"Coach Holgorsen, he preaches that probably the most," Bailey said. "The name of the game is turnovers. As long as we come out and don't put the ball on the ground, it's OK, because that makes probably a drastic change in the game and how it went. That was big. Nobody fumbled. Not many dropped balls. No bad decisions, like Geno throwing interceptions."
Smith hasn't thrown an interception in his past 222 attempts - still a long way away from Russell Wilson's NCAA record of 379 - and the offense with the regulars in the game hasn't turned the ball over in the last 389 snaps, or since late in the South Florida win in December.
Baylor had forced at least one turnover in 16 consecutive games and two or more in eight straight games. That ended against WVU, but nearly did not with one close call on the decisive final series. On second-and-10 at his own 25-yard line, Smith was pressured and threw to the right to J.D. Woods.
"He was open, but as I threw it, a guy flashed in front of my face as (Woods) moved to get open," Smith said. "I put it to the spot where he was, not where he was going. He reached out and snagged it and really saved the game for us."
It was Smith's most misguided throw of the game and could have been costly. Baylor cornerback Joe Williams was in the spot where the ball was headed and he was preparing to catch it at the 35. Woods was moving to his left, but reached back and snared the ball with his right arm and ran for a 13-yard gain and a first down with 2:53 remaining.
Woods finished with career-high totals of 13 receptions and 114 yards and one touchdown.
"That could have turned the game for us," Smith said. "(Williams) was in perfect position to pick it off and run down the sideline."
WVU forced Baylor to call its final timeout after a first-down run, but still needed a conversion on third-and-1 to make sure the Bears wouldn't get the ball again. Running back Dustin Garrison ran 17 yards with 1:33 to go to end it.
"I was hoping it wouldn't come down to that," Bailey said.
Yet it did and the Mountaineers, even with Smith's 656 yards and eight touchdowns passing, survived their introduction to the Big 12, where offenses put constant pressure on the opposing defenses, but where defenses also stress their own offenses.
"Those guys scoring as many points as they did, it put a little pressure on me and Geno and Tavon as vocal leaders on offense to keep guiding the defense and let them know they're doing their best out there," Bailey said. "Whatever the case is, we want to go out and score. It did put pressure on us for us to have 70 points and still not be safe, but it was a shootout and we came out with the win."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.