Clint Trickett threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns, while Kevin White caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns to lead West Virginia (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) to a 41-27 upset over No. 4 Baylor (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) Saturday in Morgantown.
However, West Virginia started the game unceremoniously with Wendell Smallwood being unable to bring the opening kickoff past the 10 yard line, followed by a Clint Trickett sack-fumble that Bryce Petty quickly converted into seven points one play later on a seven-yard TD pass to receiver Corey Coleman.
Trickett made up for his turnover, tossing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kevin White, his fifth straight game with a touchdown pass and seventh over the past eight games dating back to last November. Despite the score, West Virginia lost running back Rushel Shell the majority of the game to a leg injury that proved to be negligible as the Mountaineers tied the game at 7-7 on the touchdown drive.
In a scenario likely not expected Saturday, the defenses of both West Virginia and Baylor held the opposing high-powered offenses to back-to-back punts, as the pass rush keeping Petty and Trickett running and unable to get the ball to their groups of playmaking receivers.
Baylor would get their offense back on track with a pair of drives into West Virginia territory that ended with short field goals to extend their lead to 13-7, but could have left with more points if not for the huge play of the Mountaineer defense.
West Virginia would take their first lead over Baylor since late in the fourth quarter of the Mountaineers' 70-63 victory in the program's inaugural Big 12 game in 2012, utilizing the size and skill of passes from Trickett to White abusing the Baylor secondary.
Baylor saw the referees throw two flags for pass interference on both Xavien Howard and Orion Stewart while covering White, but Andrew Buie gave West Virginia the lead at 14-13 with a short touchdown run from inside the five yard line.
West Virginia's lead was short-lived, as Bryce Petty connected with Antwan Goodley on a 63-yard touchdown pass just two minutes later to give the Bears a 20-14 lead. The touchdown play was once called back due to a targeting call on a hit that knocked Terrell Chestnut from the game, but was overturned after referee review.
Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson's unit continued to stuff the Baylor offense and forcing the team to punt the ball back to West Virginia, allowing the Mountaineers to drive down the field to take the lead on an Andrew Buie touchdown run and extend that 21-20 lead to 24-20 with a 54-yard FG by Josh Lambert before the halftime break. Lambert would extend the West Virginia lead further to 27-20 with a 24-yard field goal early in the third quarter.
Though, West Virginia couldn't contain the Baylor offense the entire third quarter. Baylor running back Shock Linwood, who had made minimal impact to that point of the game, tied the game on a short touchdown run at 27-27 with seconds remaining before the final quarter of the day.
After a 42-yard catch and run by Buie down to the Baylor redzone, White caught his second touchdown pass of the game from Trickett to give West Virginia a 34-27, but Mario Alford wanted a part of the fun, too. Alford took a 39-yard pass from Trickett to extend the West Virginia lead to 41-27 with less than eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
That was all West Virginia needed for what should be the marquee win of the Holgorsen era in Morgantown.
West Virginia, once again, will be back on the road for a visit to Oklahoma State next Saturday afternoon, while Baylor will be idle next week before returning for a homecoming matchup against the Kansas Jayhawks on November 1.