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Storylines to Keep an Eye On for WVU-Baylor



Mountaineer mascot at WVU Football game at Milan Puskar Stadium

The 2023 regular season comes to an end on Saturday night. And while WVU will still have a bowl game left to play, it’s important for West Virginia to not look ahead.

Even though the 7-4 (5-3) Mountaineers are facing a 3-8 (2-6) Baylor team that doesn’t have much anything other than pride left to play for, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some storylines to keep an eye on.

WVU Can’t Look Ahead to Bowl Game

Unlike at this time one week ago, WVU head coach Neal Brown is pleased with his team’s most recent performance. But no matter how his team played in their last game, Brown always preaches being singularly focused, something that greatly applies this week.

The Mountaineers may have clinched a winning season with a 42-21 win over Cincinnati, something already far beyond what most expected to occur this year, but that doesn’t mean they are satisfied or their work is done. Brown knows the expectations of the West Virginia program go beyond just having a winning season. He also knows his team can’t afford to overlook anybody.

WVU HC Neal Brown Knows Mountaineers Can’t Afford to Overlook Baylor

“I’m not sure we need to be overlooking anybody. To me it’s about finishing. They’ve really dominated us down there. I think 1-4 as a program down there,” said Brown when asked about avoiding a potential “trap game” situation to close the regular season with a bowl game on the horizon no matter what.

Baylor Likely Without Starting QB

At the same time Brown was talking on Monday, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda was conducting a media session of his own and said, “it’s not looking great right now” when asked about the status of Blake Shapen. He is dealing with a head injury.

Shapen has been a bright spot in an otherwise tough season for Baylor. The junior quarterback has thrown for 2,188 yards, 13 touchdowns and only three picks this season.

Freshman RB Jahiem White Has Earned High Praise

People from all over the country are beginning to take notice of WVU freshman running back Jahiem White, and now that even includes a former NFL MVP.

Shaun Alexander, someone who knows what it takes to have success as a running back at the highest level, named White his Freshman of the Week for his monster performance against Cincinnati.

Former NFL MVP Honors WVU RB Jahiem White

White ran for 204 yards and also took a short reception all the way to the house for a touchdown. He also scored a touchdown on the ground too and averaged nearly 10 yard per touch. This big game came two weeks after he rushed for 146 yards in West Virginia’s win over BYU.

So far this season, White has totaled 659 yards with an average of 8.2 yards per carry.

As for Alexander, his credentials make this particular form of recognition stand out more than some of the others. White was officially named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.

Can Garrett Greene Keep Up His Strong Play?

Neal Brown referred to Garrett Greene as the ultimate competitor after West Virginia’s win over Cincinnati to close their home season, something that he put on display all day.

Greene accounted for 414 yards in the game, 210 through the air and 2024 on the ground. He also scored four touchdowns, three with his legs and one with his arm. His name was mentioned with the likes of Mountaineer legends like Pat White and Steve Slaton. But most importantly to Greene, WVU beat Cincinnati 42-21.

Garrett Greene Explains What Being Called the ‘Ultimate Competitor’ Means to Him

When asked what being labeled an ultimate competitor means to him, Greene talked about just wanting to win no matter what. He doesn’t care if he’s being asked to throw or run, he just want to win. Greene also wants to be at his best, knowing that his team needs him to play well in order to win.

Will WVU Prove Oddsmakers Right or Will See Another Classic in Matchup?

Oddsmakers are confident WVU will win comfortably in their final game of the season against Baylor and reach eight wins, but the Mountaineers know oddsmakers and “experts” can be wrong as well as anyone.

And if history is any indication, this game could be a close one on Saturday night in the Waco, Texas and under the lights of McLane Stadium.

WVU beat Baylor in Morgantown 43-40 last season thanks to a game winning field goal by former Mountaineer kicker Casey Legg.

Kickoff for West Virginia and Baylor is set for 7 pm ET and the game will be televised nationally on FS1.

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