"The first time I saw them I thought, 'Man, they line up fast,' ' West Virginia linebacker Doug Rigg said of the Bears. "I didn't like that at all. But hey, we're used to it in practice going against our offense.''
Nick Florence, the senior who filled in at times for Griffin in the past, isn't missing a beat now as his successor. Florence ranks first in the nation in total offense at 387.7 yards per game, just ahead of second-place Geno Smith of West Virginia.
And perhaps just as significantly, both teams are at least statistically struggling to play defense. Baylor ranks ahead of just seven other teams. West Virginia is a bit better, but still well in the bottom half at No. 74. But they also have in common turnover margins that rank amongst the Top 15 in the country.
And neither team has really been tested by top-flight competition, Saturday's game with Maryland being the only one either team has played against a BCS conference opponent. Baylor's wins are over SMU (59-24) and Sam Houston State (48-23) at home and Friday's 47-42 win on the road at upstart Louisiana-Monroe, the same team that beat Arkansas and lost to Auburn, both in overtime.
So all in all, Baylor should be a good test for a West Virginia team that dispatched Marshall and James Madison in easy fashion before hitting just a few speed bumps against Maryland. And Holgorsen figures there's no better time for that test, given that he seems to like where his team is right now.
"Yeah, I do,'' Holgorsen said. "I've got a bunch of guys who like to play football and understand what's at stake. They like to play, they enjoy each other and I think we're a really close team that's getting tighter by the week.
"We'll get back to work and they understand what they've got to do to get better. We'll go back to work and get ready to play Baylor.''
BRIEFLY: Despite Saturday's win and a loss by No. 6 Oklahoma, West Virginia dropped a spot in this week's Associated Press poll. Kansas State, which beat the Sooners in Norman, Okla., jumped from No. 15 up to No. 7, and Stanford, which didn't play this weekend, went from a spot below WVU to a spot above.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at twitter.com/dphickman1