Football Bowl Subdivision

     === Smith throws for 8 TD's as No. 9 WVU wins shootout with Baylor ===
 Morgantown, WV (Sports Network) - Geno Smith had a record-breaking performance
 in West Virginia's Big 12 debut.
 Smith  set school marks with eye-popping totals of 656 passing yards and eight
 touchdown  throws as  the  ninth-ranked Mountaineers  prevailed,  70-63, in  a
 shootout with the No. 25 Baylor Bears.
 The  Heisman  Trophy candidate ended  with a  school-best 45 completions on 51
 attempts for the Mountaineers (4-0, 1-0 Big 12).
 Nick  Florence was  equally impressive for Baylor (3-1, 0-1), throwing for 581
 yards and five touchdowns.
 But  it wasn't  enough for the Bears,  who had their winning streak snapped at
 nine games.
 The  Mountaineers  scored a touchdown  on each of  their first three drives in
 the second half to build a 56-35 lead.
 Smith  and Tavon Austin connected on scoring strikes of 45 and 52 yards before
 the Bears' Aaron Jones missed a 46-yard field goal. Baylor had gone three-and-
 out  on  its  first  second-half  possession, an  anomaly  in  this  offensive
 On  West Virginia's  next series, Smith heaved a perfectly placed deep ball to
 Stedman Bailey, who made the catch in stride for a 47-yard gain. The downfield
 strike set up a 1-yard plunge by Andrew Buie.
 Florence countered with a 37-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams, and the Baylor
 quarterback added a short TD run 46 seconds into the fourth quarter.
 However,  the Bears'  momentum  was  immediately quelled  because  of a  blown
 coverage  that  led to  Smith  finding  an  uncovered  Bailey for  an  87-yard
 touchdown on the first play of the ensuing drive.
 Florence responded by capping an 86-yard march with a 7-yard TD pass to Antwan
 Goodley,  but Bailey  answered with his fifth touchdown -- a 39-yard reception
 -- on the subsequent West Virginia series.
 Baylor  refused  to go away  quietly as Williams  finished off a 10-play drive
 with an 8-yard grab in the end zone with 3:08 to play.
 Dustin  Garrison, though,  ran for 17 yards on third down and the Mountaineers
 ran out the clock.
 Florence's  first  pass attempt went through  the hands of Tevin Reese and was
 picked  off  by Darwin Cook. His  next throw, following a missed 50-yard field
 goal  by  West Virginia's Tyler  Bitancurt, to  Williams resulted in a 50-yard
 gain  that  set Baylor  up at  the Mountaineers' 14-yard  line. The Bears then
 reached the end zone after three consecutive runs by Jarred Salubi.
 After  trading scores, West  Virginia tied the game at 14-14 on J.D. Woods' 7-
 yard  touchdown reception  with 42  seconds  remaining in  a high-paced  first
 It's  hard to believe the pace actually quickened in the second quarter as the
 teams  combined for 42  points. Smith threw touchdown passes of 47, 20 and two
 yards  to  Bailey, the last  of which came with  29 seconds remaining and gave
 West Virginia a 35-28 lead.
 But  that  was more than  enough time for Florence,  who hooked up with Lanear
 Sampson  for a 67-yard  scoring strike on the final play of the first half. If
 not  for Jones  pushing  a 33-yard  field  wide right  earlier  in the  second
 quarter, Baylor would have led at halftime.
                                   Game Notes
 The  teams combined for  1,507 yards of offense ... Bailey had 303 yards on 13
 receptions, while Austin caught 14 passes for 215 yards ... Bailey became West
 Virginia's  all-time leader  in touchdown receptions with 26 ... Austin passed
 David  Saunders to become the Mountaineers' all-time leader in receiving yards
 with  2,684  ... Florence  connected on 29  of his 47  passes ... Williams set
 school  records with  17 catches and 314 receiving yards ... Glasco Martin had
 two  rushing  touchdowns for Baylor ...  Baylor registered 34 first downs, one
 more  than the  Mountaineers ...  West Virginia  was 12-for-15  on third  down
 conversions, compared to Baylor's 11-of-16 success rate.
 09/29 16:54:40 ET

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