Follow along: West Virginia nips Baylor, 43-40

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — For the third time over the first half of the 2022 regular season, West Virginia is in action Thursday night. After opening with a loss at Pitt and then evening its record with a win at Virginia Tech in two other Thursday tilts, the Mountaineers play their first midweek home game since 2018 when they handled Baylor 58-14 in Dana Holgorsen’s final season as head coach.

Much has changed since, though the Bears are still seeking their first win in Morgantown in what’ll be their sixth game. Baylor (3-2, 1-1) is the defending Big 12 champion and had its way with the Mountaineers during a 45-20 victory in Waco last October. The Bears were the preseason favorite to repeat as league champion, but would leave themselves little to no margin for error the rest of the way in hopes of reaching the Big 12 title game again without a victory over the Mountaineers.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2) is home for the first time since September 17 when it beat Towson for its first win. The Mountaineers have yet to prove they can hold up defensively against Big 12 foes, falling to Kansas 55-42 in double overtime and at Texas 38-20 in their most recent outing October 1.

10:35 p.m. — FINAL: WEST VIRGINIA 43, Baylor 40. The Mountaineers (3-3, 1-2) pick up their first Big 12 victory and keep Baylor (3-3, 1-2) winless in Morgantown.

10:28 p.m. — SCORE: Legg makes a 22-yard field goal to give the Mountaineers a late lead. Baylor is out of timeouts and needs a field goal to force overtime. WEST VIRGINIA 43, Baylor 40, 0:33 4th qtr

10:20 p.m. — West Virginia’s defense holds, but despite not gaining a yard, the Bears get a 43-yard field goal from Mayers to pull even. BAYLOR 40, WEST VIRGINIA 40, 1:40 4th qtr

10:15 p.m. — The teams trade interceptions on consecutive plays. Aubrey Burks picks off Drones on a play with pressure applied by Jared Bartlett. Immediately after, WVU commits a false start and then Daniels is intercepted by Dillon Doyle. BU starts at the WVU 26 with 3:12 left.

10:05 p.m. — SCORE: Mathis’ 34-yard touchdown run gives the Mountaineers their first lead since 7-0. It came on second-and-10 and the Mountaineers are up to 168 rushing yards. WEST VIRGINIA 40, Baylor 37, 7:05 4th qtr

10:00 p.m. — The Mountaineers come up with their second fumble recovery and it’s Cox who falls on a ball lost by Jones. Aubrey Burks is credited with the forced fumble and West Virginia takes over at its 28 with 9:01 to play.

9:55 p.m. — West Virginia fails on fourth-and-1 from the Baylor 44 when Mathis is stood up 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage. Baylor takes over at its 45 leading by four with 9:47 to play.

9:45 p.m. — SCORE: Qualan Jones scores on a 4-yard run, but the point-after kick is blocked by Stills and recovered by Spells, who returns it 87 yards for 2 points. BAYLOR 37, West Virginia 33, 13:39 4th qtr

9:40 p.m. — Drones remains at quarterback for the Bears and throws consecutive completions of 25 and 20 yards to end the third quarter. Baylor will start the final quarter with first-and-10 from the WVU 30.

9:35 p.m. — SCORE: West Virginia makes it two touchdowns on as many possessions in the second half. This time, Justin Johnson takes a delayed draw 19 yards on a well-designed play with quality blocking. It’s the third straight game in which Johnson has rushed for a TD. BAYLOR 31, WEST VIRGINIA 31, 1:42 3rd qtr

9:25 p.m. — SCORE: Known for being aggressive, the Bears convert 2-of-2 fourth downs on their first series of the second half, including Kyron Drones’ 2-yard touchdown pass to Hal Presley. Shapen left the game after suffering an injury on a play where Andrew Wilson-Lamp was ejected for targeting. Drones came in for first-and-goal, and threw twice after a pair of runs netted 5 yards. The Bears drive was 13 plays for 74 yards. BAYLOR 31, West Virginia 24, 5:21 3rd qtr

9:05 p.m. — SCORE: Prather hauls in a 24-yard touchdown reception from Daniels, doing damage after the catch to bring the Mountaineers even. Prather leads WVU with five catches for 74 yards to this point. Baylor standout nose guard Siaki Ika was shaken up on the drive. BAYLOR 24, WEST VIRGINIA 24, 10:19 3rd qtr

9:00 p.m. — Today’s attendance: 45,293.

8:32 p.m. HALFTIME: BAYLOR 24, West Virginia 17. The Bears generate 358 total yards, including 294 through the air in two quarters. The Mountaineers enter the intermission with 187 yards, 109 of which are rushing. West Virginia gets the ball to start the second half.

8:22 p.m. — SCORE: Craig Williams catches a screen pass from Shapen and takes it 39 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears back in front. Defensive lineman Jordan Jefferson was flagged for roughing the passer during Baylor’s five play, 75-yard drive. BAYLOR 24, West Virginia 17, 1:14 2nd qtr

8:16 p.m. — SCORE: West Virginia gets a much-needed defensive touchdown to pull even as Jasir Cox scoops a Shapen fumble and returns it 65 yards for the Mountaineers’ second defensive score this season. The turnover came one play after Holmes caught a 46-yard pass in single coverage against Spells, giving the Baylor wideout 137 receiving yards on three catches. BAYLOR 17, WEST VIRGINIA 17, 2:41 2nd qtr

8:10 p.m. — SCORE: Casey Legg’s 23-yard field goal brings WVU back to within one score, but the Mountaineers squander a chance at a touchdown after Treylan Davis commits a false start penalty that turns third-and-goal from the 1 into third-and-goal from the 6. Daniels follows with an incomplete pass, halting the drive at 13 plays and 69 yards. BAYLOR 17, West Virginia 10, 4:22 2nd qtr

7:56 p.m. SCORE: Following a three-and-out from the Mountaineers, the Bears make it look easy again and cover 70 yards on three plays, utilizing a 35-yard touchdown pass from Shapen to Holmes for the first two-score lead of the contest. Since its strong start, West Virginia has allowed 17 points on three drives and punted on both of its series. BAYLOR 17, West Virginia 7, 10:52 2nd qtr

7:45 p.m. — SCORE: After West Virginia punts from just across midfield on its second series, the Bears go 85 yards in five plays and get their first touchdown on a 1-yard run from tight end Ben Sims on what was his first carry this season. Two plays prior to the TD, Shapen found Gavin Holmes for a 56-yard gain on the first play of the second quarter. BAYLOR 10, West Virginia 7, 13:34 2nd qtr

7:30 p.m. — SCORE: The Bears go 71 yards in 14 plays and get their first points on a John Mayers 40-yard field goal. BU converted its first three third downs of the series, before Kpogba sacked Shapen for a 4-yard loss on third-and-10, taking the Bears from inside to outside the red zone. Cornerback Wesley McCormick was shaken up on the drive and replaced by Jacolby Spells. WEST VIRGINIA 7, Baylor 3, 4:23 1st qtr

7:15 p.m. — SCORE: Tony Mathis scores on a 7-yard run to finish off an eight play, 65-yard opening drive for the Mountaineers. Seven of the eight plays covered at least 6 yards, the longest of which was Daniels’ 19-yard pass to Kaden Prather one play before the touchdown. WEST VIRGINIA 7, Baylor 0, 10:30 1st qtr

7:07 p.m. — Baylor starts with a three-and-0ut. Quarterback Blake Shapen’s third down pass fell incomplete after Ajayi broke it up. Stills was shaken up on the second play from scrimmage, but left the field under his own power. The Mountaineers start at their 35-yard line after Preston Fox muffs and recovers the Bears’ punt.

7:02 p.m. — West Virginia wins the toss, elects to defer and Baylor will start with the ball.

6:50 p.m. — West Virginia’s captains: Austin Brinkman, Dante Stills, Lee Kpogba and JT Daniels. Doug Nester is the flag carrier.

6:10 p.m. — West Virginia tight end Mike O’Laughlin is not in uniform after suffering a left knee injury at Texas. O’Laughlin is in street clothes and has on a noticeable knee brace. Twice before, WVU’s top tight end has suffered season-ending ACL injuries. The Mountaineers will also be without leading rusher CJ Donaldson tonight after the true freshman was ruled out October 3 for an injury suffered at Texas that required him to go through concussion protocol. Cornerback Rashad Ajayi, who left the loss at Texas with a first-half injury, is dressed and listed as a starting cornerback on the depth chart. True freshman Mumu Bin-Wahad is out due to injury. Bin-Wahad has played both cornerback and safety early in his college career.

Your essential pregame links:

Setting the scene

Game preview

Notebook: No wholesale changes on back end; Donaldson improving

West Virginia striving to come up with more takeaways

Three Guys Before the Game – Baylor preview

Mountaineers well aware of prowess of Baylor nose guard Siaki Ika 

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