Recent Blogs Posts

  1. Who Added the Derivatives Rider to the Budget Bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by cinque View Post
    This is just the latest example of President Obama being far too beseeching of people who hate him. Boehner is not able to get the votes he needs to pass the budget/derivative bill, so he prevails upon the President to whip Democratic votes. Thankfully, Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin are having none of it. Somebody has to stand up for tax payers since the President is in bed with the Republicans.
  2. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. Oklahoma State - Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    With OSU playing with a quarterback that was starting his first career game, the Baylor defense held the Cowboys to 17 first downs and only 166 yards rushing. While Mason Rudolph only completed 13 passes, they went for an impressive 21.6 yards per completion average and yielded 2 touchdowns for OSU. The Bears did come up with 2 important interceptions against the rookie QB. OSU was forced to punt 8 times and had 8 3-and-outs on the evening. The defense accounted for 3 sacks that totaled 19-yards in losses. On the other hand, the Cowboys were 3 for 3 on scoring touchdowns inside the Baylor “red zone.” OSU had almost 400 yards (397) in total offense and had narrowed the score to a 14-point margin in the 4th quarter (prior to the Bears scoring their last touchdown to preserve the scoring margin at 21 points).

    Defensive Line

    Shawn Oakman (2) had (statistically) one of his finest games as a Baylor Bear. The huge right defensive end had 6 solo tackles, 2 sacks totaling 12-yards in losses (which also qualify as tackles for a loss), 1 forced fumble, and 1 quarterback hurry. For this effort, Shawn was named the Big XII Defensive Player of the Week. Shawn opened his evening with a very impressive stringing out of a short side run attempt by the Cowboys. We have seen Shawn struggle with these plays in the past. But on this play Oakman kept great leverage on the tackle and made a very physical tackle on the back right in front of the Cowboy bench. When it appeared that Rudolph might be able to run into the end zone prior to the half, it was Shawn Oakman that ran the QB down from behind, forcing a 3rd and goal play. While he didn’t get the first sack of the game, Shawn set it up by beating the left tackle on a speed move. Shawn went over the top of a ducking Cowboy QB, but pursuit took care of the sack. Shawn is still struggling with getting reached by the left tackle. OSU got good yardage on a jet toss to Washington around Oakman. With the margin separating the two teams narrowed to 14 points and with OSU in possession of the ball at their 22-yard line, the Cowboys tried to block Shawn with a fullback – bad mistake. Oakman swallowed up Rudolph for a 5-yard loss. On 4th and 17 and OSU’s final offensive play of the evening, Shawn Oakman got his other sack, forcing a fumble which was recovered by Teddy Johnson, who was tackled for a 7 yard loss.

    When the Cowboys tried to bring an H-back behind the offensive line to open him up on a waggle play, KJ Smith (56) did a great job of collisioning the receiver and causing Rudolph to throw the ball away. It was KJ Smith that pinched in from the outside and stop Childs for no gain on 1st and goal right before the half. When it appeared that the fleet Tyreek Hill might be able to break loose on a 4th quarter draw play, it was KJ Smith that retraced his steps and tackled the running back from behind as he was preparing to burst outside and down the field.

    Andrew Billings (75) continues to bust up opposing offensive linemen, totaling 3.0 tackles for a loss on the evening (for a total of 11.0 TFL on the season). These 3 tackles were part of a 5 tackle effort for the big sophomore defensive tackle. While Andrew didn’t get a sack on the evening, he did generate a lot of push in the middle of the pocket to keep the young quarterback from being able to really get his feet set. Andrew showed excellent agility in coming off of a slant to wide side of the field and getting flat down the line of scrimmage to tackle Roland (with help from the Baylor linebackers) for a minimal gain. Unwisely, the Cowboys tried to reach the center to the linebacker on 1st and goal at the 4-yard line. Andrew cleanly beat the backside guard’s attempt at a zone block and nailed the ball-carrier for a 2-yard loss. When it appeared that OSU might be able to wriggle off the hook of being pinned deep in their end of the field by a great Roth punt, it was Andrew Billings that just blew up the dive play to the fullback for a 2-yard loss on 3rd and 1. The power generated by Billings as he smashed through the Cowboy center was really impressive. Andrew got off on the snap of the ball before the center could even take a positive step and the big DT for the Bears creamed the fullback before the play even had a chance to get started. It was Andrew Billings that caused the holding to nullify the Glidden catch that would have given the Cowboys a 1st down in the Baylor end of the field (trailing by 14 points with 5:39 to play). Andrew drove the guard back and ran over him. This caused the guard to grab hold of the big DT, causing the penalty. With time running down toward a minute left, it was Andrew that split the A gap again to toss Tyreek Hill for a 7-yard loss.

    Like Andrew Billings, Beau Blackshear (95) was very tough on the guards from OSU. Beau bent the right guard backwards, released off of the block and made the tackle for a short gain on the opening play of the 2nd quarter. When the Cowboys tried to trap block Beau, he blew up the play by wrong-shouldering the block and this effort resulted in another tackle for a loss by Oakman and Bryce Hager (44).

    Javonte Magee (90) continues to be an active force in the interior of the Baylor defensive line. Javonte is extremely quick. He has a tendency to play a little high, which at his size can be a real negative. When Javonte keeps his pads down, he’s too quick to block on any play the offense tries to run outside of him. Byron Bonds (96) had some quality minutes, coming up with a good tackle on the last drive of the half.


    Taylor Young (11) continues to play very well at the Weak Linebacker position. Taylor is an excellent tackler that is very effective at sifting through traffic to make the play. He is very good at avoiding the blocks of the much bigger offensive linemen, while still maintaining the gap control and hole integrity. When Taylor got dinged up (you could tell that the smallish linebacker’s left shoulder is really hurting him), Aiavion Edwards (20) came into the game to replace him. Aiavion continues to play much too soft. He’s waiting on the ball carrier to get to him instead of playing downhill. Aiavion had been much better at playing downhill all spring and prior to his injury this fall. Since he’s come back, Aiavion has reverted to his more timid self. Aiavion had an opportunity to make a good play on a QB keep when Edwards had beaten the block of the wide receiver. Aiavion stopped his feet and reached for the tackle and Rudolph ran right through him for additional yardage. When Young came back in, Taylor chose the wrong gap on dive play that went for 7-yards down to the Baylor 6-yard line on the Cowboys’ last drive of the half. Taylor came up with a great stop on a jet toss by OSU on 3rd and 1. The fleet linebacker drilled Washington for no gain, forcing an OSU punt.

    Bryce Hager (44) had another quality game, with 7 tackles (one of which was a tackle for a loss) and 2 quarterback hurries. On the first decent run by the Cowboys (an 11-yard gain by Desmond Roland off a zone play with crossing action in the backfield), it appeared that both linebackers took the quarterback, leaving a void in the middle of the Baylor defense that the Cowboy was able to exploit despite the fact that the defensive line (led by Andrew Billings) had stacked up the Cowboy offensive line fairly effectively. Thankfully, this kind of confusion was the exception rather than the rule for the Baylor run defense. On the Cowboy’s first touchdown, Bryce over-scraped slightly and left a crease inside of the Baylor MLB. Bryce had outside help from Young, but the wide scrape made it possible for Roland to get into the end zone, allowing the Cowboys to take advantage of the turnover of the first Petty interception of the day. For the most part, the linebackers have become money-in-the-bank on scraping to the weak side to compliment the slant that the defensive line is making to the wide side of the field. Hager is very good at denying any cutback opportunity on most of these stunts.

    Collin Brence (38) had his first career interception in the 2nd quarter, which capped an excellent night for the former walk-on defender. Brence had 6 total tackles and 1 7-yard sack to add to his interception against the Cowboys. On 3rd and 7 against a tighter formation than OSU had usually used, Collin did a great job of reading the quarterback’s eyes and getting out underneath an out route into the boundary. Collin made a terrific interception on the pass, leaping high to bring it down. Collin had an opportunity like this earlier in the year, but this time the Plano-product was able to complete the catch. This play turned back and opportunity by the Cowboys to reduce the deficit to 21-14. Instead, this play set up another score for the Bears on the OSU 44-yard line. Collin got a great sack that was set up by a good speed rush by Oakman. Brence blitzed from the outside, beat the block by the back, and wrapped up Rudolph for a 7-yard loss. Playing inside because of a tight end formation, Brence was not able to scrape downhill effectively enough to stop a stretch play into the boundary from the Baylor 12-yard line. He’s got to be able to hold up when people force him to play inside.

    Either Brence or Hager was beaten badly on a bootleg to the right. Brence dropped in coverage and Hager rushed to contain the QB after Rudolph got outside of KJ Smith. One of those two guys should have had the back out into the flat. This play resulted in a relatively easy 15-yard gain for the Cowboys.

    Travon Blanchard (48) made a coverage error when he allowed Glidden to get inside for a 1st down on a 16-yard reception. On the next play, Travon lost outside contain when Tyreek Hill bounced outside of the NLB for a 15-yard gain and another first down.


    The Baylor secondary yielded a completion percentage that was just over 50%, but gave up too many big plays on those completions (21.6 yards per completion). The Bears got 2 very important interceptions, but the individual coverage skills of specific defenders must improve for the Bears to be able to play with the effective passing games that they will be facing in the next two games (and in any subsequent games the Bears might have).

    Tion Wright (3) had his first career start for the Bears, subbing for the injured Ryan Reid (9) at the wide-side cornerback position. On the evening, Tion had 2 tackles and a pass breakup. Tion appears to be a little slighter than Reid and this makes it a little more difficult for the juco-transfer to be as physical on run or quick pass support. Tion’s redirect ability is fairly impressive. He does a very good job of planting and breaking on the route of comebacks and stops. On Tion’s first real test of the evening, Wright held outside leverage (knowing he had some safety help inside) and perfectly broke on a curl-route, avoided contact with the receiver, and swatted away the ball at the point of the catch. A corner just can’t do it any better than that. Tion was called for defensive holding on a play where the QB had to throw the ball away. This lapse in coverage cost the Bears dearly on the last drive of the half, moving the ball all the way down to the Baylor 13-yard line with a 1st down. In the 4th quarter, Tion was beaten (not badly) by a post move. As the ball was coming down, Wright virtually mugged the receiver, drawing a several flags for pass interference. Ironically, Wright was not able to keep the catch from being made on the play. On OSU’s last-gasp drive, Tion was beaten on a 3rd and 11 play by Sheperd for 15 yards and a 1st down. While he might have been playing a little softer due to the 14-point margin, this kind of coverage is just too soft to have an opportunity to contest the pass.

    On the 2nd play from scrimmage, Xavien did an excellent job of reading his keys and getting extremely quick run support to account for another tackle for a loss for the Bears. This turned a 2nd and 4 into a 3rd and 5. It was Xavien that got lulled to sleep by the intermediate passing game of the Cowboys, contributing to his lackadaisical footwork that allowed Washington to eat up his cushion and run by the cornerback for a much too easy 68-yard touchdown pass. Xavien was clearly and cleanly beaten. Howard’s only hope that the offside safety might be able to help – it was not to be. Xavien was called for pass interference in the end zone on a fade route by the Cowboys at the Baylor 6-yard line. Xavien jammed the receiver, never letting go of the jam, and never playing the ball. He has to be smarter than that. Xavien was beaten up the rail on the drive that could have narrowed the lead to 7 points. Xavien had inside leverage and could have run stride for stride with the receiver. Instead, he overruns the point of the pass, gets out of position, and could have been called for pass interference on the play. I don’t know why the Baylor defensive backs are so bad at playing the ball in the air.

    Terrell Burt (13) had a tough day against the corner route. Several times the Cowboys were able to isolate the wide side safety just enough to be able to get the ball just beyond the coverage of Burt. This inability to cover the corner route was a major contributor to the Cowboys being able to generate a 20+ yard per catch average on the evening. One of the factors that probably contributed to Burt’s struggles is that he didn’t get enough help from the wide side corner dropping off of coverage to get under the arched throws of Rudolph. Some of these throws stayed in the air a long time. With a little over 4 minutes to go in the half, Terrell was beaten badly by David Glidden on a corner route. To compound the issue, Terrell made a half-hearted effort at a tackle on the sidelines and allowed the receiver to gain 14 extra yards (down to the Baylor 39-yard line) after the catch. On 3rd and goal with just seconds remaining on the clock at the end of the half, Terrell was beaten on another corner route by David Glidden to the corner of the end zone. Video didn’t show whether or not Glidden pushed off, but it did show that Burt was beaten quickly on the outside cut by Glidden. Burt was beaten again when Washington blew past him vertically. The ball slipped out of the freshman QB’s hands and landed harmlessly behind Burt. Had Terrell been in better position, he might have been able to pick up the “duck” and get an interception.

    After a loss on 1st down back to the 6-yard line, Orion Stewart (28) picked up a defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone on 2nd down (it was incorrectly reported by the back judge as a penalty on Burt – who wasn’t really involved in the play at all). This penalty was because Stewart kept the backside arm on the receiver while he reached in front of the receiver to swat the ball away. In the end zone, DBs don’t need to secure the backside of the receiver when they are going to the knock down. If they don’t get the knock down, the play will result in a touchdown anyway. Getting this penalty gave the Cowboys a first down at the 2-yard line instead of making it 3rd and 6. When Childs burst through the defensive forcing unit and appeared to be set to score, it was Orion that made another one of his touchdown-saving tackles at the Baylor 6-yard line. Orion Stewart made the play of the game when he jumped in front of a receiver dragging across the middle on a bootleg pass. This is classic safety responsibility, but the freshman quarterback from OSU never saw Orion. Stewart did a great job of stepping in front of the intended receiver and got a very good return to change field position positively in favor of the Bears. By the way, did you see the block by KJ Smith on Stewart’s 23 yard return?

    The fact that defenders are getting beaten consistently on vertical routes and that they have to resort to obvious interference to even have a chance at defending these vertical routes is a MAJOR concern for the Baylor defense as the end of the season challenges approach. Tech, Kansas State, and any possible future opponent after that will have quality receivers and QBs that can attack the Bears very effectively in these situations.


    The touchdown drive by the Cowboys at the end of the first half and the two 4th quarter scores by the Cowboys in the 4th quarter that narrowed the game to a 14-point margin have to worry Coach Bennett. Mistakes enabled an out-manned OSU football team to remain in this ball game too long.

    Leading 42-21, Coach Bennett chose to go to the 3-4 defense (probably expecting a passing attack in the 4th quarter) and the Cowboys proceeded to run the ball down the Bears’ throats. The 3-4 look has been highly vulnerable to the running game all year. This defensive scheme has to be shored up against the run to be viable as an option.
  3. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. Oklahoma State - Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    The Baylor Bears defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys at McLane Stadium in Waco, 49-28, on a rainy late November night in front of the 2nd-largest crowd in the short 5-game history of the stadium (47,179). The Bears won their 15th straight home game by starting fast and finishing strong – two hallmarks of a Coach Art Briles team. Scoring 20+ points in the 1st quarter for the 4th time out of 5 home games this season, the Bears pushed their home record since 2011 to an impressive 24-1. Over the last 27 games, the Bears have the second best winning percentage in FBS football (2nd to Florida State).


    The Baylor offense had another excellent night, despite the consistent and sometimes substantial precipitation that fell on the evening. The Bears racked up 29 first downs for 579 yards of total offense. The Bears had two running backs going over the 100-yard mark for the game while totaling 317 yards rushing on 58 attempts for an impressive 5.5 yards per carry average (Baylor is 17-1 since 2012 when attempting 50+ rushes in a game). The passing game accounted for 262 yards and 2 early touchdowns, despite the game conditions (and 2 uncharacteristic interceptions). The Baylor offense converted 7 or 14 3rd down opportunities and 2 of 2 on 4th down. This means that the offense was able to convert on 9 of their 14 conversion opportunities. The Baylor offense did have several 5-yard penalties for illegal snaps and false starts, but mostly avoided the more costly penalties like offensive holding or offensive pass interference. The Bears only had to punt 4 times, with Spencer Roth (36) averaging 47.5 yards per punt and a net of 48.0 yards per punt with 2 punts inside the 20-yard line, 20 punts of over 50 yards, and 1 punt that required a fair catch.

    In one of the most impressive drives the Bears have put together this season, Baylor went 19-plays from the Baylor 21-yard line after the Cowboys had narrowed the margin to 14-7. This drive took 7:13 off of the clock and in a 2-yard touchdown run.

    Offensive Line

    Spencer Drango (58) is very good on the “dart” play where he is asked to wrap around to the far side linebacker to lead the back through the hole. He is agile enough to make the last second adjustments this type of block requires and has the power to generate movement on this block at the point of attack. Often when you see Spencer wrapping around on the dart, you will see him touching the backs of his buddies as they drive block. This is an excellent technique to keep you on the “butt line” and to keep you ready to turn up at any point along the way where a linebacker might choose to attack. On the 19-play drive, Drango opened up a huge hole that resulted in a 17-yard gain for Johnny Jefferson (2). Spencer was very good at reach blocking the OSU DEs. He was just too quick for those guys most of the night. The Bears took advantage of this matchup and good drive blocking by the tight end several times on this evening. Spencer picked up a false start penalty when he anticipated the snap count as the Bears were trying to go quickly. Under the category of “above and beyond the call of duty,” Drango drove his defender 9 yards downfield to the OSU 1-yard line and then recovered the football when the running back fumbled on the play. This heads-up play made it possible for the Bears to go up 42-14 on the next play.

    Blake Muir (73) got a quality log block on the scraping linebacker that opened up a big gain for the running back on Baylor’s third series of the game. After an interception, on a “dart” play, Blake did a great job of getting a down block on the defensive tackle to open the way for his buddy right tackle to pull through to the linebacker and the running back to secure the first down.Muir and Drango have become very consistent in being able to sort out the stunts of their defenders and lock on to the optimal player for that play’s success.

    Kyle Fuller (55) is still not as secure and balanced on his drive blocks as you would like to see him. It appears that Kyle carries his hips a little high and has a base that is too narrow. This means that he falls off of blocks too easily and allows defenders to release and make plays when a quality blocking position would prevent that possibility. In addition, Kyle had trouble with hitching on his snap. This is usually caused by anticipating the snap count of the quarterback. What is happening is Kyle is slightly moving the ball just a tick prior to the quarterback calling the snap count. When that happens, the center tries to stop the snap. This is illegal. Fuller had three of these penalties. Kyle needs to just wait on the snap count, instead of trying to anticipate it. Kyle did a very good job of sifting out defenders on the “dart” play, finding his responsibility as the defense stunted. On a big 3rd quarter run, it was Kyle that blocked back on a slanting DT who tried to cross the center’s face. Kyle was able to drive the DT to where the defender wanted to go and the running back broke behind this heads-up block for 14 yards.

    Terrell Broxton (61) had another solid day at right guard, but he continues to struggle at moving his feet in pass protection. He must resist the urge to reach and get those feet moving. Reaching causes a blocker to get over-extended. As the game matured, it seemed that Terrell became much more consistent at drive blocking. Terrell got a real good block on Baylor’s 4th touchdown.

    Pat Colbert (69) came out of the game early in the contest and was administered to by the training staff on the sidelines. Colbert was able to come back in the game later. Tyler Edwards (62) came into the game for Pat. Tyler was beaten badly by an inside stunt by the OSU defensive end. This required the quarterback to scramble left away from this pressure. Tyler came off of a defender too quickly on a “dart” wrap, which allowed the Cowboy to make a tackle on the running back when it appeared there might be a quality hole on the play. Tyler generated very little movement on his drive blocks against the OSU defensive end. This cause plays designed outside of Tyler to be stretched too far instead of being able to find a quick corner. Tyler needs to get a bigger piece of his defender instead of blocking on the edges so much. Pat Colbert came back in at the end of the 19-play drive and immediately got better movement at the point of attack. I’d still like to see Pat maintain his block until the whistle blows. He has a tendency to release the block after 4-5 steps, which is usually long enough for Baylor’s running backs, but not always. As much as Tyler Edwards had struggled on his first series, when the versatile lineman (he can play center, guard, and tackle) came back in the 2nd quarter, Coach Montgomery had Edwards pulling on the “dart” and in two successive plays the Bears gashed the Cowboys behind Tyler’s block for a quick touchdown. A holding penalty (probably against Kyle Fuller – questionable call) negated the 2nd play of this pair. Pat did a good job of picking up an inside stunt by the defensive end, securing the outside so that Drango could wrap all the way around to the outside and pick up the linebacker scrape. This opened the way for Devin Chafin (28) to score from 7-yards out to push the score to 28-7. Pat’s pull technique showed a little bit of “Spencer Drango” as the game progressed. I really like the way he is picking his way around his buddies to find the unblocked defender on the “dart” play. On 3rd and 7 from the OSU 11-yard line, Baylor ran right behind an outstanding drive block by Pat for a touchdown making the score 35-14. Pat got called for a false start late in the 3rd quarter.


    Wow! 2 running backs over 100 yards and 6 ball carriers logging in at least 20 yards rushing means that the Baylor offensive line, tight end/H-backs, and receivers were doing something right. It, also, means that the Bears have some high-quality ball carriers.

    Shock Linwood (32) led the Bears in rushing with 21 carries for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Shock was very effective all night and showed tremendous agility and power. On 3rd and 14 at the OSU 17-yard line, the Bears caught the Cowboys playing with 5 in the box, defending pass. Petty gave the ball to Shock, despite the long yardage for a 1st down. Edwards badly missed a block on a stunting defensive end that appeared in the hole right after Shock got the ball. Linwood jumped cut and spun out of the tackle, outran the linebackers to an edge that had been created by Drango and powered through tacklers down to the OSU 6-yard line. This great effort by Shock set up a 4th down conversion and allowed the Bears to score a few plays later. At the opening of the 2nd half, it became quickly apparent that Coach Montgomery had decided to pound the Cowboys with Shock Linwood. Calling his number 5 times in a row, Montgomery was rewarded by Shock producing runs of 15, 8, 5, and 5 yards prior to “little LT” having to get a break. Shock did a great job of making decisive cuts and running behind his pads on each of these plays. On 3rd and 4 at the OSU 18-yard line, the Bears gave it to Shock off of left end. Immediately there were two unblocked Cowboys at the point of attack. Shock gave these guys a shoulder shake and outran the defenders for 7-yard gain and a first down – very impressive run. Shock scored easily from 11 yards out behind an outstanding drive block by Pat Colbert. This touchdown by Linwood made the score 35-14.

    Devin Chafin continues to be an excellent downhill runner. He is a bruiser that possesses the ability to run around and by defenders, too. Devin carried the ball 21 times for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns – 3 TOUCHDOWNS. Early in the game, the Bears unveiled a new wrinkle in their passing attack when Devin came out of the backfield to receive a check-down-route for a 13-yard gain on 3rd and 8 backed up on the Baylor 22-yard line. After the Bears had given up the too quick touchdown to narrow the margin to 42-21, Coach Montgomery tried this play again on 3rd and 12. It appeared to be available for significant yardage, but the ball was thrown behind Devin. This type of play will do a lot to keep opposing linebackers honest on their drops. Chafin excels at hitting edges on defenders, forcing them to make angle tackles on his big frame. While Devin might end up with a few bruises, it is the defenders that take the majority of that punishment. On a 2nd and 6 run with just a little time left in the 3rd quarter, Devin just ran through a safety that had a clear shot at the running back in the Baylor backfield. Having defeated that tackle, Devin proceeded to peel off a 10-yard gain on the play. To his credit, Jordan Sterns (the safety in question) made a great tackle on an identical play the very next play – Montgomery did more back-to-back plays than we’ve seen in the past in this game.

    Bryce Petty (14) came out (while the ball and the game conditions were relatively dry) VERY hot. On the second offensive play of the game, Bryce threw a perfect strike to Jay Lee (4) for a 65-yard touchdown against the Cowboy’s best coverage corner. On the fifth play from scrimmage, Bryce hooked up with Corey Coleman (1) for a 54-yard touchdown, moving the score to 14-0. Petty put this ball just over the outside shoulder of Corey (the perfect position) even though an unblocked defender (a delayed blitz by the wideside linebacker) was about to plant his helmet into the Bryce’s chest. This is the kind of play that quality quarterbacks make. Just prior to this play, Bryce perfectly executed a run/pass read off of the weakside safety that had come up into an invert position, hitting Antwan Goodley (5) in-stride for a 26 yard completion. Continuing his “wild high” tendency early in the game, Bryce threw high to KD Cannon (9) on a sideline wheel comeback read where it looked like the freshman receiver was open for a quality gain. Bryce continues to show improved pocket-presence and mobility. He is getting back his ability to move economically in the pocket, a skill that he worked on in the off-season, but lost due to the early season back injury. This ability served him very well when he avoided an inside rush by the OSU DE that Spencer Drango was successfully washing by the QB. On this play, Bryce looked at the short side receivers and finally came to Corey Coleman for a completion in-between zones on the wide side of the field. Later, Petty threw a strike to Coleman as the quarterback scrambled to his left. This requires a huge shoulder turn to get the ball on target. Bryce executed this flawlessly. Bryce’s first interception of the game (first time for 2 interceptions in any contest) came when he threw short and inside of a stop route to the wide side of the field. Both of these are big “no-no’s” on stop routes. The optimal throw is to carry the ball through the outside shoulder of the receiver. In addition, this interception came on 1st down – only the 2nd interception Bryce has thrown that was not on 3rd down. This interception gave the Cowboys excellent field position on the Baylor 43-yard line. The 2nd interception was a poor throw by Bryce. KD Cannon had beaten the safety inside and had all of the left half of field to utilize to catch the pass. Instead, Bryce threw the ball vertically over KD’s head (something you might do if you thought the defender was going to undercut the route). This made it possible for the beaten defender to get the ball and making it impossible for KD to even defend the pass interception. Bryce missed Corey Coleman on what might have been a touchdown when Petty threw behind Coleman again on a quick slant route. This time the ball fell incomplete. On 3rd and 5 at the Baylor 35-yard line, Bryce missed an obvious “keep” read on the zone read that would have picked up the first down. The receivers to that side had their defenders pinned and there was no one on the backside of the zone that could have made the play on Bryce. Instead, the next play was punt because the backside end ran down the ball carrier for a 2-yard loss. On a play that was certainly redemption for that earlier play, Bryce Petty executed the read scheme play to perfection, following blocks by TreVon Armstead and Spencer Drango for a 21 yard touchdown to salt the game away at 49-28. This touchdown was reminiscent of the play in last year’s OSU game where Bryce fell at the 1-yard line – NOT THIS TIME! On the evening, Bryce threw 29 passes, completing 18 of them for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He carried the ball 5 times for 24 yards and 1 touchdown.


    Corey Coleman (1) had 3 receptions for 75 yards, including a 54 yard touchdown on Baylor’s second possession. Corey, also, had 3 rushing attempts for 24 yards. Corey has to do a better job of becoming a defensive back when his quarterback makes an errant throw. On the first Bryce Petty interception of the game (that’s a foreign expression to Baylor fans because Bryce has never had two interceptions in any game), you would have liked Corey to come back to the ball harder and then swatted away the ball from the defender, saving possession of the ball.

    Antwan Goodley (5) had 2 receptions for 24 yards. In addition, Antwan carried the ball 3 times for 26 yards. Antwan did a very good job of setting up the corner on his first catch of the day. Antwan widened his route stem and quickly burst inside creating tons of room for the catch. Antwan continues to have trouble quickly securing some of his in-breaking catches. On a slip screen, Antwan double-caught the ball which gave the Cowboys enough time to break on the throw and toss the receiver for a loss.

    By keeping 5 wide receivers in the game, Baylor can force the defense to adjust with nickel personnel or keep speed pass rushers in the game. Because Antwan Goodley and Corey Coleman are able to be used as running backs, this gives the Baylor offense additional weapons without changing from a 5-wideout package. On a drive late in the 3rd quarter, Coach Montgomery featured both Antwan and Corey heavily as the Baylor offensive line continued to gash the Cowboy defense without substituting from their 5-widout personnel group.

    The receivers have gotten into the bad habit of not taking their first available vertical window after that catch. This causes plays to not be able to maximize the possible yardage. Jerry Rice was known for being able to get quality yards after the catch because he almost always utilized this strategy. The Baylor receivers need to get back to basics after they catch a ball.

    Levi Norwood (42) is very reliable at doing this. On 3rd and 8, Levi ran a stop route beyond the line to gain and sat down in between defenders to rack up a 1st down for the Bears. Levi did this again on 3rd and 7 in the 2nd quarter. Levi did it again on a 2nd and 11 out of a trips bunch to the short side. As soon as he caught the ball, Levi turned upfield and secured the first down. Levi ended the evening as the Bears’ leading receiver with 5 receptions for 43 yards.

    KD Cannon (9) did a good job of this on a bubble screen on the 19-play drive, too. Later, on a stop route between defenders, KD stood up instead of lowering his shoulder and was driven back by the defenders. In high school, he might have been able to make a move and beat that defender, not so much in college. It was KD Cannon that took a bubble screen from Petty (with 5:02 left in the game) and quickly got upfield for a 13-yard reception and a 1st down on the first play after the Stewart interception. KD caught 3 passes for 30 yards.

    Gus Penning (15) continues to get more and more quality playing time as the season has progressed. Gus did a very good job of caving down the OSU DE on Shock Linwood’s first quality carry of the evening. Later, Gus did a very good job of creating movement on a stretch play by Johnny Jefferson. Penning drove his man 8-10 yards downfield on that play. Penning dropped his head on a cut block attempt on the short side stretch in the 2nd quarter. Despite this miss, the Bears made a quality gain on the play due to the terrific block by Spencer Drango. Penning made a great pickup on the opening play of the 2nd half when he came off of an expected block on the defensive end (that slanted inside Colbert) to work vertically to pick up the scraping linebacker and free up Linwood for a 15-yard gain. Penning wasn’t quite as effective as Montgomery repeated the previous play, but Linwood still gained 8 yards.

    While Penning is emerging, it seems that TreVon Armstead (41) is still struggling with consistency. On the down conversion for a first down at the OSU 6-yard line (the 19-play drive), TreVon was badly beaten by an inside stunt by the defensive end on his kickout block and should have been called for a holding penalty. TreVon needs to run the “butt line” better and maintain inside-out leverage on this block. Despite this penetration, the Chafin converted the play for a 1st down. To be fair to TreVon, the final play of the 19-play drive for a touchdown was behind TreVon (lined up as a tackle with Drango to the right in the normal tight end position – tackle over formation). TreVon got off the ball very well and denied penetration, sealed the edge and Chafin walked into the end zone.

    True freshman Jordan Feuerbacher (85) was called for anticipating the count at the OSU 3-yard line. A false start like this in this field position can cost the Bears a touchdown opportunity sometimes.


    Chris Callahan’s (40) streak of 12 straight field goals was snapped when he slightly pulled a 34-yard attempt in the 2nd quarter. Pressure created by the OSU defensive tackle beating Jason Osei (76) inside the A gap might have contributed to this miss. Osei seemed to be beaten by this DT often on the extra points, too.
  4. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. Oklahoma - Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    Overall, the defense played an outstanding game. The Bears only surrendered 13 first downs and 319 total yards of offense to a Sooner unit that has been very effective this fall. The Bears were able to get consistent pressure on the Sooner quarterback, utilizing largely a four-man rush. This enables the Baylor pass coverage to get much stronger and reduces the need for as many one-on-one coverage opportunities as we have seen in previous games.

    One factor that is slightly concerning is that quite often on the afternoon there was only one Baylor defender that had a legitimate opportunity to make the play. On a positive note, that one Bear almost always made the play. But the Sooner game plan to isolate defenders to see if they could make that play was very effective. The Bears were just better than the skill players for OU on most of the one-on-one matchups that occurred.

    Defensive Line

    Andrew Billings (75), the true sophomore from Waco High, abused the Oklahoma guards and center all afternoon. On the second play from scrimmage, Andrew drove his considerable strength into the center (who was trying to zone off of the NT to the linebacker) and pushed the Sooner back into the backfield. Andrew pressed the center off of him and reached out with one big hand, grabbing the OU running back as he attempted to run by. Billings pulled the Sooner running back, Perine (who is considered to be a very good freshman big back), down for a minimal gain.

    While not quite as productive as his defensive tackle running mate, Beau Blackshear (95) had a very good afternoon. Blackshear got the initial quarterback hurry of the game when he came off a twist stunt with Billings, pushed the Sooner blocker back into the backfield, and beat the left guard vertically to flush Knight from the pocket, resulting in a gain that was short of the line to gain for a first down. In the 2nd quarter, OU tried a QB draw that Beau blew up before it got started. Beau drove inside and through the block of the guard and just swallowed up Knight for a loss on the play. An added benefit of this good defensive play was that it placed OU into a 2nd and 18 from their 29-yard line. Given this down and distance, Heupel (OU offensive coordinator) chose to try for a throw in the deep intermediate range. This proved to be a mistake of epic proportions. Beau got driven out of the hole on a down block that created a huge hole in the Baylor defense to provide Ford with the biggest gain of the first half for a Sooner running back. To be fair, the Will Linebacker was unblocked and didn’t read the play correctly. This resulted in too much running room for the back. After the Bears’ opening touchdown of the 2nd half, the Sooners appeared to have a pretty good drive going. Facing a 3rd and 1, the Sooners ran up the middle. Beau pinched in from his outside alignment over the guard and smashed the defenseless ball carrier for a 2-yard loss, forcing an Oklahoma punt. This pinching move totally surprised the OU guard, who anticipated being able to reach block the DT and stretch him out of the play.

    Shawn had a difficult time recognizing the waggle play (where the Sooners would show quick flow away from the Baylor defensive end and use an H back to secure the big DE from the outside). You’d like for Shawn to be able to recognize that the reason the H back isn’t blocking him isn’t because that player is bad. He’s trying allow Shawn to take the bait and squeeze on the fake enough where the DE can’t contain the quarterback. Because the Sooners were very effective at this tactic early in the game, Knight was able to break contain and get great looks downfield against the Baylor secondary. On the Sooner’s second touchdown, Shawn came unblocked off of the right side. As Knight was releasing the ball, Shawn didn’t get his hands up. Had the 6’9” DE raised his hands, the Sooner QB probably would have been eating the football. I understand not jumping up, Knight would have gone right around the DE. But Shawn should have raised his hands. Shawn continues to struggle against tight ends. It seems as though he stands up and tries to play off the block. This only gets the big DE on “roller skates” and creates a soft corner for the running game. This occurred when Alex Ross scooted down the Baylor sidelines for the biggest OU run of the day. One of the best things that Shawn is doing right now is redirecting toward the football once the ball crosses the line of scrimmage. Several times in the game, Shawn ran ball carriers down from behind for short gains after it appeared they might have clear sailing. This kind of hustle is huge in building defensive success. In addition, when Shawn arrives…he crushes people.

    KJ Smith (56) seemed improved in his bid to replace Jamal Palmer at the left defensive end. KJ did a good job of redirecting on Knight’s first scramble attempt. Smith was able to come from the wide side of the field to run down the Sooner quarterback and get the first hit (ahead of the Baylor inside linebackers), stopping Knight short of a first down.


    The Baylor inside linebackers, Bryce Hager (44) and Taylor Young (11) are a very quick reacting duo. These guys are very fast at coming off of coverage responsibilities and redirecting back to quarterback scrambles. They are VERY quick when asked to run from the middle of the field to the sidelines. Both of these guys are quality tacklers that do a great job of utilizing leverage and keeping their feet alive. There were several times in the game where Perine might have been off-to-the-races except for a tackle by one of the inside linebackers – usually Young. On the first effective drive by the Sooners, Young played off a block by the Sooner center to just trip up Perine as he appeared to be headed to the end zone. This type of play gives the defense another opportunity to defend rather than be lining up for an extra point attempt. Young totally misread a Keith Ford dive play and was late to fill the hole. This resulted in the biggest running back gain of the first half for the Sooners. To Young’s credit, he came back on the very next play (the Sooners ran the same play back-to-back) to make the tackle for a very short gain. Young learned very quickly. In one of the oddities that occur in football, Taylor diagnosed two plays in a row only to have big #79 (Williams) block him in the back to erase him from the play. Fortunately, the officials called the second one a hold, bringing back what might have been a first down. Taylor had 7 tackles on the afternoon.

    Bryce Hager (44) had 10 tackles (one for a 2-yard loss) and an interception on the day. Bryce(after a slightly shaky start) was very effective at spying Knight on his zone reads. Despite the speed and quickness advantage enjoyed by Knight, Bryce was very good at maintaining his leverage on these open-field tackling situations and holding the OU QB to little or no gain (after the first few times in these situations). Bryce made the defensive play of the game with the Sooners facing a 2nd and 18 from their 29-yard line. Knight tried to work a layered route across the middle (a shallow cross and a deeper square-in. Bryce played between these two routes, read the eyes of the QB, and stepped in front of the square-in for the interception. Knight hit him right between the numbers. Hager made a terrific return on this interception, probably scoring, but was ruled down on the 1-yard line. The play set up Baylor in prime position to push in front of the Sooners 17-14. The Bears never looked back. After some missteps early in the game, Bryce only had one play where Knight was able to cut back in the open field to beat the pursuit of Hager, who had QB responsibility. Fortunately, Taylor Young was right behind the MLB to make the play. On the second goal line stand the Bears had to survive, Bryce probably made the most significant play when an isolation block drilled the playside linebacker and it appeared that Ross would easily score. Hager (coming from the backside) ran across the formation and made the tackle at the 2-yard line. On a swing pass to the short side late in the 3rd quarter, Bryce appeared to get dinged up. Here’s hoping that the open week gave the bell cow of the defense enough time to recover. Grant Campbell (5) came in for the Bears’ senior leader and demonstrated excellent coverage skills when he almost came up with a terrific interception on a deep square-in. Grant benefitted from an safety blitz when Campbell pursued the quarterback and picked up a sack for a 15-yard loss with a little help from Taylor Young and Shawn Oakman. Oakman’s help probably contributed to Knight having to be taken off the field.

    Early in the game, Coach Bennett was bringing Taylor Young off the short side a lot. OU had a very good plan for attacking this look. They would run the zone/read off of him, with Trevor Knight keeping the ball or they would wheel the linebacker with their gigantic tackle and run underneath him (the defensive end was stunting inside with Young’s stunt from the outside). The guard would set and allow the DE to cross his face and then push the defender inside, while working up to block the scraping MLB. There were several situations like this (Howard came off of the short side with a slant to the wide side) utilizing other personnel, but when Young was the scrape linebacker instead of the blitzer the smallish linebacker always seemed to come up with the play. Aiavion Edwards (20) got some playing time, but it appeared he wasn’t quite ready for the pace of the game. Aiavion played much too soft and didn’t play downhill effectively.

    Collin Brence (38) continues to do a very good job of playing the nickel linebacker (the Bearbacker) position. Brence is very solid at defending the bubble screen. He does his work early by getting outside of the blocks to contain the play and drive the receiver back to the inside-out pursuit. As a result of his work, these plays have not been very successful against the Bears. Brence did a great job of sinking with the inside receiver and then redirecting to the outside receiver on an attempted square-in. Brence got right in the throwing lane and almost came up with what would have been a spectacular interception on 3rd and 8, early in the game. Collin might have gotten away with a grab on a wheel route where the Sooners had successfully isolated the linebacker on an inside receiver. But like many things, when you do your work early (Brence got his grab in at the point where the receiver turned vertically), it keeps other things from becoming big problems. This grab resulted in an overthrown ball that might have been a Sooner touchdown. On the very next play, Collin bit hard on a stretch fake away from him and lost contain on a naked bootleg by Knight. This lapse in judgment resulted in a big gain for the Sooner quarterback. With the end already slashing down the line of scrimmage, Collin should have been working vertically on the QB bootleg off of the fake at the exchange. Collin needs to become a more effective tackler when he poaches from his NLB position on off-tackle runs to his side. While this isn’t necessarily his direct responsibility, Brence can provide invaluable assistance to the team defensive effort if he can start to make more tackles in these instances.


    The Baylor corners, Xavien Howard (4) and Ryan Reid (9), have made considerable progress from the embarrassing performance in Morgantown. These guys are much better at maintaining coverage without resorting to using their hands. They have lessened the incidental contact in coverage, while still being able to get good opportunities to play the football. Xavien gave up a touchdown when the Sooner appeared to be running a fade and then turned out, with Knight putting the ball right on the money. Howard was right on the receiver’s shoulder, but didn’t get a hand on the ball.. Xavien made a great stop for a loss on 3rd and 1 at the Baylor 2-yard line. The cornerback knifed in from the short side and forced the 4th down play with a little help from KJ Smith.

    For much of the afternoon, Ryan Reid (9) got some quality help from Orion Stewart (28), playing the down safety position. When Stewart would read pass and there was no inside receiver threat, the Midway product did a good job of working from the inside to bring additional coverage to the corners. One critical play in the game was the 3rd and 11 play from the Baylor 14-yard line. With the Sooners trailing 17-14, Knight did a great job of scrambling and finding a potential receiver right at the first down marker on the 3-yard line. Knight threw a beautiful ball right on the money. Ryan was in very tight coverage and, as the ball arrived, the Baylor cornerback ripped at the inside arm of the Sooner receiver. Though the receiver miraculously got a foot down, the receiver could not control the ball all the way to the ground. Credit this to great work by Ryan Reid. With the Bears comfortably ahead, the Sooners hit a couple of well-timed passes in front of Reid, but the smallish cornerback made the tackle for no additional yardage each time. Playing with a 24-point lead, this is excellent strategy – force the offense to be perfect. The Sooners weren’t – a holding penalty stalled the drive.

    I know Terrell Burt (13) is not the tallest guy in the world, but the fact that Trevor Knight was able to jump over the head of Burt when he apparently was standing straight up is very impressive for the opposing quarterback. I’m sure that no one said anything to Burt about this in the Sunday film session (sarcasm). Terrell gave up the opening Sooner touchdown of the day when Quick (a very talented freshman) ran a square-out on the Baylor safety. Burt did a great job of staying with the route, but didn’t come up with the play on the ball at the point of the catch. Knight threw an excellent pass and it beat the tight coverage of Burt. You’d like to see Terrell be able to get his hands on that ball as the receiver catches it. This would allow the safety to be able to pull the ball out prior to the opponent “completing the catch” – this is the critical vernacular that means he has to possess the ball with both feet on the ground or all the way to the field’ surface to get credit for a catch. Later in the first quarter, Terrell was beaten by Neal on the same type of play. It took an even better throw from Knight to beat Burt. Terrell had underneath position and could have undercut any throw that wasn’t thrown high and outside (which Knight did beautifully). Burt was shaken up on the play. The speed out continues to give Terrell difficulty in making the tackle. In the 2nd quarter, Terrell overran the out and allowed the receiver to make additional yardage by stepping underneath Burt’s tackle attempt. Terrell was beaten soundly on a drag-and-go by Quick. The speedy freshman gave Burt a quick head fake inside and burst past the cover safety. To Terrell’s credit, he sold out to run down the Sooner and tackled the receiver at the Baylor 13-yard line. Because of the fact that Burt didn’t give up, the Bears denied the score when Hunnicutt missed the field goal attempt. These kinds of plays win football games. Burt had 7 tackles.

    With time running out in the first half, OU successfully isolated Quick on Bryce Hager. Quick blew past the linebacker and ran inside of Orion Stewart (28). Stewart gave chase and ran in between the receiver and the pass. The ball nailed Stewart in the middle of the back. This was another excellent hustle play by the down safety for the Bears. This wasn’t the only time that Stewart made a big play. When Alex Ross hit the left side of the Sooner offensive line and dashed through a big hole, it was Orion that ran down the fleet Sooner at the Baylor 11-yard line. Orion was only able to get a hand on the ankle of the running back, but it was enough. Stewart was shaken up on the play and Alfred Pullom (12) came into the game for the goal line stand. You could hear Coach Kaz on the sidelines reminding the defense that Orion’s great effort gave them a collective chance at getting a stop (“He ran him down. Make a stop.”). The defense didn’t disappoint Coach Kaz. Alfred stepped on the very first play and made a stop on the Sooner back when it appeared he broke through the forcing unit. Orion came back in the game later and made one more big play. On 4th and 2, Stewart blitzed off the short side and came clean. While Orion didn’t make the sack, he set up his teammates for that honor.


    The Bears gave up only 13 first downs to a very explosive offense. The gave up only 5 first downs on pass plays and NONE by penalties - Wow! The Bears limited the Sooners to 171 yards rushing and 148 yards passing for a total of 319 yards of total offense. The Bears picked off one pass (Hager). They forced the Sooners to punt 6 times. This allowed the Bears to dominate time of possession even though the offense continued to play at a breakneck pace. The Sooners were 4 of 13 on 3rd down conversion and 0 for 2 on 4th down conversions, including two sensational goal line stands.
  5. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. Oklahoma - Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    I want to apologize for not doing an analysis of the Baylor vs. Kansas game for Homecoming. My internet went down for 10 days (we’ve been very busy) and I have only been able to post from my phone. While some of you may be very accomplished with producing material on your phone, this was more than my meager skills could get done. The Bears looked great on Homecoming and I hope everyone had a great time (my class was one of the honored classes this year).

    Game Analysis: Baylor vs. Oklahoma

    The Baylor Bears went into the last month of the regular season with quite a few question marks. Bryce Petty had struggled to come close to the numbers he produced a year before as a junior. The Baylor offensive line lost two returning starters from the right side of the offensive line. An All-American wide receiver continued to be less productive than last year. The Baylor defensive line was looking for a consistent answer at DE, replacing Jamal Palmer (92). The Will Linebacker position was in flux. The secondary had still not quite recovered from the shock of 9 pass interference penalties in Morgantown. And the return game had yet to be explosive. In addition to all of these questions, the Bears had a road game in Norman where Baylor had NEVER won.

    The morning of November 8th was a beautiful, chamber-of- commerce day in Norman, OK. The hometown fans were sporting their crimson and cream and walking the streets of Campus Corner with a wary, but confident attitude, with good reason. Their Sooners had not lost two straight home games since Moby Dick was a minnow. Baylor had NEVER won a football game in Norman, having lost 11 straight at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

    The Bears came into Norman as the number 10-ranked team in the nation to play the Sooners, ranked number 16 in the nation. 85,048 fans turned out for this contest between the two pre-season favorites for the Big XII Championship, including a close to a couple of thousand vocal Baylor Bear supporters and a pep band from the BUGWB. While the game appeared to open as a familiar rehash of previous Sooner victories, the Baylor Bears changed the script and ran off 45 unanswered points, cruising to a 48-14 victory over favored Oklahoma, snapping a 37-game road game losing streak against ranked opponents. Baylor's 34-point victory was the largest by a visiting team in Norman during the Stoops era. The only other double-digit victor was Notre Dame (17-point win) in 2012, and the 6 previous losses in the Stoops era came by a combined 36 points. After the game, David Ubben (of Fox Sports) tweeted, “You won't find a more impressive win in the Big 12 this year than Baylor over OU by 34 in Norman. Nothing even comes close.”


    The Bears’ offense far out-distanced their Sooner counterpart. The Bears accumulated 31 first downs, totaling 544 yards of offense. The Bears ran off 97 plays on the afternoon, averaging an impressive 5.7 yards per offensive play, with no turnovers.

    The Bears’ game plan appeared to be to test the Sooner pass defense with short passes, thrown quickly to limit the impact of the Sooner pass rushing unit. Because the Sooners knew that their defensive backs were not quite up to the task of covering all of the speed in the Baylor receiving corps, the coverage players played soft and off of the Bear receivers. The Baylor strategy worked perfectly, allowing the Bears to dominate time of possession, 35:23 to 24:37.

    Offensive Line

    The Baylor Bears had a very good protection scheme designed for the OU Sooners. The coordination between offensive line, H-back, and running backs in the protection was very apparent. Despite having two new starters in the offensive line, this group did a great job of picking up most of the blitzes thrown at them by Mike Stoops and the OU defense. The Bears opened up the second half with an empty set look. Stoops chose to bring pressure. This means that the Bears had 5 blockers to pick up 6 defenders. This look requires excellent anticipation and communication from the offensive line. The line picked up these stunts flawlessly. When the Sooners chose to drop into coverage, the line sifted the defenders and picked up the rushing defensive linemen very well, giving the quarterback enough time to allow the in-breaking receiver to work through the secondary to the appropriate window for the throw.

    Baylor ran left a lot early in the game. Drango and Muir were equal to the challenge, giving the Bears’ running backs quality creases through which to run. Blake Muir (73) still isn’t the powerful drive blocker that you would like him to be. But the Aussie is very effective at creating and maintaining position on a block. He has the ability to move his feet quickly and gain positive leverage at the point of attack. On a 2nd quarter 4th and 1, Blake did a great job of drive blocking and getting quality movement to provide the running back with ample daylight to get the first down.

    Spencer Drango was very solid. It has become apparent that Drango is now rounding into the kind of performance level that he demonstrated prior to his injury. For most of the afternoon, Drango was in impeccable position in pass protection. The talented Sooner defenders had a very difficult time beating his protection.

    One of the things that created some problems for the Baylor offense for most of the first half was the fact that Kyle Fuller (55) was snapping the ball high and to the quarterback’s right side. One of these errant snaps almost resulted in a Baylor turnover when the ball went right between the quarterback and the running back when they were trying to mesh for a handoff. It is good to have a real athlete at quarterback that can flag down these snaps, but I’m sure that Kyle did a lot of work over the open week to correct this issue. I theorized earlier this week that Kyle might have been holding the ball too much in the middle of his stance. This creates an arm swing that has a tendency to go slightly to the right. Since the Baylor quarterbacks line up 5-6 yards deep, a slightly off arm swing can make a significant difference in the spray of the football by the time it gets back to where the quarterback is standing. Kyle should have the ball slightly to the right of his ear, which makes the arm swing move much more toward the center of his body. Kyle was beaten badly by the Sooner nose tackle on the Bears’ first trip into the red zone. Kyle grabbed the NT and could have been called for holding (not called). Kyle needs to get a faster quick set and move his feet laterally better, getting in position for his block on plays like this. Kyle is still getting over-extended on some of his blocks which often result in his falling in the hole at the point of attack.

    Terrell Broxton (61) continues to be surprisingly solid in his work replacing Desmine Hilliard (67) at right guard. This is not too surprising because this big man had been pushing Hilliard for more playing time since the beginning of the season. Broxton is very balanced in his blocking and does a decent job of creating movement. Broxton did quite a bit of down blocking on the Sooner nose tackle, with the back reading his block. It is critical that the read guard maintain contact with the nose tackle. Broxton was very consistent in being able to accomplish this task. His pass protection is very good and he does an excellent job of sifting through stunts and blitzes. Broxton has a slight tendency to drop his head and reach, but for the most part he’s been very productive.

    Pat Colbert (69) has a tendency to still play too high and with too narrow of a base, but his improvement has been very solid. He has become much more reliable and no one has ever doubted his toughness. Colbert is one of those players that enjoys burying his opponent and playing to the last echo of the whistle (sometimes a little beyond that point). On the touchdown drive for the Bears’ 2nd touchdown of the 2nd half, the Bears ran right behind Pat several times once they got in the red zone and scored behind the big tackle’s block. Tyler Edwards (62) did a great job of double teaming with Pat on the critical block on that TD. In addition, I thought Pat showed a great improvement in his pass blocking techniques. Colbert is moving his feet instead of reaching and maintaining an excellent focus with his eyes on the near edge of the defender. His positioning in his pass protection was very good. His only real pass protection fault right now is that he has a tendency to lean on the defender or get off balance. Leaning can result in getting over-extended and allows the defender to throw the blocker out of the way. On the first Baylor touchdown, the OU DE was able to drive Pat straight back, get the blocker’s inside foot stuck in the air by utilizing power and leverage that Pat didn’t have in his body position, and then come underneath for what might have been a sack if the quarterback hadn’t gotten the ball off so quickly. Coach Montgomery did a very good job of giving Pat some extra help by bringing an H-back to help in protection to Colbert’s side.

    For the entire season, LaQuan McGowan coming into the game meant that the Bears were going to run right behind the huge offensive lineman-turned H-back. Against the Sooners, the Baylor brain trust unveiled a new wrinkle. McGowan trapped outside to the end man on the line of scrimmage and the running back followed that broad rear end unmolested into the end zone twice. Credit must be given to the left side of the offensive line Jordan Feuerbacher (85) at tight end, Spencer Drango at left tackle, and Blake Muir at left guard for denying any penetration by the Sooner goal line defense, too.


    Shock Linwood (32) had a very good day running the football and blocking for the Baylor Bears. Shock is a very good blitz blocker for a running back of his size. Teams like OU are very good at picking on running backs in the protection. Shock did a great job of being aggressive on the block, looking it in, and maintaining leverage between himself and the QB. Shock carried the ball 23 times for 87 tough yards and 2 touchdowns without having a play where he lost yardage. OU prides itself on its run defense – they are pretty good at it. But Shock was able to find just enough yardage to improve the down and distance after each of his carries.

    Devin Chafin (28) continues to demonstrate an ability to run vertically with power and speed. Devin had one of his least productive days (11 carries for 37 yards), but the big Burkburnett back continues to punish defenders and get positive yards.

    Bryce Petty (14) was at his poised best against the Sooners. Bryce threw the ball a surprising 42 times against the Sooners, completing 32 of them for 387 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked twice on the afternoon, but it didn’t seem to affect him a bit. Petty would stare down unblocked blitzers (usually when the Sooners brought more players than the Bears had blockers) time after time and deliver strikes to open receivers, beating the OU soft coverage. Bryce made sure that the Sooner defensive ends and outside linebackers knew that he was going to make them account for the quarterback on the give/keep read when he pulled the ball and got a solid 7-yard gain. When Petty can make this kind of yardage on his keeps, it limits the backside pursuit of the linebackers and makes the defensive ends wary of chasing the ball down from behind. Another facet of the quarterback’s game that Petty showcased was mobility. Late in the 3rd quarter, Striker came off the short side on an unblocked blitz. Bryce pump faked the all-conference player into the air and Petty ducked under that rush and found an open receiver for a 29-yard catch and run. Bryce showed great awareness on that play. Just a few plays later, Bryce caught the Sooners in a 3-man rush playing cover 2-man, which means that all the underneath players are turning their backs to the QB and playing underneath the cuts of their receivers. Bryce tucked the ball and picked up a quick 8 yards.

    Petty got called for intentional grounding when the Bears were fooled by a zone blitz and an anticipated quick slant to the short side of the field on a play action pass was covered by a quick dropping defender. Bryce did a good job of avoiding the sack and got the ball beyond the line of scrimmage. This left the decision as to whether or not he was out of the tackle box up to the referee (the ref threw the flag). The pressure wasn’t created by poor offensive line blocking, but by the need to extend the play created by good Sooner coverage. Bryce took a sack on the Bears’ first trip into the red zone when it appeared his was surprised by an all-out blitz. It appeared that he want to wait on the outside receiver to clear the inside defender, instead of hitting the quick out to the inside receiver (which was available). Bryce has to make better decisions against all-out blitzes.


    The Baylor receivers played like “beasts” in Norman on Saturday. Beasts is a word that gets thrown around on message boards quite freely. But on Saturday, the receivers caught pass after pass in front (and behind) the Sooner secondary, taking hits in exchange for quality yards. And they blocked well for each other and for the running backs.

    There was no receiver that stood taller than Corey Coleman (1). Coleman was named the Big XII Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts and received a “helmet sticker” from the ESPN studio commentators for his efforts. On the afternoon, Corey accounted for an astounding 15 catches for 224 yards and 1 touchdown receiving and 1 rushing the football. Corey made big play after big play. Probably none affected momentum like the 33-yard pass from Petty for the Bears’ first touchdown of the afternoon. This play brought the Bears within 14-10 and began a Baylor scoring streak that was not broken for the rest of the game. Coleman made another big play when the Bears were backed up inside the 10-yard line with a 3rd and 5. Corey drove off the OU corner and did a great job of coming back to the ball. Corey caught the ball and beat the defender to the inside after the catch. Coleman turned this short, possession route meant to pick up just enough for a first down into a very important 40-yard gain. Great offense is sometimes when you catch a short throw and run for a long way. After Bryce Petty was high with his first effort of the game (isn’t he usually?), Petty came his way with another slightly overthrown effort on the next possession. Coleman leapt high, but couldn’t come down with this one, either. This is a throw that Corey should have caught. But this afternoon didn’t include too many things that Corey Coleman did wrong. In fact, on the opening drive of the second half, Corey scored a rushing touchdown from the backfield behind the excellent trap block of Spencer Drango while the boo-birds rained down on the Sooners’ defensive coordinator.

    Antwan Goodley caught 9 passes for 92 yards and made a couple of runs after the catch that reminded Baylor fans of the 2013-version that made All-American. Antwan’s 29-yard gain on a Petty scramble was a great example of how Goodley understands where the openings are in zones and where to be when the quarterback is scrambling. It, also, showed a little bit of the burst and power that Antwan demonstrated so often last fall. Antwan must do a better job of selling his route when he is responsible for blocking off a man-to-man defender on “pick” plays. Goodley never looked back for the ball and actually set for a block. These are two major “no, no’s” on pick plays and are why the Baylor All-American drew the offensive pass interference penalty.

    Jay Lee (4) surfaced again after a few weeks where he hasn’t caught a pass. Lee was very instrumental in Baylor’s success in the passing game when the top group of receivers were out with injuries during the early part of the season. It was good to see Jay catch 5 passes for 43 yards on the afternoon. KD Cannon (9) caught 2 passes for 17 yards and had a better day blocking than we have seen recently. Levi Norwood (42) and Quan Jones (12) had one catch a piece.

    Clay Fuller (23) did a great job of finding an open spot when Bryce had to scramble out of the pocket on a 3rd and 21. It took Petty just a little too long to locate the Baylor senior receiver, but the ball actually beat the coverage to the point of the catch. Clay should have caught the ball.

    While TreVon Armstead (41) still doesn’t remind anyone of Jordan Najvar yet, the Baylor tight end/H-back is starting to show improvement in his blocking at the point of attack. It seems Armstead is still too concerned with worrying about the fake of a defender instead of just trusting his path. But the big converted tackle did a much more effective job of blocking against the Sooners. TreVon was asked to deploy as a wide receiver to do some perimeter blocking for bubble screens. He wasn’t a real “lock down” blocker, but his bulk does a great job of shielding defenders so that the designated receiver can get 5-6 yards on the play. Davion Hall (16) did a good job of blocking on the perimeter, too.

    Gus Penning (15) got some time as the H-back. The Bears used him as a lead blocker on a fairly effective toss play. Penning is not even close to the physical presence of Armstead, but he does a decent job of maintaining position on his blocks. His strength and power generated in his blocks needs significant improvement.

    On a 2nd quarter drive, the officials ruled that KD Cannon had been interfered with on a deep route down the Baylor sidelines. This flag was subsequently picked up and video study revealed that no significant contact occurred at the point of the catch. There might have been a hold on Hayes as Cannon passed him up at the line of scrimmage, but there was no pass interference.


    You have to give the brain-trust for the OU defense (Bob and Mike Stoops) credit for coming up with an effective use of “gamesmanship” in creating difficulty for a hurry-up offense when it substitutes. When the Bears would make a lineup change, the Sooners would leisurely substitute a big defensive tackle. The tackle would jog out on the field and finally let the man he was replacing know that he was out of the game when the substitute got to his teammate. The player being substituted for would then jog off the field. All the while, the center judge would stand over the center, keeping the Bears from snapping the ball. This tactic means that most of the 40-second clock would be used up by watching Sooner defensive linemen exchange places, limiting the amount of time Petty had to make a call at the line of scrimmage for what the next play might be. The first time the Sooners used this strategy the Bears ended up having to call a timeout to prevent a delay of game. I believe that this tactic resulted in the Bears substituting a little less than they usually do.

    On the other hand, the defensive side of the ball for OU is receiving considerable criticism for the fact that on 4th and 1 they had 12 men on the field (after a timeout) deep in the Sooner end of the field and in the second half they had 10 men on the field, again, in the red zone. The Sooner fans aren’t happy about these mistakes.

    I could be wrong, but it seemed like the Bears made an adjustment to their dart scheme this week. At times, the Bears didn’t try to wrap the tackle up the linebacker level, but asked him to kick out the defensive end on the far side. This adjustment probably is easier for Pat Colbert to accomplish and took advantage of the fact that the Sooner defensive ends have a tendency to be overly aggressive. Because they weren’t sinking with the blocker going inside of them, those defensive ends were easily trap blocked in this scheme.

    It speaks to the character of the leadership of this team when Bryce Petty and Spencer Drango joined Trevor Knight’s brother, Connor, in a word of prayer on the field as the OU quarterback was being put on the stretcher and taken off the field.

    Chris Callahan (40) continues to rehabilitate himself after a very difficult start to the season. Since those early woes, Chris has been consistently accurate with his field goal kicks. Chris hit on field goals of 34 and 24 yards on the afternoon and has made 12 in a row after starting 1 for 6 this season. Spencer Roth (36) didn’t “over-act” on the roughing the kicker penalty, he just allowed it to look natural. This restraint probably allowed the official to make the call that contact was made prior to the plant foot touching down (this is one of the criteria for roughing).
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