It was not pretty, it was not clean, but it was a win as West Virginia defeated Baylor in Morgantown Saturday afternoon.
West Virginia (2-1, 1-1 Big 12) started the game off on the right foot, taking the ball 70 yards into the endzone on the first drive of the game. Starting quarterback Jarret Doege ran the ball in from a yard out for WVU’s first opening-drive touchdown of the season. The Mountaineer defense also forced Baylor (1-1, 1-1) to go three-and-out on its first drive.
After a nearly perfect start to the game, however, the wheels all but fell off for the Mountaineers. On WVU’s ensuing drive, Doege was sacked and fumbled the ball into Baylor’s arms. Baylor would get nothing out of that turnover, however, missing a 46-yard field goal.
Doege would also be sacked and fumble on WVU’s next drive, but the Mountaineers recovered it and maintained possession long enough to punt it away. WVU defense would again not give the Bear anything, forcing another punt. On the first play of WVU’s next drive, Doege threw his first interception of the game.
With another turnover, Baylor marched down the field and misses another field goal, this time from 48 yards. Doege threw another interception on WVU’s next drive and Baylor would finally make WVU pay for its mistakes and Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to R.J. Snead to tie the game at 7-7.
The two teams traded punts until Baylor missed a third field goal as time expired at the end of the half, this time it was blocked by WVU defensive lineman Dante Stills.
Both defenses continued to control the game in the second half, until WVU was able to put a second touchdown drive together, this time driving 72 yards and scoring on a touchdown run by running back Leddie Brown to take a 14-7 lead.
Baylor looked to tie the game again late in the fourth quarter following a muffed punt return by WVU running back Alec Sinkfield, the Mountaineers’ fourth turnover of the game. Baylor running back John Lovett looked to have dove into the endzone from one yard out on fourth down. Lovett was ruled short on the field, however, and after a review, the call on the field was upheld and it was a turnover on downs.
With four minutes left to play, West Virginia could not sustain a drive and only ran two minutes off the clock before punting the ball back to the Bears. Brewer again led Baylor down the field and finally tied the game on a 34-yard catch and run to Josh Fleeks that ended in the endzone.
The Mountaineer could not put a drive together with a little more than one minute left and WVU went into overtime for the first time under head coach Neal Brown.
Baylor won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first. WVU was able to pick up a first down on a fourth-down conversion by tight end Mike O’Laughlin and score a touchdown on the very next play on a jump ball to receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton.
On Baylor’s first overtime possession, Brewer threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ben Sims to send the game into a second overtime. On the first play of the second overtime, Brewer overthrew a receiver in the endzone and was intercepted by WVU safety Tykee Smith.
Only needing a field goal to win, West Virginia ran four plays and Leddie Brown found the endzone from three yards away to give WVU the 27-21 win.
Doege finished the game 30-42 in the air for 211 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and score a rushing touchdown. Leddie Brown ran 27 times for 93 yards with two touchdowns and Sinkfield contributed 53 yards on six carries. Sophomore Sam James was Doege’s favorite target on the day, catching eight passes for 66 yards.
Defensively, WVU finished with six sacks and two interceptions against Brewer. Linebacker Tony Fields led the team with 10 tackles and a sack. Nose tackle Darius Stills had 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. The interceptions went to Smith and cornerback Dreshun Miller.
For Baylor, Brewer went 23-38 passing with 229 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Lovett had 23 rushing yards on 14 carries with the touchdown. Baylor’s interceptions were by linebacker Terrel Bernard and safety J.T. Woods.