MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – No. 9 West Virginia and the Big 12, perfect together.
Geno Smith and the fast-moving, high-scoring Mountaineers proved they fit right in with their new conference, outracing No. 25 Baylor 70-63 on Saturday in the Big 12’s highest-scoring game.
Smith tied a conference mark with eight touchdown passes and narrowly missed another one with 656 yards passing.
“It did feel like one of those classic Texas shootouts,” said Smith, whose school moved over from the Big East this season. “That’s kind of what the Big 12 is about.”
Smith outdueled Baylor’s Nick Florence, who broke Heisman Trophy-winning predecessor Robert Griffin III’s school record with 581 yards. Florence threw for five TDs.
School, conference and FBS marks all got rewritten in this one.
The game also set a record for the most points scored in a game involving a team ranked in The Associated Press poll. The previous mark of 124 was set in No. 12 Oklahoma’s 82-42 win over Colorado in 1980.
How wild was it? Smith, the early Heisman front-runner, had more TD passes than incompletions (six). He finished 45 of 51 and still doesn’t have an interception this season.
“Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said.
Maybe not on offense, but both defenses have plenty of work to do.
West Virginia amassed a school-record 807 yards and the teams combined for 1,507 yards of offense and 67 first downs. Six receivers had at least 100 yards receiving.
The Bears’ Terrance Williams set a Big 12 record with 314 yards receiving. The old mark was set minutes earlier by West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey, who had 303 yards and a school-record five TDs.
Williams’ 8-yard scoring catch brought Baylor (3-1) within 70-63 with 3:08 left. But Dustin Garrison ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers ran out the clock to snap Baylor’s nine-game winning streak.