With that classic 70-63 West Virginia win over Baylor, college football fans saw almost everything in the game. Well, besides a bit of defense that is.
Points came from every angle in this battle between the two Big 12 Conference teams. West Virginia, one of the newest members of the conference, delivered a message with its high-octane offense. Senior quarterback Geno Smith threw eight touchdowns for over 650 yards and only a mere six incompletions.
Junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey delivered over 300 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Senior inside receiver Tavon Austin also did well for the Mountaineers with over 200 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
While the offense looked flat out unstoppable at times, the defense was a complete mess nearly as often.
Baylor's star receiver Terrance Williams caught two touchdowns and had 314 receiving yards. The West Virginia secondary had problems with him all day.
Was that due to a lot of man coverage? Well, that may have a bit to do with it, but there must be improvement soon to defend against Texas and the other Big 12 offenses capable of scoring many points.
The Bears' quarterback Nick Florence had a very good day as well, throwing for 581 yards and five touchdowns.
The duo of Williams and other star receiver Tevin Reese gave the Mountaineers problems all day. Reese had four receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. Williams had an amazing 17 receptions in the Big 12 opener.
So, with these statistics, the most important position for West Virginia will indeed be the cornerback position. The WVU secondary had trouble all day with tackling, covering and playing simple prevent defense (at the end of first half).
It would have been refreshing to see a bit more zone coverage and some extra help for the corners in stopping these two Baylor receivers.
A win's a win, but looking at the schedule, defensive performances like this can't continue if WVU wants to reach its ultimate goal in a Big 12 Conference Championship or beyond.
Many college football enthusiasts expected a shootout and that's what happened. While West Virginia's offense may keep the Mountaineers in every game, the defense must improve, because at the end of the day, defense does win championships.
Who knows if guys like Smith, Austin, Bailey and J.D. Woods could have games like yesterday all the time, but if they can't, the defense must improve quickly.
It seems as if it has been ages since West Virginia was one of the best defenses in the FBS (two years ago), but the Mountaineers must relearn some lessons from that team if they want to succeed this year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!