INSTANT REACTION: West Virginia dumps Bears, 58-14

Bears wide receiver Denzel Mims (15) catches a pass during the third quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports


West Virginia’s second-quarter surge ruled the day as the Mountaineers claimed a 58-14 victory over Baylor on Thursday night at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Mountaineers quarterback Will Grier passed for 353 yards and three touchdowns in a little more than two quarters of work against the Bears.

Thirteenth-ranked West Virginia (6-1, 4-1 Big 12) posted 568 yards of total offense, most of which came in the first half when the Mountaineers staked a 41-0 lead by the break.

Baylor (4-4, 2-3) took a hit when quarterback Charlie Brewer left the game with an apparent injury in the second quarter. TV reporters said Brewer didn’t have specific complaints about pain, but the Baylor coaches felt his decision making was so far off as to suggest a head injury.

Brewer had an awful night when he was in the game, completing 1 of 8 passes for 22 yards with no touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Bears backup QB Jalan McClendon had a decent second half to finish with 183 passing yards.

But West Virginia held Baylor’s top receivers, Denzel Mims and Jalen Hurd, to 5 catches for 67 yards.

The bad news for Baylor is that its habit of giving up big plays on defense showed up again as the Mountaineers scored on 5 plays of 25 yards or longer.

The good news is that this was always going to be a difficult game for the Bears to win. They likely won’t face as steep a challenge the rest of the season.