EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of articles by Jim Butta, a veteran sports writer for The Parkersburg News and Sentinel, who has served as the newspapers' beat writer for the Mountaineers.
The analysis is a compilation of research done on each opponent West Virginia will face during the 2012 season.
Much of the information comes from the team's spring prospectus as well as stories written about the program during, and after its spring drills.
Griffin, the second overall pick in the NFL draft, will not be leading the Baylor offense when it makes its initial appearance at Milan Puskar Stadium, but that doesn't mean that the Bears will come to Morgantown without a few claws.
This could very well be the first of many shootouts this season as the old gold and blue enter uncharted territory.
Offense: The player that will be in the spotlight most for fifth year head coach Art Briles will be senior quarterback Nick Florence.
As a true freshman he started seven of the Bears' last nine games and threw for 1,786 yards and six touchdowns. Obviously, those numbers pale in comparison to those put up by Griffin, but it means the Bears won't come to Morgantown completely inept on the offensive side of the football.
More importantly, Florence will have three of the top four pass catchers from a year ago Terrance Williams (59-957, 11 TDs), Tevin Reese (51-877, 7 TDs), and Lanear Sampson (42-572, 3 TDs).
The rushing attack may still be a work-in-progress in late September as only Jarred Salubi (58-331, 3 TDs) returns. Terrance Ganaway led the Bears with 1,547 yards and 21 touchdowns on 250 carries while Griffin was second on the team with 699 yards and 10 scores on 179 attempts.
Defense: Eight starters return, but those do not include leading tackler Elliot Coffey or sack leaders Tracy Robertson and Nicolas Jean-Baptista.
What does return includes strong safety Sam Holl, who finished second in tackles with 113 a year ago, as well as junior cornerback K.J. Morton, who led the team with four interceptions.
Up front the Bears will return ends Terrance Lloyd and Gary Mason while junior Ahmad Dixon is the lone returnee at linebacker. The secondary, however, is loaded with the return of Morton, Holl, junior cornerback Joe Williams and senior free safety Mike Hicks.
Specialists: Anthony Jones returns after making good on six of his last seven field goal attempts, including a 42-yarder in the win over Washington. Also back is Spencer Roth, who averaged 40.5 yards per punt in 2011 as well as a bunch of their critical cover guys.
The list of returnees even includes long snappers Zach Northern and Marcus Santa Cruz.
Outlook: The first thing Mountaineer fans need to understand is that there will be no "weak sisters" in the Big 12. Even a Baylor team minus its Heisman Trophy quarterback RGIII will be a test for WVU's defense.
It won't get any easier for the offense as well as the Bears' defense appears to be solid.
Saying all of that, however, the experts have picked Baylor to finish in the bottom half of the league's standings and teams have found, over the most recent years, that Mountaineer Field is not the easiest venue in which to play.
Geno Smith and the offense is for real and will present a stern test for any defense whether it wears the patch of the Big East or Big 12.
This game could be a wild one as the Bears' offense won't be without weapons while WVU's defense will still be learning its new scheme under coordinators Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson.
Series: First ever meeting.