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  1. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. West Virginia - Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    Despite the fact that the bump-and-run coverage continues to be beaten vertically and create mismatches that result in pass interference and defensive holding penalties, Coach Phil Bennett is still holding to the philosophy that creating 3rd and outs is the necessary strategy to get the ball back to the offense. Against the Mountaineers, the Baylor defense forced 3 first half turnovers, 6 punts in the game and 3 three-and-outs. On the other hand, the Bears gave up 33 first downs (10 rushing, 13 passing, and 10 by penalty), 134 yards rushing, and 322 passing which netted the Mountaineers 456 yards in total offense (far surpassing the Bearsí output of 318 yards).


    Defensive Line

    Beau Blackshear (95) seemed to have a lot of trouble with the physical guards from West Virginia. The guards were able to get significant movement on Beau and this enlarged the gaps through which the Mountaineer running backs were able to run. This is something we havenít seen anyone be able to do to Beau this fall. Despite having some troubles, Beau tallied 6 tackles and a quarterback hurry on the afternoon. This quarterback hurry occurred when WVUís offensive line made a protection error and left the big Waco DT unblocked. Beauís pressure caused Trickett to throw slightly behind his intended receiver, giving the Bears an interception.

    Andrew Billings (75) continues to be a major force on the defensive line. Billings had 8 tackles on the afternoon. Thatís a lot for a defensive tackle. The big defensive tackle from Waco had a 7-yard sack and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Bears on WVUís first possession. Billings overpowered the WVU guard and raked the ball from Trickettís hands as Andrew continued to secure the sack. On another play (at the end of the half), Andrew blew up the guard, grabbed the running back and slung him down from the 7 yard line all the way back to the 3 yard line.

    When Andrew Billings raked the football out of Trickettís hands, it was Shawn Oakman (2) that pounced on the ball. This fumble recovery set up the first Baylor touchdown of the day. Oakman was credited with 2.5 tackles for losses and a quarterback hurry on the afternoon. One of Shawnís best plays looked a lot like Chris McAllisterís play on OUís Sanders last fall. WVU tried to run a reverse to Shawnís side. The big DE snuffed it out, staying square and letting the receiver screw himself into the ground trying to get away from the athletic DE. Shawn was called for a personal foul in the 2nd quarter which helped WVU move the ball from their 29-yard line to the 44-yard line, making the Mountaineer field goal at the end of the half much more possible. To be fair to the big DE, the tackle for WVU put his hands in Shawnís face prior to Oakman putting his hands in the tackleís facemask. The official only saw Shawn. Shawn stopped a WVU drive at the beginning of the 3rd quarter when he knifed inside and hit the ball carrier 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage. This play forced a field goal.

    The Bears are still looking for the answer to replacing Jamal Palmer at the left defensive end. KJ Smith (56) continues to be the starter at that position, but Javonte Magee (90) has been getting some quality playing time, too. Neither of these talented players has really been able to make this position their own. The opposing offenses continue to test this edge often, with more than a little success. KJ had 5 tackles in the game, but a lot of the Mountaineer rushing offense was aimed at Smithís side. KJ struggled to maintain contain and seemed to not be able to get off blocks quickly enough to make the play as the back ran by him. On the last drive of the 1st half, KJ lost contain and Trickett found Buie releasing from his protection for a big gain. Smith has got to do a better job of containing the quarterback, too. Trickett was able to get outside and extend plays way too often. Javonte seems to be better at maintaining contain on the quarterback, but he appears to be a step slower than KJ.

    Linebackers

    Bryce Hager (44) had 13 tackles against WVU, for his 11th career double-digit tackle game and his 3rd of the season. Against the big, physical interior of the WVU offensive line, Bryce struggled slightly with finding openings through which to run. He got stacked up a few times when in the past he was able to find a path to the ball carrier. Possibly because he was experiencing a little more congestion, Bryce missed a few tackles where he had the back lined up but seemed to get his feet twisted up right at the point of contact. Bryce was getting blocked more often than I had seen him get blocked, too. Part of that problem is that the defensive linemen werenít forcing a double-team as often as they need to do. By the second half, Bryce had gotten into a habit of waiting for the ball carrier to get to him, instead of playing downhill. Bryce is still very good at covering the swing passes to the backs and screen passes to backs or wide receivers. He was so quick to Buie that the WVU back ďself-tacklized.Ē Bryce got a great hit in the 4th quarter when Smallwood cut back right into Hager as he played downhill. That was a de-cleater.

    Taylor Young (11), who has been playing in place of the injured linebacker Aiavion Edwards, had a career-high of 12 tackles, including 11 solo tackles. Included in these tackles were 2 sacks, a 10-yard loss in the 2nd quarter and a 12-yard loss in the 3rd quarter. This gives Taylor 4 sacks on the season. Because of his sure tackling and quickness to the ball, it might be difficult for Edwards to get back on the field (Aiavion is getting back to full health soon). Taylor has great ability to play downhill. He rally finds the correct ďfitĒ and is like a laser guided missile headed straight to the ball carrier. When teams run away from Young, it fits his skill set perfectly. Itís when teams run right at the smallish linebacker that Taylor struggles. Taylor got run over by the larger WVU running back when the Will Linebacker met the back right in the hole. On the other hand, when Taylor had to meet a lead blocker, the Will Linebacker was able to stuff the block and plug the hole. In fact, there were several times in the game that if Taylor didnít make the play, you wonder which Baylor Bear would have. He was the only Bear getting to the ball on some of these plays. A 2nd quarter personal foul on Taylor extended WVUís drive down to the Baylor 23-yard line and this drive eventually resulted in a WVU touchdown that pushed them ahead 21-20. On 3rd down midway through the 3rd quarter, Young teamed with Brence to get a quality sack of Trickett and force a punt. Taylor is very quick and utilizes this quality to get to the QB almost before the signal caller can get setup.

    Collin Brence (38) was very active in the game. He had 5 tackles and an excellent tackle for a 1-yard loss. His coverage was pretty good, but he has yet to appear to be able to master the art of undercutting the quick out route by the inside receiver (a la Eddie Lackey).

    To be honest, for much of the game, it seemed that Brence and Young were getting to the ball quicker than Bryce Hager. Bryce seemed to be playing much too laterally.

    Secondary

    The Baylor secondary gave up 6 pass interference penalties, one facemask penalty, and one defensive holding penalty. All of these penalties are automatic first downs, too. Almost unbelievably, the Bears were flagged for back-to-back defensive pass interference penalties in the 3rd quarter (the first on Burt and the second on Howard). In addition, Trickett was very accurate to his hot reads when the Bears tried to bring pressure. Most of the pressure didnít get to Trickett fast enough to keep the WVU quarterback from getting the pass off to his receiver. The WVU receivers were very aggressive to the ball and just beat the defensive backs by enough to make the catch.

    Orion Stewart (28) had 11 tackles in the game. This was the second time in Orionís career that he recorded double-digit tackles in a game. Orion needs to be a little more physical when he has to tackle in the open field near the 1st down marker. Orion allowed Buie to run through him for 4 extra yards on 3rd and 5 and just get beyond the line to gain when Spencer Roth had WVU backed up inside their own 10-yard line. On 3rd and 7 in the 2nd quarter, Orion was called for a pass interference penalty in the end zone that gave the Mountaineers a first down on the Baylor 2-yard line, instead of forcing a field goal. Orion is getting better at jumping the square-in and then bailing to get under the post by the outside receiver. This improvement will mean better coverage on these deep passes as the season continues.

    Terrell Burt (13) had 7 tackles against WVU. Terrell was called for a 1st quarter pass interference penalty that the television shot did not give any hint of contact. To be fair to the officials, the contact could have happened earlier in the route while the ball was in the air. But from the video available, there was no contact whatsoever. On the opening drive by WVU in the 2nd half, Terrell got nailed for another pass interference penalty. It seemed that Terrell was in decent shape and he had help from Ryan Reid behind the receiver, but Burt just ran into the receiver prior to the ball arriving.

    Xavien Howard (4) was flagged 4 times for pass interference (one was declined because White caught the ball for a touchdown) and a personal foul for a facemask penalty. It wasnít all bad for Xavien. In the 1st quarter, Xavien stepped in front of a Mountaineer receiver on a throw that was slightly behind to pick off the pass for his 3rd interception of the season. Xavien took the ball back for a 15-yard return. In addition, Xavien had 2 passes that he broke up in the game. One of these PBUs was on a 3rd down and 13 in the 1st quarter. With the Will Linebacker working to the wide side, Xavien was alone in coverage. The big corner hung right on the backside of the receiver, reached around, and swatted the ball away. This is a big time play. Xavien has been very good in coverage for most of the season. In fact, it was Coach Bennettís move of Xavien to cover the lightning quick receiver (7) for TCU that began the turning of the tide in the Bearsí last game. When matched up with Kevin White, Xavien was just a little less than able to lock up with the big, fast, talented Mountaineer receiver. But it wasnít all bad. Xavien showed excellent range when he was working in the outside quarter of the deep field. While he wasnít able to knock down an early throw up the vertical seam to Smallwood on the wide side, Howard covered a lot of ground and almost made the play (he did make the tackle). Xavien did a great job of reacting to a potential slip screen to White, knocking the ball away before the play could develop. Even when Howard got called for pass interference, it seemed his technique had improved from previous games. Xavien is doing a much better job of staying off the receiver and working to the point where the hands are reaching for the ball. Xavien is only making slight contact with the body on many of these calls. The interference call on Whiteís touchdown to put the Mountaineers ahead in the 4th quarter still confuses me. White reaches out and holds the hand of Howard to keep him at armís length. White uses that leverage to gain space for the fade route and Howard is flagged for interference having made no contact except with his hand held in Whiteís hand. You have to credit White with a great catch on the play.

    Whether it was because of coverage or because the Mountaineersí game plan was designed to go another way, Ryan Reid (9) was NOT the focus of the WVU passing game Ė it was his buddy on the other side (matched up with White). A lot of the time, WVU had only one receiver to Reidís side. This made it possible for him to get additional help from the safety. For most of the afternoon, when the Mountaineers tested him, Ryan did a great job of pinning the receiver to the sidelines and maintaining leverage on the ball. Reid did a great job of breaking up a pass. Reid gave up a defensive holding penalty in the 2nd quarter. This holding rubbed out an excellent play Ryan made on the ball when Trickett threw a deep post against the single coverage of Reid. Reid did a great job of avoiding contact and reaching around the receiver to bat the ball away at the last second. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Reid did a great job of attacking the football on a post throw to the deep middle. This pass should have been caught, but Ryan never quit working on the ball and pulled it out prior to the receiver completing the catch. Ryan gave up the last MVU touchdown when he pulled off a pick route. If Reid had continued to stay with the receiver, the Mountaineer would have had to make contact (thus drawing an offensive pass interference penalty). Because Ryan quit on his coverage, no penalty occurred. Until this play, the outcome was still in doubt.

    Overall

    Jimmy Landes (50), the Bearsí deep-snapper, got a fumble recovery when he alertly got right on the ball when Daryl Worley muffed the punt at the beginning of the 2nd quarter.

    The Bears continue to struggle with being able to maintain their rush lanes in the 3-man front. WVU was able to rip off big yardage on a draw play. On another 3rd and long play (11 to go) from the WVU 8-yard line, Trickett had all day to survey the field and found a receiver between 3 defenders for a 14 yard gain that kept the drive alive. Baylor had just spent a timeout, thinking that the Bears would be getting the ball back in good field position. Instead, WVU took the ball downfield and kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half, extending the Mountaineer lead to 24-21.

    I know that post-game interviews are done when the competitors are still a ďlittle heated up,Ē but I thought that Dana Holgersonís comments about the secondary of Baylor were out of line. But maybe Iím just a little touchy after watching my team get that many penalties and lose to the Mountaineers by two touchdowns.
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  2. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. West Virginia - Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    The undefeated season of the 2014 Baylor Bear football team came to an end on Saturday, October 18th, in Morgantown, West Virginia on a cloudy, 52-degree afternoon. The Bears brought their nation-leading, high powered Offense and top ten Defense into the Appalachian Mountains and saw what had been a Baylor juggernaut grind to a crawl against a defense that was previously mediocre, at best, and a pretty decent opposing offense. The Bears could not overcome the deluge of penalties, missed assignments, injuries, and dropped passes that caused both sides of the ball to underperform. As a result, the Bears are now fighting an uphill climb to qualify for the national playoffs as a one win team with a relatively light out of conference schedule (but a very difficult conference schedule).

    The Bears were tagged with 215 yards in penalties. This was the most penalty yards in school history and by any team in the history of the Big XII conference. Almost inconceivably, the Bears were flagged for defensive pass interference 7 times (one was declined because White caught the ball anyway for a touchdown). In addition, the Baylor receivers were flagged twice for offensive pass interference (a penalty that almost insures that the offense will have great difficulty overcoming the 15 yards to get a 1st down). The Baylor special teams had a delay of game on getting set up for a punt and two illegal blocks (one by Wright and one by Waz). Also, Kendall Ehrlich (16) was flagged for kick catch interference in the 3rd quarter, moving the ball from the WVU 27-yard line to the 42-yard line. In this flag-fest, WVU was penalized 14 times for 138 yards, indicating that the officials were an equal opportunity group.

    Offense

    The Baylor offense was able to generate (only) 22 first downs, 5 by rushing, 10 by passing, and 7 by penalty. This is significantly below the Bearsí average output. In addition, the Bears only rushed for 95 yards on 42 attempts for a 2.3 yards per carry average. The Bearsí passing game was not much better. Baylor threw 37 passes in the game and completed only 16 of them. Historically, the Bears (under Coach Briles) have been able to complete around 60-70% of their passing attempts. This yearís unit is way below that number in completion percentage. The Bears were sacked 4 times, caused by a solid blitz scheme by the Mountaineers and by a lack of communication and recognition on the part of the Baylor pass protectors. The Bearsí offense generated only 318 yards. This is almost 300 yards below their average production in 2014.

    It seems that the Baylor offense continues to struggle against quality competition in the red zone. The Bears were able to get inside the 20 yard line 4 times. While the offense scored 2 touchdowns (the second of these didnít come easily), the Bears were forced to settle for a field goal on one trip to the red zone and were turned away on downs on the critical 4th quarter trip. The Bears were as ineffective on 3rd down as they have ever been (since the KU game in 2012); converting only 3 out of 16 3rd down plays into first downs (an 18.8% success rate). Even worse, the Bears were 0 for 2 on 4th down conversions. This lack of effectiveness on third and fourth down caused the Bears to have to punt 9 times in the game (and give it up on downs on 2 possessions). Given the fact that Spencer Roth (36) has often been relegated to the sidelines for entire games, this almost double digit number of punts is very surprising.

    By the way, Spencer did a great job of punting in Morgantown. Roth had a 69-yard punt in the 2nd quarter and a 56-yard coffin-corner punt that went out of bounds at the WVU 1-yard line in the 1st quarter. Spencer had 4 punts that landed inside the opponentís 20-yard line and 3 punts that had to be fair caught. One of his punts was muffed by Worley and recovered by the Bears and the only other punt that was attempted to return was held to a 2-yard advance. This gave Spencer a 44.7 yard net average per punt (and this is with punting down inside the 20-yard line 4 times).

    Offensive Line

    The offensive lineís performance in the game against the Mountaineers was not one of their best. The Baylor line really struggled with the physical and active defensive linemen of the Mountaineers. It was difficult to get quality movement on a consistent basis against these players, especially in the second half (where the Baylor offensive line usually shines). Baylor gave up 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage on Saturday. The 3-3 defense of WVU gave the Bears trouble all afternoon with recognition of the structure of the defense and with blitz pickup. As a result, the quarterback was sacked 4 times and hurried one other time. Shaq Riddick accounted for 3 sacks (by himself) and Brandon Golson got the other one. This kind of pressure creates uncertainty in the passing game that the Bears appeared unused to handling. The offensive line contributed two 1st quarter false start penalties (Fuller and Broxton) to the penalty-fest the Bears endured on the afternoon.

    The Bears were starting Jarell Broxton (61) at right guard for the second time this season. Jarell was replacing 2-year starter, Desmine Hilliard. Jarell might not be quite the load of a drive blocker as Desmine was, but it appears that he might have a little better balance. On a sweep/read, Jarell inexplicably left the defender to his inside alone (the center had to block back on a backside A gap player to protect that area because of the backside guard pull). This player made the play on the quarter back in the backfield because Jarell didnít recognize the structure of the defense. Broxton was spelled by Tyler Edwards (62).

    Troy Baker (75) has been a terrific player and an even better leader for the Baylor offensive line since he took over as a starter 3 years ago. Baker has been a very effective right tackle. He handled the run and the pass with equal effectiveness. He demonstrated the hard work it took to overcome difficult injury to his peers. I think I will remember Troy holding his head in despair when he finally got to the bench for a long time. His presence in the Baylor offensive line will be sorely missed. You have to be impressed with the physical nature of the Mountaineer defensive line. One of the WVU DEs knocked Baker 2-yards back on a simple zone play. I donít think Iíve seen that very often.

    Pat Colbert (69) came into the game at right tackle when Baker went to the sidelines. Pat gave up a sack that stopped the Baylor drive on the opening possession of the 4th quarter. Pat was beaten around the edge by a speed rush. You might have thought the quarterback would step up slightly to help his tackle get the block. Tyler Edwards did a great job of opening a hole for Linwoodís best run of the day. Edwards got a really good drive block on the WVU defensive tackle.

    Because of the losses on the right side, it will be important for the left side of the offensive line to be very solid for the remainder of the season. Left tackle Spencer Drango (58) and left guard Blake Muir (73) will be the primary go-to-guys when Baylor has to have a play. Drango was matched up with a lightning quick defensive end that gave the big tackle fits. Drango was able to keep this player off of Petty, but it took every ounce of Spencerís quickness to be able to do it. On 1st and 10 at the WVU 15-yard line, Spencer was beaten badly on a pinch stunt by the Mountaineer DE. This penetration left the Baylor running back nowhere to go and resulted in a two yard loss.

    Kyle Fuller (55) continues to struggle with pass protection on blitz pickup. On the first series of the second half, it appears that Kyle didnít get the protection correct and he allowed a defensive tackle to run right past him for a huge sack. Kyle turned to the right and the left guard and tackle fanned to the left. A series later, Kyle got beaten vertically and this forced a scramble by Petty that ended up on the Baylor bench with Petty in pain. Kyle got called for unsportsmanlike conduct when he and a WVU defender exchanged what could have been construed as punches on a play where the Baylor quarterback and running back had a botched exchange on a zone/read. Kyle must keep his emotions under control. Kyleís drive blocking is improving. When the big center gets his hips behind him, he is able to really move the defensive linemen.



    Backs

    Shock Linwood (32) was held to 69 total yards on 21 carries for an average per carry of 3.3 yards (much below his season average). Shock did have one terrific score in the game when he ran through tackles that might have stopped an average back for a loss and, with great second and third effort, scored a 3rd quarter 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 27-27. This run could only be made by a young man that had decided that he would not be denied. Shock continues to show a lot of heart, even when the running lanes are very small. This run was made possible by very good blocks by the right side. Broxton, Colbert, and Armstead did a great job of driving their men into the end zone. Shock beat the defenders that had penetrated on the left side and found just enough room to run on the right. Despite the low output, Shock is still the leading rusher in the Big XII Conference.

    Devin Chafin (28), still nursing a high ankle sprain, contributed some quality carries in the second half, and rushing for 31 yards on 7 carries for a 4.4 yards per carry average. Devin continues to demonstrate excellent speed to bounce outside and the strength to run through arm tackles for extra yardage. It seems that Devin has the ability to run through the tackle of the first opponent. This ability makes it possible for him to get additional yardage that doesnít appear to be available.

    Bryce Petty (14) had a very difficult day. This difficulty was partly due to the increased pressure that was generated by the Mountaineer defense. In addition, the coverage provided by the WVU secondary and linebackers was outstanding, despite the loss of both of the starting WVU cornerbacks. Petty was 16-36 for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns. Unlike most Baylor games, Bryce was able to complete passes to only 4 different receivers. In fact, 14 of the 16 completed passes went to two of those receivers. Several times, Petty chose to throw short crossing routes or slants in 3rd and long. While this is often dictated by blitz or coverage, it seemed Bryce wanted to get the ball out of his hand and was loath to look for a receiver further down field. In addition, it seems that Bryce is very hesitant to take his responsibility of carrying the football on the zone/read. The WVU DEs and outside linebackers almost totally ignored Bryce on these plays, coming flat down the line of scrimmage to grab the heels of the running backs as they tried to get up into the line of scrimmage. This should not be allowed to happen. Bryce took one sack that is hard to explain. He got plenty of time, and then rolled late to his right. Pursued by a DL, Petty didnít throw the ball away, even though he was out of the pocket. The only explanation is that Bryce never knew the defender was behind him. Bryce continues to have communication problems with Antwan Goodley. As we have seen in several previous games, Goodley reads one thing and Bryce reads another. In addition, this problem is amplified by the fact that Bryce continues to hurry his reads, even when he isnít under pressure. Petty was off-target several times. When receivers were open, he would throw high on intermediate routes. Bryce made a beautiful throw to Corey Coleman on a go route from the inside receiver position. The angle of this throw is very difficult and Bryce put it right on the money. In the 4th quarter, it seemed that Bryce got tunnel vision for Antwan. Almost every throw went that way on a critical drive with 10 minutes to go in the game. Late in the game, WVU was consistently bringing 7 against 6 blockers. Bryce could never make that connection that made their man-to-man coverage pay for this strategy.

    Despite the less-than-Heismanesque performance, Bryce still moved into 3rd place (ahead of JJ Joe) on Baylorís career passing yards list, with 6,097 yards thus far in his time in the Bearsí system.

    Receivers

    It seemed that the fact that WVU was playing cover 1 (man with a free safety) much of the afternoon that the Bears werenít willing to test the vertical passing game as much. As a result, the offense focused on the intermediate passing game much more. In addition, almost all of the Baylor receivers were struggling to get off of the very impressive press coverage technique of the WVU defenders.

    Antwan Goodley (5) was the Bearsí leading receiver with 9 catches for 132 yards and a 63-yard touchdown, greatly aided by an awesome block by Corey Coleman (1). Antwan moved into 7th on Baylorís career receiving yards list (2,009 yards), passing Lanear Sampson, Dominique Zeigler, Trent Shelton, and Melvin Bonner and Goodley moved past David Gettis for 12th place on Baylorís list of career receptions (117). Antwan was very good at the short side stop route against man-to-man coverage. Because Antwan is so fast and strong, defenders are very hesitant to allow the 2013 All-American receiver to run by them. When Antwan staggers his stem, defenders almost always err on the side of taking away the deep move. This gives Goodley plenty of room to make the intermediate catches. When Antwan catches these balls, he is a real chore to tackle for most cornerbacks (although he appears to be less physical this fall than we saw last year). Antwan did a great job of beating the cornerís coverage on a 4th and 7 play at the WVU 26-yard line. Antwan stuck the foot inside and convinced the corner that he was running a slant. The Bear, then, ran right by the defender to present Bryce Petty with one of the most open targets the quarterback saw all night. Bryce overthrew Antwan. One of the cardinal rules of quarterbacking is NEVER overthrow a receiver that is behind everyone. This seemed to be another case of Bryce hurrying when there was no need to hurry. This was a very big miss. This possible TD could have made the score 20-7 just a few minutes into the 2nd quarter. In something of atonement for this play, when Antwan beat the corner in a similar fashion midway through the 2nd quarter, Bryce gave the ball more air (not overthrowing it) and Antwan took this reception 63-yards for a touchdown. One thing that has been gnawing at me is that Antwan doesnít attack the defenders after the catch like we saw last fall. This year (possible because of his leg injury) the receiver is running sideways more than he is running vertically through the tackles of defenders. His yards after the catch on intermediate routes are way down.

    Corey Coleman caught 5 passes for 77 yards and an opening quarter touchdown on a perfectly placed back-shoulder fade. Corey is getting much better on the fake the drag and go deep route. He force a pass interference on a WVU DB in the 1st quarter because Colemanís inside fake had convinced the defender that Corey was going to cross the field on the route. Corey still needs to learn to fight for the ball harder on the jump ball vertical throws. With a little over 7 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, Corey had a fade route down the Baylor sidelines and into the end zone. Instead of leaning into the defender, instead of leaping and catching the ball at its highest point, Corey continued to race down the sidelines and had the ball knocked away by the good coverage of the WVU DB. Another time when Corey didnít attack a route as aggressively as you would like was a 3rd and 12 route at the WVU 17-yard line. The Mountaineers were bringing the heat and Corey broke off his route into a quick slant. The WVU defender jammed Corey and Coleman stopped running the route, looking for a flag. While it did seem that the defender hit Corey while the ball was on the way, if Corey had continued to fight for the ball he might have gotten the flag he was seeking. On the play previous to Coreyís offensive pass interference penalty, Corey had been jammed by the WVU defender and Bryce Petty had been sacked. On the next play, Corey got to the point of his stop route and extended his arm to gain separation. Corey probably didnít need to do this (his route had been very good), but he probably had gotten frustrated by not being able to get separation on the previous play.

    KD Cannon (9) had a very poor game. Obviously he is just a true freshman. But Cannon must perform better than he did on Saturday to deserve playing time with the number one group of receivers. On 3rd and 10 from the WVU 21-yard line, the Mountaineers brought 7 and played zero coverage (straight man coverage). KD couldnít even get off the line of scrimmage. Usually, this is a touchdown for the Bears because there is no deep defender. Beat the press coverage and score. KD couldnít get a release. Petty had to throw the ball away. Another example of KD being overmatched was when he and Corey Coleman ended up being right next to each other at the point of the catch. This was caused by KD getting jammed off of his route and into Coreyís route. In one of the biggest plays of the game (3rd and 8 at the Baylor 45-yard line with the Bears trailing 41-27), KD got behind the defense and Petty put the ball right on the freshmanís hands. The normally sure handed Mt. Pleasant-product seemed to not get his eyes and hands to work together, because the ball bounced off and fell harmlessly to the ground. KD had one catch for 10 yards. One that play, KD got soft coverage, drove the defender deep and then came back for a quality gain.

    Clay Fuller (23) had an opportunity at a big play for a significant gain when he broke behind the safety vertically in the 1st quarter. Fuller couldnít quite track the ball well enough and the pass fell incomplete. It was a tough catch opportunity, but it seemed Clay didnít close inside on the ball quickly enough. Clay did have a very good 33-yard return of a kickoff. Clay couldnít get open on an option route on 3rd and 8 at the end of the 1st half. Fuller seems to be a little slow out of his cuts on a swirl route (where the receiver sells the drag and then retraces his steps to run an out. When Petty left the ball a little too far inside on a fade route by Levi Norwood out of the inside receiver position, Levi did a great job of becoming a defensive back and swatting the ball away from the safety, averting what would have probably been an interception in the WVU end zone. Jay Lee (4) got called for offensive pass interference in the 4th quarter. Later, Jay missed a real opportunity to score when he allowed a quick slant route to go through his hands right at the goal line. On the last offensive play for the Bears, Jay ran the fade route too close to the sidelines and came down with the ball (nice catch) out of bounds.

    TreVon Armstead (41) had a poor day blocking. On a 3rd and 3 trap play at the WVU 26-yard line, TreVon blocked the defender outside of the one he should have blocked and this created a 3-4 yard loss on what could have been a good play. Later in the 2nd quarter, TreVon completely misses a linebacker block as he turns up into the hole on a power scheme play. This defender gets another tackle for a loss created by a missed block by the Baylor tight end. On the next play, TreVon is lead blocking on the WVU safety. The safety hits TreVon so hard that it knocks the 6í6, 270 pound tight end right on his butt. This just canít happen. On this play, it appeared that TreVon simply passed up the edge defender (DE) that he probably should have blocked. This defender made the play on the Baylor running back at the line of scrimmage.

    Overall, the perimeter blocking by the Baylor receiving corps was substandard. Usually this guys are quick at anticipating the leverage and get square to the defender. On Saturday, it seemed that the receivers were just a step too slow at anticipating where they needed to be on running plays that bounced outside.

    Overall

    You have to be impressed with the manner in which the WVU Mountaineers overcame the injuries to their two starting cornerbacks and the starting running back. Those second line players did a great job of coming in and not losing a step. The corners were especially impressive because they were able to cover the highly-regarded Baylor wide receivers for most of the afternoon. Given the loss of a corner as highly regarded as Worley, you would have thought the Bears might be able to take advantage of that matchup more. The fact that the replacement was able to maintain good coverage might be a warning that the Baylor passing game might not be quite as imposing as it was previously. We shall see.

    On the positive side, the Baylor offense had no turnovers for the 3rd time this season. Chris Callahan (40) had two field goals on two attempts at over 30 yards. Just an aside: I donít know why Baylor continues to try the speed option. Even when RGIII was the quarterback, the speed option was not a good play for the Bears. I love the speed option. I think it is a terrific play when run correctly. But Baylor just doesnít make the end play the quarterback. The quarterback consistently pitches the ball too soon and the DE can get flat down the line and making the play on the back.

    The Bears went into the 4th quarter tied at 27 and had the ball. This is usually when the offense begins to impose its will on the opponent. Instead, the Mountaineers dominated the game from that point and pulled away with 14 points while shutting out the Bears in the quarter.
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  3. Montgomery

    I agree 100%...I was a lineman in pee wee's. junior high, high school, college..I coached OL, DL, LB's and DE's in high schools and colleges...I am a 100% advocate for the vital role of all those positions and every position and unit on a football team...OldBear83, you could not be more correct in your assessment that a team wins and a team loses; not one man or just the OL or just the DE's or just the LBs or just the secondary or the QB or a receiver...or the kicking game.

    Versus TCU, TCU's DL & LB's were dead in the fourth quarter...as was TCU's secondary. We ran 109 offensive plays in that game...That is a hell of long time for a D (DL, LB's and secondary) to be on the field...Hence our ability to run the ball, slow down the DL's rush and for the receivers to run wild on TCU's secondary..

    In the 2nd half v WV, our OL was just about on its knees as a result of missing a couple of our very best OL starters...One DL was out as of a previous game and the other was out v WV...and for good. That hurts any unit that is accustomed to working as a unit. We had a great unit before those injuries and now we have a good OL..

    As for early season evidence that we were not in sync, our receiver corps was out...and we (especially the QB) had to adjust to that...And then he had to adjust to their return....Not to mention that the QB had to miss games as a result of injury. More adjustments..

    In the first half of the WV game, our DL and QB were confused at what WV was doing, especially after what WV's DC resorted to as a result of the loss of two of their best defensive backs...We still went ahead...

    Their DC bet the bank on his defensive front's desperate & incessant attack that he resorted to as described in the article above and, after all of that, we still had a real shot at winning the game in the send half of the 4th quarter.

    We can expect that same sort of defensive attack from future opponents until we figure out what it will take to get our game back on track...I fully expect that we will..and I also fully expect that we will do several things we have not done heretofore or stuff we have had success with in the past with TE passes...more counter action runs...maybe a middle screen with Shock (or screens to Antwan in the backfield)...more bubble screens...all of which can be run from every formation we have been in except to on back (QB) formations. We might even run a few sweeps and reverses just to keep their DE's an secondary honest...Some of that will help our normal passing attack..We have to have more deception in order to confuse the opponents..and so we can back and forth to our normal game.

    FYI, I totally respect and a very proud of what BU's coaches do and what they have done...I also realize that they are mortal. I am not raking them over the coals, nor have I said one derogatory thing about the players or coaches...and I will not...

    You will find no one who has done more battle on baylorfans.com for the Baylor coaches, kids and administration than me. I have the scars to show for it...as you should know...I expect and welcome more cuts from those self proclaimed Baylor fans. With friends like some of them, Baylor sports needs no enemies!!

    Quote Originally Posted by OldBear83 View Post
    A lot of people crossed that line, though. One thing I learned when I was much younger, is that coaches work with the team they get. Why is it so hard to understand, for example, that the other coaches in the Big XII have worked their butts off to deal with Baylor's attack? And why do so many people not understand that every completed pass is the result of not just the quarterback and receiver, but the line blocking and the response by the defense?

    As fans, we can't really know what goes on in practices and how the coaches plan out and make adjustments during the game. Against Texas, we obviously did something that got better results in the second half. Against TCU, we did something that made the 4th quarter more effective than the 3rd quarter. And against West Virginia, we ran up against something which - since we have a week off, can be worked on before the next game.

    The Big XII is a serious league. Too many fans see one loss and assume we're falling apart, and that's uncalled-for disrespect for the kind of work we've seen the team and coaches do already. For all the complaints about the OOC schedule and the loss to West Virginia, Baylor is still in the national discussion in late October.

    For all the discussion, let's enjoy that and respect the work done by the Bears. Anything less would be Aggy.
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  4. Game Analysis: Baylor vs. TCU - Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by ftblbob5 View Post
    The Baylor Bears and the TCU Horned Frogs squared off in McLane Stadium for a good, old-fashion barn-burner of a game. These two top ten teams (a first in Waco since 1956) gave all of the 45K+ and a national television audience everything that they could have sought in a game of this magnitude. When it was all said and done, the Baylor Bears scored 24 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to complete the biggest comeback any Baylor Bear fan has seen to propel the home team to a 61-58 victory.

    Offense

    The Baylor Bear offense was taking on a team that many thought was the best defense in the Big XII. This defense, filled with highly motivated and very quick players, had been highly touted by most of the national media. What the Bears did was to earn 39 first down (only 4 by penalty), 272 yards rushing, and a 2nd best in Baylor history 510 yards passing for a total offensive output of 782 yards and 61 points. Wow!

    Offensive Line

    The offensive line had an outstanding day. This TCU defense has been very difficult to run against, giving up an average of 2.5 yards per carry coming into the game. But almost from the beginning of the game, the Baylor line showed the Horned Frogs that they could get great movement at the point of attack. While they gave up 4 sacks (caused by quality tight coverage in the TCU secondary), for the most part the quarterback had plenty of time to deliver the ball. These capabilities meant that the entire playbook for the Bears was at the disposal of Coach Phil Montgomery, and he used all of his bullets against TCU.

    Troy Baker was mistreating the TCU linebackers when he pulled on the Dart play. Baker flattened Marcus Mallet on the first real quality breakaway run for the Bears on the afternoon. You just donít see pancake blocks like this at the elite level of college football. Troy was very alert on these plays. He saw a linebacker blitzing as the senior was pulling and Baker turned right into the blitzer rather than continuing his pull. This enabled the back to cut behind this block for a 1st down.

    While this seems to have been brewing since the off week earlier in the season, it appears we have a full-on competition for playing time at the right guard spot. Getting his first start, Jarell Broxton seems to have moved ahead of the returning starter at the position, Desmine Hilliard (67). Both of these guys have been playing fairly well, but Jarell appears to have taken over the starting job. Desmine is still having some trouble with his pulls. He has a tendency to swing too wide, not hugging the butt-line of his buddy blockers enough. This leaves a seam under which the good linebackers can scrape to make the play. Desmine is athletic enough to correct this issue, he just seems to wander a little too much. In the 4th quarter, Desmine did a great job of following the butt-line all the way outside and being in great position to kick out the scraping linebacker, freeing the back for big yardage on 2nd and 7. Hilliard duplicated this effort on the touchdown run that ended this momentum-swinging drive. Late in the game, it was Jarell Broxton at the left guard that was leading the running back on the power scheme. This three man rotation (Broxton, Hilliard, and Muir) is developing excellent depth at the guard position. This critical drive was primarily runs right at the heart of the highly-regarded run defense of TCU.

    The run action on the play action passing game was as good as I have seen the Bears execute. In addition, the offensive line was very disciplined about not going downfield on these run/pass reads off the zone play. This made it very difficult on the TCU linebackers. The fact that when the Bears did choose to run the running backs were often able to get quality yardage made the Frogs LBs have to step up, leaving a large area behind them for the crossing receivers to exploit.

    The delayed rush by the TCU linebackers caused the Bearsí offensive line some difficulty. When the linebackers saw that the back was not releasing into a route, they were blitzing. This late blitz would not be able to get the quarterback if he was able to get the ball to his first (or possibly even his second) progression. But when tight coverage made it impossible to get the ball thrown quickly, this tactic was tough of the Bears. Dawson was very good at this.

    What has to be said, at this point, is that when the game was on the line, the Baylor offensive line owned the TCU defense. The first scoring drive was a run-blocking clinic by the offensive line. They got great movement and the pulling blockers were exceptional in being in good position for picking up the remaining defender for the backs. When the Bears went to the pass on the next two drives, the protection was flawless. The quarterback had a clear field of vision almost every time he dropped back to throw. This resulted in the offense being able to find receivers on almost every play. Much of the run yardage came from the left side of the offensive line, behind the blocking of Spencer Drango (58) and Blake Muir (73) drive blocking. Muir, also, had a really good pull to get Linwood loose on the drive that tied the game. For all of these great plays, there was probably no play more important than the scrum that developed when the Bears had the ball at the TCU 22-yard line with a 3rd and 4. If the Bears donít get any more yardage, they have to ask their young kicker to line up at the 29-yard line for a field goal that is 10 yards longer than any he has made this fall. Instead, the Baylor offensive line (and a very tough running back) pushed the entire TCU defense for 5 additional yards after it appeared that Paul Dawson might have made the tackle (Baylor would have still had a 1st down) down to the TCU 13-yard line (well within Callahanís range).

    Backs

    Shock Linwood (32) had the first big turnover of the game when he lost the ball as he was going down at the Baylor 36-yard line. Shock has to take better care of the football than this. Yes, TCU might have gotten away with a facemask pull on the play, but people are going to start targeting Shock if he canít resist the efforts of the defense to separate him from the football. Shock ran very tough for the second week in a row. Following excellent pulls by the tackles or the guards, Shock carried the ball 29 times for 178 yards (no lost yardage on the afternoon) for an average of 6.1 yards per carry against the highly-regarded TCU defense. Devin Chafin (28) contributed 10 carries for 43 yards in his second half work. This is just a theory of mine, but I believe that the reason we saw Coleman and Goodley carry the football in the first half was that the Baylor staff believed that Devinís ankle would only survive one half of work. Often when you have a tender ankle, the injury stiffens up during halftime. By utilizing the tough receivers, Baylor was able to save Devin for the second half and not have the ankle stiffen up on the big back.

    Bryce Petty (14) had a great day. With just a few exceptions, the Baylor quarterback was deadly accurate on the deep ball. He was very good at throwing the comebacks in the intermediate range. While Bryce struggle slightly with the short throws (this has been a struggle at times this fall), he got plenty of those to keep the sticks moving. Whether it was by design or by necessity, it appeared that early on Bryce was very willing to demonstrate the fact the Horned Frogs were going to have to be aware of the fact that the Baylor quarterback would be a run threat that they would have to consider. Petty scrambled on the 1st possession on two occasions where, in the past, he might have merely moved slightly in the pocket and thrown the ball. It could have been early nerves, but it seemed more intentional than that. Bryce contributed 10 carries for 45 yards on the afternoon. Bryceís arm strength was on display against TCU. Bryce was very good on comebacks to the short side, connecting with Goodley several times for quality yardage.

    At the beginning of the second half, Bryce had to roll out to the right sidelines away pressure in the pocket. Goodley was open on the sidelines, but Bryce threw the ball slightly to the inside and TCU came up with a quality interception. This gave the Frogs the ball at the Baylor 23-yard line. Thatís not the way you want to start the half. Another big booboo by Bryce was on a read/veer play where the quarterback has the option to give the ball to the back on the veer, keep it on the run, or throw to the receiver if the corner comes off of him. Goodley was the receiver. Bryce did a great job of reading the first two options, but when he tried to get the ball to Goodley, Petty air mailed the ball out of the end zone. Pettyís worst play of the day came on a 3rd and 10 (not a good down and distance against a good defense) when Bryce didnít see Marcus Mallet hanging in the middle, reading the quarterbackís eyes. Petty thought he had Hawthorne on an in-breaking route, but Mallet stepped in front of the receiver and returned the ball 49 yards for a pick six.

    As bad as this play was, it served as a catalyst for one of the best 4th quarter performances any quarterback has ever had. Rather than hang his head or sulk, Petty led his offense back on the field and proceeded to shred one of the top defenses in the nation. Utilizing a short field provided by Trevor Clemons-Valdezís fielding of a squib kick and returning it to the TCU 45-yard line, Petty engineered 3 straight drives to tie the score, leaning first on the strong play of the offensive line and the running of Shock Linwood. Bryce followed this score up with a perfect pass to Antwan Goodley for a 28-yard touchdown, despite pass interference on the play. Then the Bears got the ball on the Baylor 9-yard line. At this point, Bryce and the Bears REALLY went to work. Petty opened the drive with a strike to KD Cannon on a deep crossing route behind the linebackers and in front of the safety for a 26 yard gain (this play was added to by a ďhands to the faceĒ penalty against TCU). The Bears culminated this drive with a perfect pass from Bryce to Corey Coleman for a 25 yard touchdown when the safety bit on a play action fake.

    Receivers

    TCU relied upon its front 6 to play the run. This freed up the safeties to play deep in cover 2 for most of the afternoon. The Frogs locked up their corners on the Baylor wideouts and used their nickel linebacker to get leverage on the inside receivers. This has been a good strategy for TCU over the years. Usually TCU is able to hold up fairly well against the run and this makes the passing lanes fairly tight. This Saturday, the Baylor line was able to run fairly consistently and this made defending the pass much more difficult.

    Early in the game, the Bears had several opportunities to connect on big plays, but were just not quite able to get the ball caught. Antwan Goodley (5) appeared to have a step on double coverage, but Carter was able to pry the ball loose as the players tumbled to the ground. KD Cannon had a full step on the Frog defender on a go route from the inside receiver position. Petty threw the ball short and wide (usually a good place to put the ball because an overthrow is incomplete and a wide throw is putting the ball away from the defenderís reach). It appeared that Cannon anticipated contact, got his feet tangled, and couldnít come up with the catch. As the game progressed, this problem seemed to disappear as the Bears made big play after big play, especially in the 4th quarter.
    It was Antwan Goodley that broke the streak of near misses when he extended almost as far as he could and still maintain his balance, catching the ball with his finger tips and staggering into the end zone for a 66 yard touchdown reception. KD Cannon (9) got a huge block on the play to free up Goodley for the score. The Bears lined up in a wide bunch set and by the time the Frog DBs had sifted out the routes, Goodley had run by the TCU cornerback. With the safety taking the vertical threat of Cannon, there was no help for the corner on the play. By the way, Antwan continues to boogie in the end zone. Do the Bears really need more penalty yardage after touchdowns? Antwan was very productive on comebacks to the short side. Remember, he is a real load to tackle (650 pound squat) and can break a tackle and take one of these to the house at any time. These receptions keep the sticks moving and keep the defense under extreme pressure. Antwan had 8 catches for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. One of the best catches of the afternoon was the catch made by Antwan with 6:39 left in the game. Goodley was tightly covered by the TCU corner. Petty put the ball perfectly on Goodleyís outstretched hands. But the TCU defender had his hands at the point of the catch, too. Goodley demonstrated excellent coordination and hand strength to pull that pass in for the 28-yard score, despite the pass interference called on White on the play.

    Two of the Baylor receivers demonstrated that they are more than just receiving threats by lining up on the backfield and carrying the football. Baylor fans have seen Antwan Goodley (5) do this on several occasions in the past. But it was another receiver that made the strong first impression. Corey Coleman (1) surprised most Baylor fans with a very good run on the first 4th down conversion of the contest when he demonstrated excellent patience and then burst through a hole on the left side for an 11 yard gain. Corey came up with an outstanding 47 yard catch late in the 1st quarter down to the TCU 15-yard line when he maintained concentration despite the presence of a Frog defender between him and the ball that set up the 1st field goal. Coleman held off the Frog defender that was not able to locate the ball and then caught the ball just behind the defenderís backside. This was a great demonstration of concentration by a top-notch receiver. On the very next drive, Corey made another terrific catch when he ran a go route by the short side corner of the Frogs. Corey leaned into the route (turning the hips of the defender) and then ran by the CB, catching the ball just over the shoulder of the cornerback for a touchdown. On the touchdown to tie the game at 58, it was a great play action fake that froze the short side safety, springing the inside vertical route by Coleman open for a 25 yard score. The corner just didnít have a chance to stay with the speedy Baylor receiver. Corey had 8 catches for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns.

    KD Cannon (9) got into the scoring act with a terrific catch for a 67 yard touchdown. Cannon lined up as the middle receiver in trips. As the inside receiver occupied the safety and the outside receiver held the corner, Cannon took a vertical route between these two defenders and made a quality play on the ball for the score. Cannon demonstrated a little strength by stiff arming the safety that came over late to help. KD had what looked like a sure touchdown just go through his hands when the freshman just outran the defense with just a minute left in the 3rd quarter. This route was one that Tevin Reese used so successfully Ė the head fake inside and then the burst up the field vertically. All Petty needs is the safety to bite on the crossing route or dig for just an instant for it to become wide open. KD had 6 catches for 124 yards. That makes 3 Baylor receivers with over 100 yards in receptions. WOW!

    When the Bears wanted to put the press coverage of the corners in a bind, Montgomery used stacked receivers to make it difficult to determine which receiver would go inside and which would work vertically. Jay Lee (4) caught a terrific pass from Petty for a 47 yard touchdown when the safety took the inside cutting receiver and Jay just ran by the corner for the score. One of the facets that made this play so successful is that Lynx Hawthorne (7) has demonstrated himself to be a very real threat at the in-breaking routes. When Lynx turned for the square-in, the safety jumped that route and that meant that the corner (who lined up only a few yards off the LOS) was going to have to cover Lee by himself Ė which his original alignment made almost impossible.

    There were a few times where Bryce and the receivers were still not quite on the same page. The first time was 3rd and goal at the end of the 1st quarter. Montgomery sent motion to get quad receivers to the short side and had a one-on-one matchup with Goodley to the wide side. It appeared that Bryce anticipated a fade (with all that room outside), but Antwan went inside and the quarterback had to scramble and throw the ball away (making the first field goal necessary).

    The officials called a lot of pass interference penalties in this game. And they didnít call some pass interference penalties that should have been called. In my opinion, these calls evened out over the course of the game. I do appreciate how the Baylor receivers fought hard for the ball. When receivers contest for jump balls, they often get the calls.


    Overall

    Chris Callahan (40) had a great day. Callahan was 4 for 4 on his field goals, including a 29-yarder with :01 left in the half and a 28-yarder as time expired to win the game. Chris has struggle mightily early this year, but appears (at least for this day) to have righted the ship and is performing at expected levels. Callahan had 4 relatively easy chances, hitting from 22, 29, 20, and 28 yards. But this game was tight throughout and Chris handled that pressure like a champ on Saturday.

    The kickoff return team is really under-performing. The front line of players made almost no contact with the wedge breakers from TCU. It is puzzling because they appear to be in position. It seems like they arenít willing to pay the price of making face to chest contact with coverage players that are running full speed. Because these critical blockers are making as many blocks as dead men do, the return game has been hit-and-miss at best. Until these players are willing to make solid contact and then stay on their blocks, the Bears wonít be able to take advantage of the highly skilled return men at their disposal.
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  5. Help!!!!

    Hello all, I was not home on Saturday but recorded the game on my DVR and even extended the time to 90 minutes, but due to the length of the game it stopped recording at minute 10 in the 4th quarter!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I can't find the game on Youtube or anywhere else yet, does anyone have any suggestions or have a way to get me the last quarter of the game?? I REALLY want to see it for myself!!!

    Thanks....
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