MORGANTOWN - West Virginia's debut into the Big 12 Conference's world of
football Saturday promises, at least on paper, to be a good, old-fashioned western offensive shootout. Just don't tell the defenses about that.
Both teams are averaging close to 50 points per game (WVU 48, Baylor 51) and are putting up unbelievable statistics on the offensive side of the football.
High-scoring games may be a fan's delight, but both defenses are coming into the game with something to prove.
''We want to go out and show that we can make plays, too,'' WVU defensive back
Terence Garvin said. ''Of course, as a defense, you never want to go out and expect to give up some points. You want to come out and say that we are going to make plays.''
Baylor defensive back Ahmad Dixon, however, takes a more dominant stance when discussing the game.
''We get to open those guys up to the Big 12,'' he said. ''We get to show them how we perform in the Big 12.''
Kickoff for the Mountaineers' Homecoming contest is slated for noon. The game will be televised on the FX network.
No. 25 Baylor, 3-0, is averaging nearly 400 passing yards per game and about 200 rushing yards. Baylor coach Art Briles said he sees no reason for that trend not to continue against WVU.
''We are certainly not where we think we will be,'' he said. ''We feel like we have some energy out that hasn't produced yet. We certainly feel like we are going to be capable of rushing the ball better than we have been.''
WVU linebacker Isaiah Bruce said he has faith that the coaching staff will have the team prepared for what Baylor will throw at it.
''This is definitely going to be a first for us, seeing how much they spread out the whole field,'' he said. ''That's going to be a challenge with respecting the run and going out to cover their receivers. A lot of our coaches have seen this conference before and this team a lot, so that gives us confidence that they will have us prepared and ready for this week's game.''
No. 9 West Virginia's offense is averaging about 370 passing yards per game and another 159 rushing yards.
''We will have our work cut out for us, but we are a great defense,'' Baylor defensive tackle Trevor Clemons-Valdez said. ''We are a great team, and we give great effort. I have all the faith in the world that we're going to go out there and handle business.''