The high-powered offenses have scored back and forth, while defensive stops have been at a premium. Baylor got on the board first, as Jarred Salubi found his way into the end zone from a yard out to cap off a 5-play, 67-yard drive. West Virginia would answer back with a one-yard touchdown run of their own, courtesy of Andrew Buie, less than four minutes later. Glasco Martin ran for touchdowns on Baylor's next two scoring drives, while Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes – including a 47-yard bullet to Stedman Bailey – to answer for West Virginia.
Baylor would finally air it out for a touchdown after that, as Nick Florence found Tevin Reese for a 65-yard strike to give Baylor a 28-21 lead. Of course, not to be outdone, Smith and the Mountaineers scored less than a minute and a half later, when the Heisman favorite hit Bailey in the end zone again to knot the score at 28 apiece.
West Virginia got a key stop on Baylor's next possession, as its defense stymied the Bears at midfield, forcing them to punt. That opened the door for Smith and the Mountaineers to take a lead into the locker room, as Smith hooked up with Bailey for a third second-quarter score. It was Smith's 11th straight completion. Baylor, of course, would not just go into the half quietly, as Florence hit Lanear Sampson for a 67-yard touchdown pass as time expired.
The quarterbacks put on a show in the first half, with Smith a staggering 26-of-28 for 288 yards and four touchdowns in the half, while Florence completed 11-of-16 passes for 321 yards and two scores. He also threw an interception.