- David Ubben, College Football
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It's not every day a quarterback throws for five touchdowns and 581 yards and loses.
Baylor's Nick Florence had the displeasure of experiencing just that last Saturday, though, when West Virginia's Geno Smith outgunned him for 656 yards and eight touchdowns of his own in a 70-63 Mountaineers victory in Morgantown, W.Va.
Florence took some time this week to chat with ESPN.com.
When you go back and look at Saturday's game, how would you assess your play?
Nick Florence: I feel like I didn't do enough. Obviously, I played good, but I had the interception at the beginning of the game and I missed a few balls that, if I throw them on the money and they're completions, then they extend drives and you could put more points on the board. It wasn't by far my best game. Played decent, but not well enough to win. Ultimately, that's what matters.
Had you ever thrown for that many yards at any level coming up through high school or junior high or any time?
NF: No, I don't think so.
What's it like to play in a game where there's that much offense?
NF: It's fun, one. Two, on the sideline as an offense we're just talking to each other. Our mentality and focus was, "Hey, let's control what we can control in this game," and that's us putting points on the board. When the defense is on the field, we can't control what's going on, so for us, that was our mentality. Our goal was to go out every drive and put points on the board. Ultimately, we came up one or two drives short.
When you see that many points on the board and have that kind of pressure where an opposing offense is scoring so much, does it feel different than most other games?
NF: You just know you have to put points on the board. When the other team's offense is putting points up, you know you can't make a mistake. You can say there's pressure, but it's just another game and you know you've got to get in the end zone every time and it's kind of gonna be a shootout. I guess there's pressure with that, but there's pressure in every game. It's different, depending on what the game situation is. When you're seeing the other offense do it, you've got to do it.
What do you say to the defense on the sidelines in a game like that?
NF: You've just got to keep encouraging them and telling them to keep their heads up. They get their head down and feel defeated, then they are. Ultimately, you've just got to be, "Hey, we've got your back. We're going to keep you in this. We're going to keep fighting until the end." That's what I loved. Our team never quit. You could have quit pretty easy in that third quarter, but we didn't. We kept fighting and we got back and made it a ballgame there late. Ultimately, it just wasn't a good day for them. You've got to clear it and you've got to move on and go work hard this week and next week and get ready for the next game. That's the beautiful thing about it is, "Hey, it's over. Let's clear it. We've got another shot."
Your guys' game has sort of ignited a debate this week. When you look at a game and there's 133 points scored, do you think games with that much offense are good or bad for the game of football?
NF: I think it's fun. It's fun to watch. It goes to show that there's good offensive schemes going on. You've got good coaches on both sides of the ball and both teams understand the game and schematically what's going on. It's fun to watch. I think a 133-point game is a lot more fun to watch than a 6-0 ballgame, in my opinion. But, I'm an offensive guy, so ... (laughs).
You guys were sort of the guinea pigs, being the first Big 12 team to go to Morgantown. How would you describe the game environment at West Virginia?
NF: I thought the environment was great. They have great fans. They were loud. They came out ready. The stripes thing was cool. They're generally pretty hospitable people. So, I thought it was a great atmosphere. You couldn't ask for better football weather last Saturday. I think it was like in the 60s and sunny. It was a fun place to go. I enjoyed it. It was a great place to play, but unfortunately, we didn't come out with the W. You clear it and you move on.
What would you compare it to in the Big 12?
NF: I think as far as the amount of people and stuff, it's a lot like Oklahoma State. It's not a super big stadium, but fans come in and fill it and they're loud. I think it's similar to Oklahoma State. I think it was similar to Missouri, too. Obviously, they're not in the Big 12 anymore, but that could have been just because of the gold everywhere and me remembering playing up there three years ago.
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