WACO, Texas - A year ago in Morgantown, West Virginia and Baylor played a game in which the teams combined to ring up almost unprecedented offensive numbers. As an encore in front of the home fans Saturday night, the Bears tried to match those all by themselves.
They came about as close as anyone could expect, too, much to the chagrin of the Mountaineers.
Baylor's offense scored at will and its defense put the clamps on West Virginia to nearly the same degree Saturday night. It all added up to a rather humiliating 73-42 loss by the Mountaineers, just a week after their season appeared to pick up so much steam.
"We just came out here and laid an egg,'' West Virginia safety Darwin Cook said. "Today just wasn't our day.''
What an understatement that is.
How bad was it? Well, it was the most points ever surrendered by West Virginia in the modern era and the second-most ever given up by any Mountaineer team. The only prior opponent ever to score more points was Michigan in a 130-0 win in 1904. Washington & Jefferson's 72 points in a shutout win in 1891 now falls to third on the list.
Before the third quarter had ended, Baylor had broken its own record for total yards by a West Virginia opponent. The Bears set that mark at 700 yards in last year's 70-63 loss in Morgantown, and had 746 Saturday night before the fourth quarter ended.
When all was said and done Baylor had 872 yards, shattering its own school record of 781 set and matched the previous two games this season. The Bears had 617 in the first half alone. They had 476 rushing and 396 passing.
For that there was plenty of blame to go around. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson wasn't willing to spread it, though.
"Obviously I didn't have them ready to play football,'' Patterson said. "This is a game of emotion. They teams that play with emotion and intensity are the ones that succeed.
"And give Baylor credit, they just physically whipped us.''
And the final score actually made the game seem far closer than it really was. West Virginia trailed 42-7 midway through the second quarter, 56-14 at halftime and 66-21 midway through the third quarter. The Mountaineers added meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including TD passes by Paul Millard, who mercifully relieved a battered Clint Trickett after the game was out of hand. Those came against Baylor's second team, which played most of the second half.
Darwin Cook also added a score late in the game when he took a lateral from Travis Bell after an interception and returned it for a touchdown and the final points with 3:01 to play.
That late flurry, however, did little to make up for what happened at the outset, which was when Baylor simply ran away and hid, making the game a laugher before the first half was over.