After watching the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Baylor Bears combine for 1,506 total yards of offense and 133 combined points, college football fans immediately took to the internet to debate whether or not it was a good brand of football.
Some defined the game as an incredible offensive display while others screamed that it was a defensive embarrassment.
I don’t think it needs to be said that both of these Big 12 teams are incredible on the offensive side of the ball.
West Virginia amassed 808 total yards while Heisman hopeful Geno Smith completed 45 out of 51 passes for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns, all three of which are new school records.
The Bears’ offensive numbers are nearly as impressive, racking up 698 total yards with Baylor QB Nick Florence passing for 582 yards and 5 touchdowns of his own.
There is no doubt whatsoever that these two teams put on one of the most explosive offenses showcases in recent memory.
But let’s flip the switch.
The Mountaineers’ defense gave up 63 points and 700 yards of offense while the Bears’ defense surrendered 70 points and 800 yards. From a defensive standpoint that is flat-out horrible. Terrible. Abysmal.
This game begs the question: Is it better to have an incredible offense and no defense or a solid offense and a solid defense.
It depends on ones preferences I suppose.
That said, if either of these teams hope to fight for the Big 12 title this season, they have to figure out a way to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
With Baylor down a touchdown with a little over two minutes left on the clock, it’s no coincidence that the Mountaineers sealed the victory with the biggest defensive play of the day—an absolutely beautiful interception.
Yes, a team must be able to make plays on defense if it hopes to win big games.
Line a team with a spectacular offense yet no defense up against a team that has even a decent defense and a solid running game, and I will take the team with the solid running game and decent defense almost every time. If a team can control the clock with a strong running game, thereby keeping the ball out of the other teams’ hands, and make just a few defensive stops, that team will usually be the one that remains standing in the end.
You’ve no doubt heard the adage: Good offenses win games; good defenses win championships.
There is absolute truth to that.
As fun as these offenses are to watch, in college football, it’s still all about the defense.