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Halftime in Waco: Baylor leads 27-17 over West Virginia

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Big plays have been a bit of a problem for the Baylor Defense, and third downs for the Baylor Offense, but the Bears have a 10-point lead at the midway point.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It's funny in a game like this when you score 27 first-half points, force a turnover on defense and a couple of punts, and have over 300 yards of total offense against a quality defense, and still feel like your team has been a bit of a disappointment so far.  But that's where Baylor is due to a few big plays from West Virginia, a misfire or two on third downs, and "just" a 10-point lead.

So far, as expected, WVU has done a really good job against Baylor's RBs in limiting our running game.  At the same time, Seth Russell has filled the void somewhat with 7 carries for 87 yards.  Seth also has 196 yards and 2 TDs through the air, both of which went to Corey Coleman.  Speaking of Coleman, he's now the holder of the Baylor single-season record for receiving TDs with 15 in another dominant performance.

As satisfied as I am that WVU's last two trips into our end of the field ended with just 3 points, Baylor has some things to figure out at halftime.  Our pass rush has been virtually non-existent this far, and that's a problem considering the man coverage we love to run.  On the other side, the running game really hasn't gotten going with Shock Linwood, and we're not doing a great job blocking on the edge.  If we're going to perform the way we should against this WVU team -- which, don't get me wrong, has really come to play today -- we have to limit the big plays through the air while getting into a better rhythm when we have the ball.

There's positives and negatives both sides can take away from that first half.  WVU has to be ecstatic with the way their defense has performed on third down to limit our drives.  Until that last long run, I was pretty happy with our rush defense, particularly on the goal-line stand.  KD Cannon has had his best game of the season by my reckoning, and Andrew Billings has been an absolute monster.  At the same time, the run blocking hasn't been great and we've heard Shawn Oakman's name once on a good play.

Matchup
1st Downs 11 19
3rd down efficiency 3-9 1-6
4th down efficiency 1-1 1-1
Total Yards 291 339
Passing 172 196
Comp-Att 7-12 13-20
Yards per pass 13.2 9.3
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Rushing 119 143
Rushing Attempts 27 22
Yards per rush 4.4 6.5
Penalties 5-59 1-15
Turnovers 1 0
Fumbles lost 0 0
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Possession 17:34 12:26