WACO, Texas - Three plays.
That was all Baylor's offense needed to score against West Virginia's defense and that was all the Mountaineers needed to make the first of many critical errors they'd worked so hard to avoid in the season's first five games.
Added up, the sum of WVU's flaws was a 73-42 loss to No. 17 Baylor, a school record for touchdowns and yards allowed and the most points allowed since a 130-0 loss to Michigan in 1904. That's the only time the Mountaineers ever allowed more points than they did Saturday.
"We didn't do anything we set out to do," West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "We couldn't stop the run. We couldn't stop the vertical shots. That was the key to the game.
"We hammered home all week long we had to be sound in vertical coverage, and right off the bat we're playing a zone concept and we have a bust that put us on our heels. Then all of a sudden we have people trying to do things outside the framework of the defense. I don't know what it was."
It was a demolition from the outset. The Bears scored the first of their 10 touchdowns just 40 seconds into the game as quarterback Bryce Petty completed a touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley for 61 of Baylor's school-record 864 yards.
The Mountaineers were playing a Cover 3 where three defensive backs play a zone in thirds of the field. Goodley found open space on the right side where there should have been a defender, and he encountered no resistance on the way to the end zone.
"I don't know how to explain why certain things happen the way they do, but from that point on, it was just like we were on the ropes and dodging and we weren't able to attack," Patterson said. "We weren't able to do anything."
In the first quarter, WVU surrendered 28 points and 369 yards, which is the most by any team in any quarter in any game in at least the past 10 years.
The same defense allowed fewer yards in three of their first five games, when opponents were averaging just 345 yards per game.
Baylor scored on three straight snaps in the first quarter, lead 35-7 two plays into the second quarter and 56-14 at halftime.
The Mountaineers, who a week earlier won at home against then-No. 11 Oklahoma State and held its formidable offense to 21 points, let Baylor set the Big 12 record for total offense and erase the 807-yard mark WVU set last year in a 70-63 win against the Bears.
That 2012 game set the tone for the worst defensive season in school history. This game at least made WVU wonder what was real.
"The reality is we just came out and laid an egg," said safety Darwin Cook, who had an interception and scored a touchdown off teammate Travis Bell's interception and lateral in the fourth quarter. "I didn't think we were too high on ourselves. There was nothing like that in the way we practiced and the way we prepared. There wasn't a hangover from the Oklahoma State game."