Holgorsen, West Virginia, right at home in Big 12

Associated Press + More

By KURT VOIGT, Associated Press

After a Saturday in which three quarterbacks passed for at least 550 yards and five touchdowns, let's scan the stats for a pick six of airborne feats.

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PERFECT FIT

West Virginia's move from the Big East to the wild west of the Big 12 Conference might have seemed like an odd move at first.

Coach Dana Holgorsen and the No. 8 Mountaineers, however, have proved they are right at home in the land of some of the top offenses in the nation.

After Saturday's shootout between West Virginia and Baylor — a game that featured 1,507 yards of offense, 133 points and 19 touchdowns — the Big 12 is home to the top three offenses in the country.

Surprisingly, after quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 70-63 win, Holgorsen and West Virginia are only third on that list with an average of 598.5 yards per game. The Bears are narrowly ahead in second, averaging 601.5 yards per contest, but it's Oklahoma State that tops the nation with an eye-popping 659 yards per game — despite a gut-wrenching 41-36 loss to Texas on Saturday.

Welcome home, indeed.

And for your viewing purposes, West Virginia visits Stillwater, Okla., on Nov. 10.

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PASSING FANCY: Smith and Baylor counterpart Nick Florence stole the show during a wild offensive weekend across the Top 25. The two quarterbacks combined for 1,237 yards passing in their back-and-forth game, finishing 1-2 in the nation in the category for the weekend.

Smith's 656 yards led the way, while Florence was no slouch with 581 yards through the air.

The Baylor quarterback's performance was the only one of the top six in the country that came in a losing effort this weekend. Miami's Stephen Morris (566 yards), Fresno State's Derek Carr (536), Miami of Ohio's Zac Dysert (516) and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel (453) each led their teams to wins.

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GROUND CONTROL: For all of the offense in the Big 12, the conference is also home to the top two pass defenses in the country.

Undefeated Texas Tech leads the nation, allowing only 82 yards through the air per game after giving up only 73 in a 24-13 win over Iowa State, while No. 17 Oklahoma is second — averaging 123.7 yards passing per game.

The stingy Red Raiders (4-0) host high-flying West Virginia in two weeks.

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PICK SIX: Offenses aren't the only ones having fun through the air this season.

Fresno State's Phillip Thomas had a pair of interceptions Saturday in the Bulldogs' 52-40 win over San Diego State. The senior now leads the nation with five interceptions this season, including a pair returned for touchdowns.

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INTERCEPTED HOPES: Michigan was off this weekend following its 13-6 loss to No. 9 Notre Dame.

Even with the bye week, the Wolverines are tied for worst in the country in interceptions — having thrown 10 in four games. They are tied with Idaho for 119th in the nation.

Starting quarterback Denard Robinson has thrown eight of the interceptions for Michigan, which is at Purdue next week.

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EXTRA POINTS: Tennessee, which lost 51-44 to No. 5 Georgia on Saturday, leads the Southeastern Conference in passing with 329.2 yards per game ... Undefeated Oregon State is fourth in the country, averaging 362.7 yards after a 38-35 win over Arizona ... A pair of Beavers' receivers, Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton, are fifth and sixth nationally in receiving yardage per game — combining for 269 yards per game. ... Marshall's Rakeem Cato is third nationally with 384 yards passing per game ... Overall, Big 12 teams lead all conferences with an average of 41 points per game ... The Atlantic Coast Conference is second with 33.9, while SEC teams are averaging 33.2 points per game.

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