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Defense shines as Baylor survives West Virginia, moves to 8-0

The win was Matt Rhule's first over West Virginia since arriving at Baylor
Credit: Kurtis Quillin/KCEN
Tyquan Thornton (green) completes a 43-yard catch as No. 12 Baylor faces West Virginia at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas, on Oct. 31, 2019. The Bears beat West Virginia 17-14 to move to 8-0 on the year.

WACO, Texas — It wasn't pretty, but it was a win.

No. 12 Baylor beat West Virginia 17-14 at McLane Stadium in Waco on Thursday. The win is the program's first against WVU since 2015.

The Bear defense held the Mountaineers to 219 yards of total offense, just 62 in the first half.

"That's a special, special performance by our defense," Baylor coach Matt Rhule said after the game.

On offense, the Bears struggled. QB Charlie Brewer was sacked 7 times in the game, a season high. The only explosive play the Bears managed was the 43-yard reception to Tyquan Thornton to put the game on ice in the fourth quarter.

"We have to better in front of (Charlie)," Rhule said.

On special teams, the Bears had issues. Following Baylor's second touchdown, a 21-yard pass from Brewer to Denzel Mims, West Virginia returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to tie the game at 14.

Then, up 17-14, R.J. Sneed muffed a punt return deep in Baylor territory but West Virginia had to settle for a field goal attempt, which the Bears blocked.

Up next, Baylor (8-0 overall, 5-0 Big 12) head to TCU. The Horned Frogs are off an upset win over Texas and play at Oklahoma State on Saturday. That kickoff will be announced Sunday at either 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m.

West Virginia (3-5, 1-4) will host Texas Tech at 11 a.m. Central time on Nov. 9.