The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 4, 2013

Baylor looking to complete task against WVU

Baylor did almost everything a football team could do when it visited Morgantown last fall for a meeting with the Mountaineers.

The Bears, 3-0 coming into the game, put 63 points on the scoreboard. They racked up 700 yards of offense, threw for five touchdowns and picked up 34 first downs.

Just one thing was missing — a win.

The Mountaineers, in front of a striped Milan Puskar Stadium for WVU’s Big 12 debut, scored 70 and put up more than 800 yards of offense to steal the show and the victory.

That result is on the minds of the 2013 Baylor players as they prepare to host the Mountaineers (3-2, 1-1 Big East) in an 8 p.m. Big 12 clash that will air live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday from Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears are 3-0 once again, but they aren’t taking anything for granted after the unique experience against Dana Holgorsen’s club a year ago.

“You never want to think of football as a revenge type of game,” said quarterback Bryce Petty, the latest in a line of Baylor signal callers to put up huge numbers in the Bears’ system. Petty replaced Nick Florence, who torched the Mountaineers, after Florence replaced Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. “We are ready to go out there. Even though we did score 63 points last year, there were still points left out there. As a team, a couple things just didn’t go our way. But I thought we played really well being in that atmosphere. Opening up Big 12 at home against them, it needs to be a win for us for sure.”

Baylor isn’t likely to encounter an offensive threat anything close to what it saw from WVU a year ago. The Mountaineers’ offensive numbers are closer to the bottom of the Big 12 this year than they are to the top.

Still, coming off a 30-21 upset win over No. 11 Oklahoma State last Saturday, Baylor head coach Art Briles knows the Mountaineers will be playing with confidence.

“Every game is different, of course,” said Briles. “It’s all about matchups in football, just as it is in any sport. How do you match up with the other team?

“If you look at the two losses (WVU) has against Oklahoma and Maryland, those are two undefeated football teams, and both games were on the road. Oklahoma State came into their place, and they did a great job of protecting their house, They really played well Saturday on both sides of the ball.”

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Hologrsen once again used his Thursday night radio show to break some news this week, announcing that Clint Trickett, who led the Mountaineers to the win against Oklahoma State, will start at quarterback against the Bears.

Trickett went down with a shoulder injury late in that game and, despite returning, was questionable throughout the week.

Holgorsen announced Thursday, though, that Trickett has practiced and is ready to go.

Redshirt freshman Ford Childress, who had been the starter before missing last week’s game with a shoulder injury, has also been cleared to play. Holgorsen said Trickett, Childress and junior Paul Millard all took practice reps throughout the week. All are ready to play, if needed.

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The Big 12 Conference announced its preseason men’s basketball honors on Thursday, and WVU sophomore guard Eron Harris landed on the honorable mention list. Six players were selected to the Preseason All-Big 12 team, with six more making the honorable mention list.

Harris averaged 9.8 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Mountaineers last year, shooting better than 35 percent from 3-point range.

The six All-Big 12 honorees included Baylor center Isaiah Austin and forwards Cory Jefferson (Baylor) and Melvin Ejim (Iowa State). Three guards made the team, led by Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart, the Preseason Player of the Year. His backcourt mate, senior Markel Brown, also made the list along with Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, the Preseason Freshman of the Year. Wiggins played his high school basketball at Huntington Prep under Wyoming County native Rob Fulford.

Kansas senior forward Tarik Black, a transfer from Memphis, was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year.

— E-mail: chuffman and follow on Twitter @CamHuffmanRH.

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