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October 1, 2013
Things won't get any easier for West Virginia (3-2, 1-1) this weekend when the Mountaineers travel to No. 16/17 Baylor (3-0) for another matchup against an unbeaten Big 12 Conference opponent.
The Bears have been one of the most prolific offensive teams in the country averaging around 750-yards and 70 points per game through their first three contests, head coach Dana Holgorsen said. The keys to Art Briles offense has been handed over to junior Bryce Petty and he currently leads the country in passing efficiency and is fifth in yards per game.
Holgorsen when reading the stats Tuesday started to rattle off the categories that the Bears highly efficient offense currently is ranked as the top unit in the country, when the head man paused.
"Shoot it's number one everything it looks like," he said.
Baylor has continued a run from last season winning seven straight dating back to last year and Holgorsen expects the Bears to be confident and ready to play after receiving an extra week to prepare for the Mountaineers. Last season, West Virginia won a wild 70-63 shootout in Morgantown where both teams seemingly scored at will.
While West Virginia has went through a transitional phase to replace many of its departed offensive stars from a season ago, Baylor's group has hummed right along in large part due to the fact that many of the players stepping into roles have been in the program for a number of years, including Petty.
Holgorsen believes that both defenses are better than the last meeting between the two teams, with the Bears returning quite a bit of experience on that side of the ball much like West Virginia. He fully expects Baylor to play with much of the same tempo offensively that they did a season ago.
"Last week a lot of change of possessions, this week will be a lot of change of possessions," he said.
As for the starting quarterback, Holgorsen said that Clint Trickett and Ford Childress remain day to day with their respective injuries and neither practiced Sunday due to the coaches wanting to hold them out and rest them up. At this time, Holgorsen said that it would be Trickett that gets the call if he's 100-percent but will evaluate all three of the options this week before making a decision.
"He did a good job of keeping plays alive and had some savy to him and reacted to the game of football pretty well," he said.
He did say that if either Trickett or Childress want to play they will most likely need to practice both Tuesday and Wednesday.
Holgorsen is in unfamiliar territory after none of his quarterbacks had ever missed a game during his career prior to Childress a week ago and he is now faced with the prospects of possibly having two out for the same game. Holgorsen once again reiterated that if Trickett can go he must continue to improve his communication.
"He's a long ways to go from being able to operate our offense the way I want him to operate our offense," the head coach said.
Holgorsen was very critical of the kick returners calling them "garbage," and he will use this week to find some players that can do the job adequately.
As far as punt returner, he doesn't expect any changes due to the difficulty of just throwing players into that role but said they must continue to get better.
West Virginia NEWS