By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Will West Virginia’s historic Big 12 football game against Baylor here today develop into an honest-to-gosh shootout?
A look at the tale of the tape certainly suggests that it might well be a high-scoring offensive battle. A sellout crowd of 60,000 is assured for the noon kickoff. The contest will be televised on FX.
West Virginia (3-0) is now favored by 11 points.
But it might surprise some folks that the Bears (3-0) have been slightly more productive than the ninth-ranked Mountaineers.
Baylor, ranked No. 25, has a 154 to 142 edge in scoring so far this season. The visitors are averaging 51.3 points per game compared to WVU’s 47.3 points per game.
The Mountaineers also trail in first downs, 85 to 78, and in total offense, 1,706 to 1,587. The latter average out to 568.7 yards for Baylor and 529.0 yards for WVU per game.
The Bears are averaging 207.0 yards per game in net rushing and West Virginia only 159.0 ypg.
It is in net passing yards, however, that the Mountaineers own a slight edge, 370.6 to Baylor’s 361.7 yards per game.
However, WVU’s improved defense has fared better in its first three games. It has given up 67 points to 89, 62 to 81 first downs, and in total defense 403.7 yards per game to Baylor’s 492.7 ypg.
This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools. WVU has eight more conference games as a new member of the Big 12.
Terence Garvin, WVU senior linebacker, said, “We’re just going to try and go out and play our game. We’re trying to game-plan for this, and we are going out and make plays.
“We want to go out and show that we can make plays, too. Of course, as a defense, you never want to go out and expect to give up some points. We want to come out and say that we are going to make plays.”
Linebacker Isaiah Bruce said, “This is definitely going to be a first for us in seeing how much they spread out the whole field. They use the entire field to make us spread out and get us out of the box.
“That’s going to be a challenge.”
Bruce, a freshman, is tied for total tackles nationally with 30. He also ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and he has a fumble recovery.