiss if I said that at this point, the CFB Playoff is now out of the picture barring something absolutely crazy happening, as is any chance of Petty winning the Heisman in his senior season. Honestly, both probably should be.
I strongly believe that you find out the most about yourself when you face adversity. That's part of the reason I enjoyed the comeback against TCU. But now, after having lost a game the team probably will think it should have won, we're going to find out a lot more about who these guys are and what they want to do the rest of the way. Thankfully or not, they'll have plenty of time to decide with a bye week coming up.