And the Bears would continue to score for a good portion of the rest of the game, en route to a commanding 73-42 victory Saturday night in Waco, Texas.
West Virginia caught a break early after Baylor took the 7-0 lead. After the offense had to settle for a punt, Nick O’Toole’s punt was fumbled by Levi Norwood and picked up in the end zone by Karl Joseph to tie the game at 7-7.
But that was the closest the Mountaineers would get, and the final break they would catch in the loss.
“It counts as one loss, much like Maryland three weeks ago. It's a loss," said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. "We'll regroup and do our absolute best to try to get back on the winning track in two weeks. We've got a lot to work on."
The Bears, led by quarterback Bryce Petty and a fast, balanced offensive attack, would go on to score on seven of their final eight possessions of the half and went into the half with a 56-14 lead.
“I said it all week, if it turned into a track meet, we wouldn't be in good shape," Holgorsen said. "Offensively, we're not equipped to be able to keep up with them at this point in time, but hopefully we get there at some point."
A majority of Baylor’s points came on big plays, with three of their first-half touchdowns coming on plays of 40 yards or more. But it was the equal effectiveness of their pass and running games that allowed the Bears to have plenty of success often against the Mountaineers.
Petty ended the game going 17-of-25 for 347 yards and two touchdowns, with his lone blemish – an interception by WVU cornerback Daryl Worley – coming in the second quarter.
While the passing game helped get Baylor ahead early, it was Lache Seastrunk and the running game that put the Bears over the top and allowed the offense to switch gears into cruise control while still putting up points.
Seastrunk and Shock Linwood both ran for 100 yards and the Mountaineers gave up a total of 468 yards on the ground. It was the first time WVU gave up more than 400 yards rushing in a game since 1978.
Seastrunk carried the ball 15 times for 172 yards and two touchdowns, while Linwood ran for 126 yards on 14 carries.
West Virginia gave up 10 points in the second half, most of which came once Baylor's second-team offense was on the field.
"I've never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like they did," Holgorsen said. "We've been pretty proud of how we've been playing defense around here for the last five games, and you can't play defense when the line of scrimmage is five yards backwards every single time."
In a game without many bright spots, West Virginia got good performances from senior running back Charles Sims and junior wide receiver Kevin White.
Sims, who transferred from Houston, ran for 92 yards and a touchdown. White scored two touchdowns, catching seven passes for 130 yards.
West Virginia would get a couple more chances to score late in the game. Junior Paul Millard found Ronald Carswell for a 12-yard score. Then, after a Darwin Cook interception, Millard found White for his second score of the game.
Cook would go on to close out the scoring for WVU after Travis Bell intercepted a Seth Russell pass and pitched it to Cook, who returned it 32 yards for the score.
Junior Clint Trickett, who started the game at quarterback, completed just nine of his 28 pass attempts for 161 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He was the first WVU quarterback to complete less than 10 passes while attempting more than 25 in a game since 1973.
"We didn't put our best foot forward and I'm not happy about it," Holgorsen said. "We made a few plays, but didn't make nearly as many as we should have. We had plenty of opportunities. We didn't make good throws, we didn't make good catches."