By Wendell Barnhouse | email@example.comBig12Sports.com Correspondent
You won't find "Nightmare In Morgantown" on your Netflix lineup. That film has been on limited release in the Baylor defensive meetings.
A year ago, Baylor traveled to West Virginia for the Mountaineers' first Big 12 Conference game. 133 points and 1,507 yards later, the nation was buzzing about West Virginia's potent offense and the Bears' inability to win a game in which their offense posted 63 points.
Baylor (3-0) defensive coordinator Phil Bennett calls the game "Nightmare in Morgantown." The memories of that game resurfaced this week as the teams prepare for a rematch in Waco Saturday.
"We've talked about it, and looked at it and we realize we're not that defense anymore," defensive back Sam Holl told the Waco Tribune Herald. "We saw mistakes and wonder how we did that. We have to make sure we don't make the same mistakes this year. We have to tackle better, cover better and play smart."
While the Bears' defense continued to struggle for the next few games, the West Virginia meltdown eventually led to Baylor congealing on defense which helped spark a season-ending winning streak.
Baylor's defense has allowed three touchdowns while scoring four. The Bears have forced 59 turnovers over the last 20 games and this season lead the nation in tackles for loss. Combine an attacking defense with Baylor's high-powered offense and the result is the nation's 16th-ranked team and a seven-game winning streak that stretches back to last season.
"They've made tremendous strides defensively," West Virginia Dana Holgorsen said of Baylor. "It's the same stuff that they're doing offensively with a defense that's playing a whole heck of a lot better and a lot of experience on both sides of the ball."
The Mountaineers are trying to replace offensive play makers Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey; they accounted for almost all of the offense in last year's game. But while West Virginia has struggled with the ball, its defense has improved over last year's unit that finished last in the Big 12 in scoring defense.
Experience, senior leadership and a coaching adjustment have helped make a difference. Last season, Keith Patterson and Joe DeForrest were co-defensive coordinators. After the season, Holgorsen put Patterson in charge.
"Having one voice obviously is the right thing, especially his voice," Holgorsen said. "He's doing a fantastic job of teaching them the game the way he knows how to teach it, and then you couple that with just experience."
"We're not playing 10 true freshmen is probably the biggest difference. Our corners aren't true freshmen like they were last year."Saturday's gamesAll time CentralTexas Tech at KansasNeed to know:
11 a.m., Memorial Stadium, FS1)Records:
Texas Tech 4-0, 1-0; Kansas 2-1.Scouting Texas Tech:
Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield is healthy after being slowed by injuries the last few weeks. Freshman QB Davis Webb has played well off the bench. The defense has been outstanding. No. 20 Texas Tech has forced six turnovers after gaining a total of 11 turnovers last season.Scouting Kansas:
The Jayhawks are still waiting for their offense to click. They're last in scoring and passing offense as quarterback Jake Heaps has yet to find a rhythm. Running back James Sims and receiver Tony Pierson have been the most consistent performers. The defense, though, has shown improvement compared to last season; KU is allowing just 328 yards per game.This and that:
Texas Tech is 14-1 all-time vs. Kansas. The only loss came in 2001 with Kliff Kingsbury at quarterback. … The Red Raiders are one of five FBS teams that have not trailed this season; Louisville, Miami, Ohio State and Washington are the others. … Kansas has lost 21 consecutive Big 12 games and it has been 1,063 days since its last Conference win.Kansas State at Oklahoma StateNeed to know:
2:30 p.m., Boone Pickens Stadium, ABC.Records:
Kansas State 2-2, 0-1; Oklahoma State 3-1, 0-1.Scouting Kansas State:
The Wildcats have had two weeks to figure out what's wrong. Thus far, K-State is playing unlike a team coached by Bill Snyder. The Wildcats are struggling to run the ball and stop the run plus they're committing turnovers and penalties. Receiver Tyler Lockett leads the Big 12 in receptions per game and is second in yards per game.Scouting Oklahoma State:
The Cowboys had special teams and turnover troubles in their loss at West Virginia. The running game produced just 2.8 yards per carry and quarterback J.W. Walsh had the most incompletions by an Oklahoma State quarterback in 11 years. The Cowboys lead the Big 12 in rushing defense but are last in pass defense.This and that:
Kansas State won its two road games against ranked opponents last year, knocking off Oklahoma and West Virginia. … In their two losses, Kansas State has allowed 227 yards (to Texas) and 215 yards (to North Dakota State). … The Cowboys are 10-1 in regular-season games immediately following losses dating back to Nov. 17, 2007.TCU at OklahomaNeed to know:
6 p.m., Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, FOX.Records:
TCU 2-2, 0-1; Oklahoma 4-0, 1-0.Scouting TCU:
The Horned Frogs have played as their record reflects. TCU is last in the Big 12 in total offense and its defense has been spotty. However, last week the Frogs put together their best half of the season to overcome a halftime deficit and blast SMU. Sophomore quarterback Trevone Boykin is last in the Big 12 in passing efficiency.Scouting Oklahoma:
The Sooners have returned to being stingy on defense. They're second in the Big 12 in both scoring and total defense. Junior quarterback Blake Bell has played well in his two starts and has thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions. The offense is benefitting from a ground game that is producing 256 yards per game.This and that:
Oklahoma has forced six turnovers this season and has converted all into touchdowns. … TCU has been plus-3 in turnovers in its two victories this season and has won 35 of the last 36 games where it has gained at least three takeaways. … The Sooners have won the last two meetings in the series, which they lead 8-4.West Virginia at BaylorNeed to know:
7 p.m., Floyd Casey Stadium, FS1.Records:
West Virginia 3-2, 1-1; Baylor 3-0.Scouting West Virginia:
The Mountaineers bounced back to upset Oklahoma State last week. However, quarterback Clint Trickett and his backup Ford Childress are both banged up; it's uncertain who'll start against Baylor. The defense has shown vast improvement and is allowing 19 points per game.Scouting Baylor:
The Bears open Conference play as one of the hottest teams in the country thanks to an explosive offense and a stingy defense; they lead the Big 12 in both cateogries. Quarterback Bryce Petty leads the Big 12 in passing and running back Lache Seastrunk is tops in rushing. The defense has allowed three touchdowns and scored on four turnovers.This and that:
Baylor has played one game over the last 27 days. … West Virginia had 807 yards in last season's 70-63 victory over Baylor. Last week against Oklahoma State, players from that game accounted for 16 total yards. … The Bears are averaging an NCAA-best 1.19 points per play. … Baylor plans to debut a uniform combination that features chrome helmets, which were a hit at football media day.