Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk, top, is pulled down by West Virginia safety Darwin Cook.
By Jason Orts Special to the Post-Gazette
WACO, Texas -- Facing Division I-A's top-ranked offense, West Virginia found itself defenseless Saturday night.
The Mountaineers knew they had a tough assignment on that side of the ball, having allowed 63 points to Baylor in a shootout victory a year ago in Morgantown, but the Bears offense fired even more efficiently this time around.
No. 17 Baylor scored touchdowns on eight of its nine first-half possessions, including each of its first five, to roll over the Mountaineers in a 73-42 Big 12 Conference decision in front of 45,467 fans at Floyd Casey Stadium.
The Bears outgained West Virginia, 617-147, in the first 30 minutes, and their 369 yards in the opening quarter were the most any NCAA team had amassed in any quarter in the past 10 seasons.
Bryce Petty hit 17 of his 25 throws for 347 yards and two touchdowns and an interception and added 23 yards and another score on the ground before taking a seat after one third-quarter possession. Lache Seastrunk did most of the damage for the Bears on the ground, going for 172 yards and two trips to the end zone on 15 attempts.
West Virginia (3-3, 1-1) won the coin toss but deferred its option to the second half, giving Baylor the ball first.
The Bears quickly made that decision backfire.
Petty found Antwan Goodley running up the right seam all alone for a 61-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage for a 7-0 lead 40 seconds into the contest. Goodley caught seven passes for 170 yards.
West Virginia moved into Baylor territory at the 43 before its first drive stalled. But the Mountaineers caught a huge break when Levi Norwood muffed a punt at the 7, and Karl Joseph fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to level the game.
It was all Baylor after that.
The Bears (4-0, 1-0) reeled off 35 consecutive points, including one-play drives of 47 yards on a pass from Petty to Tevin Reese and a Seastrunk 80-yard scamper.
The only time West Virginia stopped Baylor in the game's first 30 minutes came when Daryl Worley picked off a Petty pass that was thrown into double coverage with 10:48 left in the second quarter.
While the Baylor offense was rolling, the Moutaineers' attack sputtered.
They punted six times in the first half and turned the ball over on a fourth-down try when Dreamius Smith was stuffed for a 2-yard loss at the West Virginia 47. That set up Petty's strike to Reese on the next play, pushing Baylor in front, 21-7.
West Virginia tried to keep pace by throwing deep ball after deep ball, but the vast majority of quarterback Clint Trickett's rainbows fell innocently to the turf. Trickett completed only nine of his 28 attempts for 161 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and the Mountaineers converted only one of their 11 third-downs tries in the first three quarters.
The Mountaineers finally put a drive together midway through the second.
They got some help from a personal-foul penalty to get things started, before Trickett moved West Virginia into Baylor territory with a 15-yard connection to Ronald Carswell.
On the next play, Trickett was planted into the turf as the threw, but Kevin White broke free from his defender on a deep post and pulled the pass in at the goal line for the Mountaineers' first offensive score. White paced the Mountaineers receivers with seven catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
That cut West Virginia's deficit to 42-14, but Baylor found the end zone twice more before halftime to take a 56-14 advantage.
The Mountaineers came out of intermission and drove right down the field.
Running back Charles Sims, a Houston transfer making his return to his home state, slipped two tackles on his way to a 39-yard run to the end zone to cap a four-play, 75-yard march that took only 1:45 off the clock. Sims finished with 92 yards on 19 totes to lead all Mountaineers ballcarriers.