CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

West Virginia, Baylor put on a 70-63 show

Offensive numbers are staggering as Mountaineers' Geno Smith moves ahead in the Heisman race by passing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Milan Puskar Stadium scoreboard has been condemned until electricians can repair all the short circuits, while three volunteers working Saturday's press box have already filed for stat-man's compensation.

West Virginia's 70-63 victory over Baylor in Morgantown, W. Va., did not just improve one school's record to 4-0 as it dropped the other school's record to 3-1.

It was not merely No. 9 West Virginia's first game as a Big 12 Conference member or the best visual effects programming on FX preceding a later showing of "Spider-Man 3."

West Virginia's victory over Baylor passed "Honey, you have to see this" in the second quarter on its way to "You have got to be kidding me."

One copy of the final game book should be sent to the Smithsonian, with another shipped to Morgantown CSI.

The offensive coordinators will look at it as a work of art to be studied like a Manet or Monet. The defensive coordinators will see it as autopsy report leading to an episode of "Forensic Files."

What do you call something that ends with 133 points and 1,507 yards?

Do you dare call it football?

If it reminded you of an old Western Athletic Conference game, well, the total yardage fell short of the 1,640 yards piled up 11 years ago by San Jose State and Nevada. West Virginia-Baylor fell three points short of the major college regulation points record set in Navy's 74-62 win over North Texas in 2007.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, already the Heisman Trophy front-runner, put in his tuxedo order after throwing for 656 yards and eight touchdowns without an interception.

Sixteen of the game's 19 scoring drives were less than three minutes. The 74 combined completions, 98 attempts and 13 touchdown passes were all stadium records.

West Virginia's basketball team reached 70 points only 14 times last year while Saturday's game outscored all of last year's Final Four games.

"Not every Big 12 game is like this," West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen said after the game, "and not every game is going to be like this."

Gee, why not?

The Southeastern Conference's rinse-and-spin cycle machine quickly went to work as CBS' Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson digested the final score during the real football game (Tennessee at Georgia) they were covering.

Verne: "Sounds like Arena ball." Gary: "Exactly."

Tennessee and Georgia then combined to score 60 first-half points on their way to Arena Ball 2.

But maybe these leatherheads were on to something. While it is true Arkansas and Kentucky once played to a 71-63 final, that SEC "instant classic" required seven overtimes and six extra tanks of Gatorade.

Until Saturday, last year's Alamo Bowl was considered the pinball game of the century. Led by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, Baylor outlasted Washington, 67-56. After the game, Washington fired its entire defensive staff.

That game, a relative snoozer, produced only 123 points and 1,397 total yards.

 

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