Game Recap: Grier, Sills slice through Baylor - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Game Recap: Grier, Sills slice through Baylor

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David Sills motions to an official as he lines up in a 56-34 win over Kansas. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle) David Sills motions to an official as he lines up in a 56-34 win over Kansas. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

By Ryan Decker

No. 23 West Virginia’s (5-2, 3-1) offense has largely revolved around its quarterback, Will Grier, and wide receiver David Sills V.

Grier entered Saturday’s game against Baylor (0-7, 0-4) as one of the top QBs in the nation in a number of categories, while Sills came into the contest with a comfortable lead for the nation’s top touchdown pass catcher. Both bolstered their numbers against a weak Bears defense.

Grier completed 70 percent of his passes, of which found their way to the end zone; Sills tallied his sixth multi-touchdown game of the year, and the Mountaineers held on for a 38-36 victory, the program’s first in Waco. 

The Mountaineer offense was much more effective than that of the Bears in the first quarter.

West Virginia’s opening drive covered 57 yards and resulted in a mid-range field goal by Mike Molina. It’s next possession ended with seven points.

The drive was extended thanks to a pass interference call against Baylor on third down. One play later, Grier connected with his midseason All-American wideout Sills for a 35-yard touchdown pass thrown perfectly into tight coverage.

WVU led 10-0 after the first quarter.

Baylor’s offense began making strides in the second quarter, but WVU’s defense held the Bears to a pair of field goals. Another factor that kept Baylor out of the end zone was that they were 1-for-8 on third down in the first half.

The Mountaineers closed the half with a scoring drive, despite only having 1:05 to put points on the board.

Grier completed three of four passes on the drive, including a 22-yard pass to Ka’Raun White over the middle to move into Baylor territory. The possession was capped off with another scoring strike from Grier to Sills.

That gave WVU a 17-6 lead heading into the half and gave Sills 14 receiving touchdowns on the year.

Sills ended the game with seven catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. It’s his sixth game with multiple receiving touchdowns this season. No other FBS player has more than three such games.

Grier and Sills hooked up once more on the Mountaineers first drive of the second half.

This completion, on a slant route, led Sills to a wide-open space near midfield, and he out-ran the Baylor defense, going 53 yards to the house.

That gave WVU a 24-6 lead.

Sills finished the game with a season total of 15 receiving touchdowns, which is more than 105 FBS teams, including Baylor

Grier wasn’t done there, completing a short pass to Marcus Simms, who spun around a defender, and turned on the jets, going all the way to once again give West Virginia an 18-point lead with 6:00 to go in the third.

That pass took Grier over 300 passing yards, doing so for the seventh straight game, which is the second-longest streak in WVU history.  He ended the day with a total of 375 passing yards, and five scoring passes.

Simms was one of three different Mountaineer receivers with a touchdown grab. Gary Jennings joined Sills in going over 100 receiving yards, finishing with 116. 

Baylor didn’t go away quietly.

Second-string quarterback Charlie Brewer found an open Trestan Ebner behind the WVU secondary for an easy score. Then, two plays after fielding the onside kick, Ebner ran 40 yards to pay dirt for the score to bring the Bears back to within 38-27 at the start of the fourth quarter.

A chip shot field goal by Connor Martin made it seventeen unanswered points and made it a one-possession game midway through the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, West Virginia’s offense cooled off dramatically, including converting just 1-of-7 third down plays at one point in the second half.

Baylor, looking to send the game into overtime, once again pieced together a lengthy drive, moving the ball through the air and with the help of two penalties.

The Bears converted twice on third down and once on fourth to keep the 16-play drive alive.

Brewer capped the drive by rolling left and finding Ebner in the end zone for the score with 17 seconds left and now needing just two points to send the game into overtime.

However, after a timeout, Brewer was sacked on the two-point conversion, effectively ending the game.

Kennedy McKoy, who carried the ball seven times for 55 yards, led WVU on the ground. Baylor held Justin Crawford to just 30 rushing yards and saw very limited action.

West Virginia returns home for next weekend’s game against No. 10 Oklahoma State. 

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