clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Double-digit favorite West Virginia survives scare, escapes Waco with 34-31 win over Baylor

Had ‘em all the way?

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Baylor Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

In a heart-stopping regular season finale, the West Virginia Mountaineers battled through adversity to secure a 34-31 win over the Baylor Bears (3-9, 2-7 Big 12). The Mountaineers, now boasting an 8-4 record (6-3 Big 12) for the first time since 2018, orchestrated a comeback, sealing the win with a go-ahead touchdown in the closing 23 seconds.

The game began with WVU’s opening possession fizzling out due to a high snap, resulting in a punt. Baylor also struggled on their opening drive, leading to a punt.

Seizing the opportunity, Mountaineers’ running back Jahiem White showcased his explosiveness with a 53-yard run. One play later, Garrett Greene connected with Traylon Ray for a 30-yard touchdown, giving WVU an early 7-0 lead.

Baylor’s struggles continued on their second drive as backup quarterback Sawyer Robertson faced a tough start, getting sacked on third down, leading to their second punt after three plays.

Despite White continuing to shine, ripping off a 25-yard run, West Virginia’s next drive sputtered out, setting up kicker Michael Hayes to extend the lead to 10-0 with a successful 38-yard field goal.

Baylor retaliated on special teams, with Richard Reese returning the kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown, narrowing the score to 10-7. Undeterred, Greene showcased his dual-threat abilities, orchestrating a drive that culminated in a 23-yard rushing touchdown, extending WVU’s lead to 17-7.

The Bears answered again with Reese replicating his kickoff return heroics, scoring another touchdown with a 93-yard run, closing West Virginia’s lead to 17-14.

West Virginia’s ensuing drive chewed just under five minutes off the clock and saw White leave with an apparent injury before ending with Hayes adding another field goal, making it 20-14 with 5:44 left in the first half.

The Bears, back on the offensive after a lengthy sideline spell, orchestrated a promising drive but missed a crucial field goal attempt to give WVU the ball back with just under two minutes left in the half.

With the half coming to a close, Greene set the stage for another rushing touchdown, giving WVU a 27-14 halftime lead.

Baylor opened the second half strong, narrowing the gap to 27-21 with their first offensive touchdown.

The momentum continued to swing in Baylor’s favor following a three-and-out on WVU’s opening second-half possession, as they secured a 28-27 lead after Dominic Richardson’s two-yard touchdown run.

West Virginia’s next drive ended in a punt, allowing the Bears to extend their lead to 31-27 with a field goal in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

With time running out, WVU orchestrated a game-winning drive, highlighted by a pair of catches by Hudson Clement and a 29-yard touchdown connection from Greene to White. Despite Baylor’s last-minute efforts, WVU held on for the 34-31 victory.

Garrett Greene finished the night 16-of-25 passing for 269 passing yards and two touchdowns, while adding 103 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on 14 carries. Jahiem White continued to impress with 133 rushing yards on 17 attempts, while also tacking on a 29-yard reception for a touchdown.

The Mountaineers will now await their bowl fate, which will be announced next Sunday, December 3rd, following the conclusion of conference championship games.