No. 25 Baylor falls to No. 9 West Virginia 70-63

By John Raby

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 4:19 p.m. MDT

Baylor quaterback Nick Florence (11) hands off to Jarred Salubi (21) during their NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Christopher Jackson, Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Tyler Florence record's effort came up one touchdown short against No. 9 West Virginia.

The Baylor quarterback broke Heisman Trophy-winning predecessor Robert Griffin III's school record with 581 yards passing but ran out of time as the 25th-ranked Bears fell to the Mountaineers 70-63 on Saturday in the highest-scoring Big 12 game ever.

"It's what I love about this team," Florence said. "The fight never dies."

Florence threw for five touchdowns but couldn't match the output of West Virginia's Geno Smith, who tied a conference mark with eight TD passes and narrowly missed another one with 656 yards passing.

"It is what it is," Florence said. "As an offense, you can't control what happens with the defense. It was a fun place to play. The crowd was good. I think we fed off them a little bit."

The loss snapped Baylor's nine-game winning streak, the second-longest in the nation.

"We fought hard," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "But we didn't respond well enough to win the game."

School, conference and FBS marks all got rewritten in this one.

The game also set a new record for the most points scored in a game involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous mark of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma's 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980.

How wild was it? Smith, the early Heisman front-runner, had more TD passes than incompletions (six). He finished 45 of 51 and still doesn't have an interception this season.

"Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?" West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said.

Maybe not on offense, but both defenses have plenty of work to do.

West Virginia amassed a school-record 807 yards and the teams combined for 1,507 yards of offense and 67 first downs. Six receivers had at least 100 yards receiving.

The Bears' Terrance Williams set a Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving. The old mark was set minutes earlier by West Virginia's Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and a school-record five TDs.

Williams' 8-yard scoring catch brought Baylor (3-1) within 70-63 with 3:08 left.

But Dustin Garrison ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers ran out the clock.

"We expect to score that many points a game," Florence said. "But the goal is to score more than our opponent and we came up a little short today."

The combined 19 touchdowns tied an FBS mark, last reached when Navy beat North Texas 74-62 in 2007. That matchup set the FBS record for most points in a regulation game at 136.

Baylor, meanwhile, tied an FBS mark for the most points scored by a losing team.

Among the other records, Smith set school single-game marks for completions, yards and touchdown passes.

Bailey and Tavon Austin became the first FBS teammates with 200 yards receiving since 2007.

Going back to the Orange Bowl, West Virginia has scored 10 touchdowns three times in its last five games.

"Statistically, it's my best game ever," Smith said. "But I think it's more about the team, and I think it just lets us know that we're going to have to battle it out every week against some really tough teams in the Big 12.

"I could care less about a Heisman Trophy. The big thing for us what that we won the game today. We're on a mission, and we want to win them all."

West Virginia went ahead for good early in the third quarter, but Baylor almost always had an answer.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS