On Saturday, the Baylor Bears faced their biggest test of season in the West Virginia Mountaineers who handed them their only conference last season. The Mountaineers were supposed to be the best defense Baylor had faced and prior to the game was ranked 40th in the nation in total defense according to NCAA statistics. However, Baylor did the same thing to the Mountaineers that they’d done to every other team this season. The final score was 62-38, as the Bears finished the game with 693 yards of total offense. Predictably, the Mountaineers dropped in their ranking from 40th in total defense to 78th and, also predictably, commentators again complained about Baylor weak schedule and having not played anyone.
What to take away from Baylor’s performance
- WR Corey Coleman is already having a record breaking year. Against the Mountaineers, Coleman tied then broke Kendall Wright’s record for TDs in a season with his 14th, 15th and 16th TD receptions. All this with six more regular season games to go, and a bowl game or possibly two CFP games to follow. He needs just 10 more TDs this season to break the Big 12 Season TD record of 25, set by WVU’s Stedman Bailey in 2012. In addition, Coleman’s 29 career receiving TDs is just one TD away from tying Wright for Career TDs. This is just the tip of the record breaking iceberg, if Coleman continues to catch passes and score touchdowns at anything near his current pace.
- Coleman wasn’t the only Baylor player putting on a display, as QB Seth Russell put on a show of his own. Russell had a good day throwing the ball going 20-33 for 380 yards and 5 touchdowns. Adding to that, Russell was the Bears top rusher on the day with a career high 160 yards on 14 attempts. Russell accounted for more than half of Baylor’s 304 rushing yards, and outperformed all of West Virginia’s running backs, who accounted for 141 yards on the day. Seth Russell joins Robert Griffin III as just the second Baylor player to account for 300+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards in a game.
- On a more inspirational note, TE Trevor Clemons-Valdez makes for a fascinating story. After playing on the defensive line for the last three seasons, Clemons-Valdez had left the team, but was still working with the team as a coaching assistant. When TE Tre’Von Armstead was dismissed for the team early in the season, Clemons-Valdez returned to the team and after just one week of practice, took the field and played in the game against Texas Tech. This week, against West Virginia, the converted defensive nose guard scored his first touchdown on his first catch, a 9-yard reception from Russell. Baylor just seems to have a thing for converted lineman playing tight end, but when they perform like Clemons-Valdez and LaQuan McGowan, who can argue with it.
Next up for the Bears are the Iowa State Cyclones. The Cyclones are coming off a 45-21 loss to #3 ranked TCU. Bouncing back against the #2 ranked Bears will be a tall order for the 2-4 Iowa State team who are ranked 111th in defense before facing Baylor.