When a play breaks down, it often results in a bad situation for the offending team.
Bailey (3) has a knack for making the big play.
That is not the case at West Virginia, however.
And the Mountaineers are going to need as many breaks as they can get Saturday night when they travel to Texas for their first Big XII road game.
As for a play looking like it was breaking down, only to result in something big: In the Mountaineers’ 70-63 win over Baylor last Saturday, the game-winning touchdown was scored on a play that looked like it had been snuffed out.
With about six minutes remaining, it looked like a second-and-12 play was over.
At least far as Bailey was concerned, and he slowed down as he approached the end zone, flanked by a pair of Baylor defenders.
“I just gave up on the play,” Bailey admitted. “I had them beat in the beginning but I saw Geno going to his right a little bit. I kind of felt, ‘OK, I guess I’m out of the read now.’ So I slowed down.”
Smith was being pressured. But being a smart, experienced quarterback, he saw the field and Bailey was never out of the read.
“That’s kind of part of our offense,” Smith said. “I go through my reads. I’m a pocket passer. If the pockets good I’m going to stay back there and wait till the guy gets open.”
Bailey, soon after he slowed, took off like he was shot out of a cannon.
“I went through my 1,2,3 reads,” Smith said. “And Stedman was the first. And he got open. So I delivered him the ball.”
“Next thing I knew, he fires it out,” Bailey said. “Those guys had slowed down too. It worked out pretty good.”
It sure did. It was Bailey’s fifth touchdown reception of the game. It was Smith’s eight touchdown pass of the game.
There is no blueprint for stopping the West Virginia offense. Maryland came closest, by keeping possession of the football on offense and getting some pressure on Smith defensively.
Expect Texas to do much the same.
“They do a great job of taking care of the ball,” coach Dana Holgorsen said. “They do a great job of staying ahead of the chains. They are in the top five as far as third-down production. They have running backs in the backfield that are very athletic. Defensively, they are tremendous against the pass. They also have great pass rushers and tremendous speed in the secondary.”
It should be a classic Top 10 duel.