MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia will play its third Big 12 game Saturday night at Baylor. The 17th-ranked Bears have only played three games, none in the conference and only one since Sept. 7.
Baylor has had two open weeks already this season.
"The thing about these open dates early in the season is that you feel like you're just starting and stopping, and that's kind of the way we feel right now without question," Coach Art Briles said.
"But the good thing is that our guys are fresh, energized, and anxious, and when you're anxious to do something then you usually have a lot of anticipation and get out there and do it. So from that standpoint, we're certainly ready to go."
The 8 p.m. game at Floyd Casey Stadium will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
The gaps have been problematic for the Mountaineers as they prepare for Baylor. Its offense is ranked No. 1 nationally in total yards, passing yards and scoring, but the starters have only played five series after halftime. The Bears have scored 69, 70 and 70 points and won by 66, 57 and 63 points.
"They really haven't played three games," Defensive Coordinator Keith Patterson said. "They've played three halves. You sit there and try to evaluate them, but it's difficult, I can tell you that.
"I've watched a lot of video from years past and what I've seen from them this year trying to build that profile and take away what they do best."
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BEARS QUARTERBACK Bryce Petty is No. 5 nationally with 333.7 passing yards per game and no one averages more than his 14.9 yards per attempt. Petty is No. 2 nationally in completion percentage with 50 complete passes among 76 attempts for 1,001 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions.
So far, the redshirt junior has met the lofty expectations for the quarterbacks at the school. Nick Florence last year and Heisman Trophy winning Robert Griffin III in 2011 each set the school record for total offense.
"The first thing that popped into my mind is break every Baylor record there is offensively, which is what we expect him to do and what he plans to do," Briles said. "I don't know what expectation anyone would have other than doing that, which equates to winning every football game we step on the field with, which needs to be his expectation along with ours."
Petty has handled everything on and off the field.
"Most quarterbacks are (jerks)," safety Ahmad Dixon said. "They're different. Those aren't guys you want to deal with. They go through so much. It's typical, though. They go through so much and deal with so much, but Bryce does a great job handling himself as a young man before he tries to be anything else."
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