Originally Posted by ftblbob5
The Baylor defense did not “Start Strong,” again. On the opening drive the Baylor secondary appeared to be totally lost as it gave up a 70-yard touchdown pass to Shelton Gibson. Ryan Reid (9) was completely lost in his coverage of the speedy wideout and Orion Stewart (28), Travon Blanchard (48), and Chance Waz couldn’t keep the young receiver from getting back to the middle of the field and beyond their collective reach. This was ugly beyond belief. To lose the outside receiver in trips alignment that badly, to not be able to corral a wideout against the sidelines when you have four defenders within shouting distance of the catch, and for at least one of the four defenders to not be able to lay even a finger on the receiver is inexcusable. The good news is: it got better after that.
The defense came up with consecutive 3-and-outs and the Bears extended their lead to 17-7. On the next possession, though, the defense gave up 3 third down conversions which led to a score by Cody Clay (who was wide open), narrowing the margin to 17-14. To end the 2nd quarter, the Bears got an end zone interception by Ryan Reid, 3 straight terrific plays on the goal line forcing a field goal, and a missed field goal by Lambert at the end of the half. This allowed the Bears to carry a 27-17 lead into halftime.
The Bears outscored the Mountaineers 21-7 in the 3rd quarter, lengthening their lead to 48-24, going into the 4th quarter, making a comeback by WVU much more difficult. The Bears yielded 471 yards of total offense for a 5.7 yards per play average. But the yardage was inconsistent for WVU. The Mountaineers completed less than 50% of their passes and ran for only 182 yards (the Bears came into the game ranked 32nd in defending the run at 129 yards per game). The Bears were only able to muster one turnover (Reid’s interception), but they held WVU to 6 of 17 on 3rd down conversions and 1 for 4 on 4th down conversions, forcing 4 punts in the process.
The Bears played quite a bit of 3-man front, especially when Andrew Billings went out of the game as a result of an ankle injury. This type of front usually struggles with containing the quarterback and stopping the run. On this afternoon, the 3-man front demonstrated itself to be fairly successful.
Andrew Billings (75) was as totally dominant as I remember any Baylor defensive lineman ever being. He destroyed the guards and center of the Mountaineers. His strength and quickness was on full display as he 6 tackles (3 for losses totaling 10 yards) and the only sack of Baylor’s afternoon. In addition, Andrew got a QBH (quarterback hurry), too. Andrew has become very adept at running the heel line in pursuit and running down the ball carriers at the line of scrimmage. Not every defensive tackle (nose guard) can do this – really not many nose tackles can do this. Andrew is relentless in his pass rush, too. He appears to go with the idea that the shortest way from one point to another is a straight line. His bull rushes ran over and through the WVU linemen and put pressure on the quarterback right in his face. His sack was sheer power and effort. He drove deep at the QB and came up empty, but still continued to compete, wrapping around the blocker to the QB at the WVU 10-yard line. This forced another WVU punt. On the last play of the 1st quarter, Andrew drove the right guard five yards deep in the backfield and was credited with a TFL for his tackle of Shell for a 5 yard loss. This play highlighted the disruptiveness of Andrew Billings on this afternoon. With a 1st and goal from the Baylor 3-yard line, Andrew reached out and made a tackle with the tips of his fingers, which allowed Thomas-Williams a short 1 yard gain. Often on this afternoon, the Mountaineer offensive linemen were hitting the Baylor defensive linemen high and low, a chop block. On a trick play where the offensive linemen know that they need to give the play a little extra time, the WVU center and guard hit Andrew low (not a chop block in this instance) and then cut him down. In the process, one of the linemen grabbed Andrew’s foot and the big defensive tackle fell backwards over the back of the offensive blocker. As a result, Billings suffered an ankle injury. After having x-rays to determine if there was a fracture, Andrew returned to the field of play for one play, but determined that he could continue no longer. He is, currently, in a walking boot and his status for this week’s game is in doubt. He probably won’t play this week.
Beau Blackshear (95) appeared to be feeling better as he tossed away the guard and stoned the running back for a 1 yard loss on 3rd and 5 on WVU’s 2nd offensive series, forcing a punt. Early in the game, Howard (the WVU QB) had success on quarterback draws. Beginning in the second quarter, Beau played flat along the line of scrimmage and knocked down the QB for a short gain. This was the beginning of the end for the QB draws.
Byron Bonds (96) got an excellent stop on 3rd and 3, combining with Orion Stewart to stop Smallwood for a short 1-yard gain. Byron has a tendency to be too quick to stretch outside on what he perceives as flow. This opens a large cutback lane inside which the ball carriers exploit.
KJ Smith (56) showed himself to be a very valuable commodity when he not only played backup defensive end, but came into the game as a defensive tackle replacing the injured nose tackle, Andrew Billings. As a defensive end, KJ has a problem fighting pressure when he gets caught inside of a block. The tackle is able to wash KJ down inside much too easily. KJ is always a hustle player. He gives great effort in pursuit of the ball. KJ was credited with a QBH (quarterback hurry) for his rush from a 3-technique which arrived just a tick too late (but it caused the throw to be low). Smallwood tried to get outside of KJ when he was playing a 5 technique (outside shade of the tackle) in a 3-man line. KJ totally stuffed the block and forced the back to back-track which resulted in a 3-yard loss on the play.
People are running away from Shawn Oakman (2) in the running attack and chipping him with running backs on pass plays in an effort to slow the big defensive end’s pass rush. In addition, Shawn continues to struggle with a bruised knee and a slight limit in hip flexibility which makes it difficult to run the corner to get to the quarterback on his pass rushes. Shawn is just a little too slow when he tries to convert from a speed rush to a rip underneath. Most quality pass rushers do this move in one step. Shawn has to rip, then gather his feet, and then pursue the quarterback. This takes too much time. One of Shawn’s best plays was when the Mountaineers tried to run outside of him at the 2-yard line. Shawn stoned the blocker, threw the blocker off, and made the tackle for a 1-yard loss at the Baylor 3-yard line. Shawn got caught too far upfield to be able to retrace his steps and Smallwood took advantage of this for a big gain right at the end of the half. Like this play, when teams run at Shawn, they have been reading him instead of blocking him. Shawn has to play this tactic better. Shawn did a great job of reading give/keep when the Mountaineers were backed up on their own 9-yard line. Shawn recognized flow going away from him, got flat down the line and tackle the ball carrier for no gain. A little late on 3rd and 15, Shawn got called for a personal foul for hands to the face that gave the Mountaineers an automatic first down. On 4th and 7, Shawn got off on the snap exceptionally well and sped past the tackle before he could get set. Shawn was right in the face of Howard as he overthrew the receiver, giving the ball back to the Bears on the BU 40-yard line.
Jamal Palmer (92) appeared to be struggling with turning the corner on his pass rush, too. Jamal is a speed player and he must be able to get around the tackles quicker to be able to sack the quarterback. Early in the 2nd quarter, Jamal Palmer was called for roughing the passer when he went in high and hit the QB for WVU a little high. Jamal had a tendency to open the off-tackle a little too wide as he tried to take on the reach blocks by the offensive tackle. This created a gap that was too large for the linebackers to fill. Jamal did a great job of containing an off-tackle play at the beginning of the 4th quarter, making the tackle for a loss of 1 yard. Following the onside kick that was recovered by WVU, Jamal got right in the face of Howard on two consecutive plays. Both of these plays resulted in incompletions. On 4th down, Jamal, again, got right in the face of Howard resulting in another incompletion and the ball going over to the Bears on downs.
Brian Nance (15) made a good play when he came off of his rush and jumped up, batting the thrown ball up in the air. Nance stayed with the play and had a slight chance of coming up with the interception. Nance demonstrated excellent quickness in his limited playing time. One play that highlighted his quickness was a read sweep where Howard read Nance and decided to keep the ball. Howard did this because Nance was playing loose, but he also had his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage (a real necessary fundamental). After the read, Brian came flat down the line of scrimmage and made the play on Howard for a loss of 1 yard.
Originally Posted by ftblbob5
The Baylor Bears extended their season record to 6-0 and their Big XII Conference record to 3-0 with their 62-38 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday in McLane Stadium in Waco. The win extended the Bears’ home winning streak to 19 games, the longest home winning streak in FBS football.
The Baylor offense went for 600+ total yards of offense for the 6th time this season and the 33rd time during the Briles era (there were only 3 instances of 600+ yards of total offense prior to Coach Briles coming to Baylor). Having thrown for at least 4 TDs in each game this fall, the Bears accounted for 6 TD passes on Saturday. The Bears had 304 yards rushing and 389 yards passing against the Mountaineers stunting 3-3 stack defense, with the highest rated defensive secondary in the conference. The offense average 8.2 yards per play on the afternoon and had no turnovers.
The Mountaineer defense believed that the formula for beating the Bears relied on pressure, even at the expense of coverage. They crowded the box with defensive linemen and linebackers, and even brought a safety or two into the box when the Baylor formations allowed them to do this. All of this only slowed the Baylor offense slightly.
Without a run threat at quarterback last fall, the Baylor offense struggled to maintain an effective running game up in Morgantown. Although the rushing totals for the running backs were slightly off their season-long production, the addition of the run threat from the quarterback left the WVU defense with too few defenders for the offensive pieces in the box. Usually, the 3-3 makes it tough for the offensive front to block all 6 defenders. The running quarterback gave the offensive line the edge that they needed to account for all of the stunting that the MVU 3-3 stack defense creates.
The Bears unveiled a shotgun version of the counter option (crazy option) on Saturday that gave Baylor a new look and complimented the speed option very well. This little bit of misdirection really caught the MVU defense by surprise and gave the Bears another outside play to add to their rushing attack without having to use jet motion.
The Baylor pass protection was very secure. The only rushes that could even get close to the Baylor passer were delayed blitzes by the linebackers and blitzes from the secondary that brought one more defender than the Bears could block. The offensive linemen were consistently secure. The MVU defenders didn’t even push them back toward the quarterback. The line kept the pocket wide and secure most of the afternoon.
The line created surprising movement in the rushing attack. With WVU stunting so much, you’d expect more instances of missed assignments. While the H-backs struggled a little, the offensive line uniformly got great body positions on the defenders and maintained their blocks long enough for the backs to break through to level 2 or 3. There were more than a few plays on this Saturday that were just a shoelace tackle away from going the distance against the aggressive WVU defense.
Blake Muir (73) and Jarell Broxton (61) are pillars of granite in that interior offensive line. Both of these guys really get quality movement at the point of attack on defensive linemen. In addition, they maintain contact better than their more athletic partners.
Spencer Drango (58) continues to be reliable as the blind side blocker for the quarterback. He is rarely tested by a DE or a linebacker blitz off of the left edge. Drango is very reliable on his dart pulls, too. He does a great job of looking his bock in with his eyes.
It’s really difficult to find things to point out that need work. Pat Colbert swung too wide on one dart play, allowing the defender to come underneath his path and make the play on the running back. Of course, this play was after Pat had executed several dart plays where the Bears got real quality yardage. Spencer Drango had a defensive end roll off of his block and plug the hole on an off-tackle play. Colbert couldn’t chase down a linebacker that cut off what might have been a big gain on a quarterback keeper early in the 3rd quarter. But on the next play, Colbert got the same block and paved the way for a 15+ yard gain.
The running backs struggled with pass protection against the blitzing Mountaineers, but they held up enough to allow the quarterback to unload the ball. The H-backs were much better at pass protection and were very solid on their run blocks.
Shock Linwood (32) had 19 carries for 84 yards due to 9 yards in losses when he chose poorly on cuts off of lead blocks. While his totals were significantly less than we have seen from the Linden-Kildare product lately, Shock was very explosive when he got the right crease on Saturday. He showed quite a few flashes of the brilliance we have seen so often this fall. He struggled some against the blitzing linebackers, but he was good enough to keep the blitzer off of the quarterback. Shock missed a blitz pickup on a safety blitz on the quarterback’s backside, leading to a short throw. Shock continues to make quality cuts against defenders that leave them tackling nothing but air. Shock followed Pat Colbert’s dart pull very well and squeezed through a tight hole at the line of scrimmage and hurdled over a safety for a 12 yard gain. On the next play, CKB ran the same play, but Shock tried to go outside of the block, unwisely and unsuccessfully. Shock got lose for a 21-yard gain behind the blocking of Spencer Drango on a dart play. Shock’s touchdown on the speed option in the 4th quarter was a typical Shock Linwood-TD. He broke a tackle and then ran over a defender at the goal line.
Johnny Jefferson (5) got some playing time starting in the 2nd quarter. Jefferson had 7 carries for 19 yards. It wasn’t Johnny’s best day. Terence Williams (22) had 6 carries for 26 yards.
It was good to see Devin Chafin (28) in short yardage. But it appeared that Devin might not be completely back to his former self, yet. While he converted the 4th down play into a first down, he lost his feet more easily than we have seen the big Baylor back do in the past.
LaQuan McGowan (80) was very effective on Saturday. He didn’t whiff as many blocks and was his usual awesome self when he was able to lock on to a defender. Once, in pass protection, LaQuan locked up with a linebacker and put that poor kid flat on his back, and then LaQuan fell on top of him. I thought that the linebacker might be upset or that LaQuan might talk some smack. But the big H-back just popped the defender on the head, friendly-like, as he walked back to the line of scrimmage.
Trevor Clemens-Valdez (98) got a lot of looks as the H-back. Overall, Trevor did a quality job. He doesn’t bring the impact of LaQuan (who does?), but he made quality contact and maintained his block very effectively. Trevor probably had the highlight of his career in the 4th quarter when he caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jarrett Stidham.
Seth Russell (17) effectively established himself as a run threat that all other defenses must solve. The biggest factor in Seth’s effectiveness in carrying the football is that the support safety is now wrong almost every time that Seth gets a keep read or Coach Briles chooses to dial the quarterback’s number on a scripted run for the quarterback. Seth carried the ball 14 times for 160 yards and 1 touchdown (the opening drive of the game). Seth ripped off a 46-yard gain on a sweep read where he did a great job of following his blocks and then bursting into the secondary. In the 3rd quarter, Seth ran the dart read to the other side of the offensive line for a quality 30-yard gain. Seth was very effective as a scrambler, too. These two added dimensions will be very important as the Bears begin to face tougher foes over the next few weeks.
Early in the game, Seth had very few poor throws. He was one target almost every time. Even his misses, missed where he needed to miss – away from the defender. Because of the aggressive style of defense played by WVU, Seth was very aggressive with his throws (as were the receivers with their route choices). This led to a poorer completion percentage, but a much larger payoff when the ball found a receiver’s hands.
Jarrett Stidham (3) continues to impress in limited time. The Stephenville-product had only one pass, but it went for a touchdown. Stidham added 3 carries for 14 yards.
What can you say about Corey Coleman (1) except that he has been brilliant this fall? On the first deep pass of the afternoon, Corey had a step on the cornerback, Worley. Despite having his arm held slightly, Corey came up with the over the shoulder catch for a 50-yard gain. Corey is very effective on possession routes because defenders have to respect his vertical qualities. Defenses have really started running players to his side on the release of the ball. Corey isn’t going to have much time for multiple moves on defenders. He needs to make one move and get vertical. When WVU walked up their free safety into the box, it gave Corey free rein to work the middle of the field, which he did so very effectively. Corey’s first touchdown of the afternoon was a great head-and-shoulder fake at the LOS and a slant route run past Worley that appeared too easy. The great ones make it look too easy all the time. Corey’s release moves leave defenders with no choice but to grab anything possible to slow him down, which led to a holding penalty in the 2nd quarter on WVU. Much like his first touchdown, Corey beat Worley at the line of scrimmage and caught a go route for an 11-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter. Early in the 3rd quarter, Corey dropped a great slant throw by Russell that might have gone all the way. Corey made up for it later in the drive with the game’s most spectacular play. Russell hit Corey on a slant on 4th and 3. Corey put on the air brakes and stopped dead as the defenders slid by the receiver. Corey got back to full speed in a couple of steps and outraced the trailing defenders to the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown.
KD Cannon (9) did a good job of working vertically against the quality pass defenders of the WVU defense. His releases were very effective on Saturday. He put defenders into panic trail positions on several plays, drawing a pass interference penalty on Askew-Henry in the 1st quarter. KD did a great job of finding the open area underneath the safety on Baylor’s 3rd drive for a 22-yard gain to midfield. You’d like to see KD keep the ball “high and tight” after the catch instead of swinging it around in one hand. On Baylor’s 4th drive, Coach Briles featured KD on two consecutive screen passes behind the capable blocking of Davian Hall (16) and Jay Lee (4). On both of these, KD got quality yardage by staying in bounds, following his blocks, and breaking tackles. KD got another screen where he beat on defender at the point of attack and raced down the Baylor sidelines for a 16-yard gain. On one of KD’s best ever adjustments to the ball, Seth underthrew the go route (probably on purpose) and KD came under the defender for what appeared to be a big catch. But the defender (Worley) did a great job of getting his hands between KD’s, ripping the ball away.
Jay Lee missed an early touchdown when he couldn’t make the adjustment on a throw over his outside shoulder in the back of the end zone. Russell perfectly placed the ball away from the overlapping safety, but Jay couldn’t get his head around well enough to make the catch. Jay Lee drew a holding penalty on a Mountaineer cornerback when he did a great job of faking a block on a slip screen and ran past the defender. When the defender realized he had been fooled, the Mountaineer just reach out and grabbed Lee as he ran by the defender. On another spectacular play, Jay Lee caught a 3rd and 15 play in the back of the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown. It was a great throw, but an even better catch. On the very next Baylor play from scrimmage, Jay caught his defender playing the slip screen and sprinted past him for an easy 52-yard touchdown catch and run for the receiver from Allen’s 2nd touchdown catch of the day.
Davian Hall dropped a possible big gainer on a screen.
One thing that kept the game fairly (loosely speaking) close was the fact that the Bears were 4 of 13 in 3rd down conversions. Of course this was off-set by the fact that the Bears were 4 of 5 on 4th down conversions.
Originally Posted by ftblbob5
The Baylor Bears defeated the Kansas Jayhawks (0-5), as expected, 66-7, in Lawrence, KS on Saturday, running their record to 5-0 for the 3rd consecutive season. The Bears are one of 16 unbeaten team remaining in the FBS. In the post-game press conference, Coach Art Briles declared that he believed he has “one of the freshest teams in America” due to the fact that the starters have been able to be rested so often in the first 5 games (some starters were out of the game by the middle of the 2nd quarter and the entire first team offense did not return to the field of play after halftime). Playing one of their most mistake-free games, the Bears were tagged for only 4 penalties (2 offensive and 2 defensive) for just 33 yards and 1 turnover.
Baylor finished the game with a season “low” of 644 yards of total offense because they severely scaled back the offense in the 2nd half and played the entire 2nd and 3rd team offensive players for the entire 2nd half of the contest. Baylor scored on their first 7 possessions of the game. The Bears had 5 passing touchdowns on Saturday on have thrown at least 4 TD passes in every game this season.
The offensive line was totally dominant, again. One of the things I noticed more often in this game is that the offensive line seems to be recognizing when the LBs are not playing the run. This recognition allows the blocker responsible for level two to stop at the 3-yard mark and not be flagged for an ineligible receiver downfield. This is high level stuff. Any hurries that Seth experienced were a direct result of excellent coverage by the KU secondary because the quarterback had as many as 8 seconds to throw the ball on a few occasions.
Spencer Drango (58) is still a terrific player, but when you compare him to Blake Muir (73), I’m not so sure which player is playing better right now. Drango’s pass protection is superb. His balance and footwork is impeccable. The job of the left tackle is much more difficult in pass protection and Drango does this so well. But Blake Muir has been just as good at pass protection and has been slightly better in run blocking. Muir is getting exceptional movement on almost every play. His pulls have been tighter and more effective consistently than Drango’s. Side by side, these two guys are awesome. Spencer didn’t have an awesome start. On the first drive, he got tripped up by someone’s foot and had to throw at the LB on a sweep read play. Later, he was beaten badly on a pinch stunt by the end. This penetration kept the pulling guard from being able to wrap around to the playside.
Kyle Fuller (55) is exceptionally strong, especially in his upper body. He could be a little livelier in his footwork. Kyle has a tendency to stick his feet in the ground and bench press people. I’d like to see him get more leg drive on some of his blocks. When Kyle gets to work at the 2nd level, he is very impressive. He really looks his blocks in and maintains contact very well at level 2. Kyle showed plenty of quickness when he led a swing pass to Linwood to the short side near the KU bench. Blocking in the open field is not real easy for a big guy. But Fuller, really looked that block in very well and cut down the defender just as the running back streaked by the defender.
It feels like I say this every time I write about the offensive line, but Jarrel Broxton (61) is an earthmover. He is a terrific drive blocker that gets great movement every time the scheme allows him to really blow off of the line of scrimmage. Desmine Hilliard (67) was the first second teamer to see action. Hilliard is a Broxton clone that is another terrific drive blocker. He is really wide and uses his size to his best advantage on run blocking. As wide as he is, Desmine is still an effective wrap blocker on the power scheme.
Pat Colbert (69) has really improved. His wrap blocks are really tight, now. He still needs to bend his knees at the point of contact more. Pat has a tendency to reach for blocks, especially when he is at full speed. More knee bend and running through people more would result in better contact at the point of block after wrapping. When he gets great contact on these pulls (like he did on the opening play of Baylor’s 3rd drive), Pat nails defenders. Such a satisfying result will probably encourage Pat to utilize better technique more often because that had to feel real good. Patrick Lawrence (77), out of Waxahachie, appears to be a good drive blocker. He caved down the right side for a quality gain early in the 4th quarter. Lawrence did pick up a false start penalty that stalled a 4th quarter drive.
Shock Linwood (32) had another terrific day carrying the football. Shock had 134 yards rushing on just 13 carries; averaging 10.4 yards per carry (the 4th time Shock has gone over 100 yards this season). This phenomenal day moved him past Jerod Douglas (2,811 from 1994-1997) for the 2nd most yards rushing in Baylor history (he’s 813 yards behind Walter Abercrombie for the career rushing record for Baylor). He scored his 31st career touchdown for Baylor University on an early 2nd quarter 1-yard run. Shock had two receptions out of the backfield for 17 yards. Shock has gotten so good at attacking downhill. He is really running behind his pads, now. He is blowing up defensive backs and running through their tackles for additional yardage. Shock’s legs are so strong that it appears people just bounce off of his thigh pads. On Baylor’s second drive, Shock became invisible when he spun on a dime and accelerated for additional yardage down the Baylor sidelines for a 40-yard gain. Shock, first, made the safety miss almost at the line of scrimmage and then spun on the corner’s tackle, leaving the defender tackling field turf. Shock had another spin move early in the 2nd quarter when he took the ball down to the KU 1-yard line. Beating the safety, again, he left the Jayhawk defender grasping at air.
Johnny Jefferson (5) had 15 carries for 80 yards and scored on a 5-yard run in the 2nd quarter. Johnny’s touchdown was facilitated by a great block by Spencer Drango which allowed the running back to run into the end zone untouched. This really wasn’t Johnny’s best day carrying the football. It seemed that almost every time he was presented with a choice on a cut, Johnny chose to flatten out around a block rather than cutting upfield. On this day, those choices resulted in the pursuit catching Johnny more often that it resulted in positive yardage. Johnny did a great job of following a wrap pull by Pat Colbert and squirting through a very tight hole for quality yardage in the 2nd quarter. Johnny has excellent vision for what is happening at level two. He made a backside cut on a dart play designed to go to the left that allowed him to get quality yardage by running away from where the play was planned. Johnny got a quality carry on the opening play of the 2nd half, despite a less than satisfactory block from the tackle leading the play. He did a great job of maintaining balance and struggling upfield.
Terence Williams (22) continues to excel in mop-up duty for the Bears. Williams had 10 carries for 66 yards and a 6.5 yards per carry average in the 2nd half of Saturday’s contest. Terence’s first carry was a nifty 16-yard gain between Ishmael Wilson (68) and Josh Pelzel (70), two second group underclassmen that show much promise.
The highlight that was featured on most of the sports broadcasts regarding this game was the 18-yard touchdown pass to LaQuan McGowan (80). McGowan lined up in the backfield and simulated an isolation block on the linebacker. McGowan avoided contact with the LB and slipped into the defensive backfield, untouched. After catching the ball, LaQuan avoided the tackle of the KU safety by sidestepping around/over him for the score. LaQuan needs to get much tighter on his wrap pulls. This is a terrific play off of an isolation look. With a target as big as LaQuan, it is more easy to complete than it is to the usual 6’ tall H-back. The biggest H-back in the world has a tendency to swing much too wide and allows defenders scraping tight off of the down blocks to beat his wrap underneath the block. On the keeper for a touchdown by the quarterback, LaQuan caved down the defensive end and the rest of that side of the KU defense with a terrific drive block. That’s what Baylor fans want to see this big man do – impressive. LaQuan seems to have found a way to combat the “dive for cover” technique many linebackers try when confronted by a LaQuan McGowan Isolation Block. When they dive, LaQuan has started diving on top of the defender and rolling after contact to get this size 22 feet out of the hole so that the ball carrier has a less obstructed hole. Trevor Clemens-Valdez (98) came in at H-back in the second half and did a very good job. He will be a quality contributor to the offense, if needed. He does a good job of maintaining balance on his blocks and keeps his feet moving very well. On the other hand, TCV has to work on his route running. Instead of just running and trusting the QB to put it on him, TCV shuffled upfield and the ball was just beyond his reach.
Seth Russell (17) had another terrific game. He threw for 246 yards (in the first half) and 3 touchdowns. By the way, this was the first start in his career that he did not throw at least 4 touchdowns. He’s had 27 total touchdowns in 6 starts, to this point. Seth, also, ran for a 5-yard touchdown on a zone read (so he did account for at least 4 touchdowns). Seth’s 22 touchdowns in this season tie him for 5th on the list for most touchdowns in a single season for Baylor (he has 7 games remaining – Wow!). Seth was very good on reading the stretch read play. This is a play that Seth has had the tendency to choose to keep when the back could have outrun the defensive end. Seth made a better choice consistently against the Jayhawks. Seth still has a tendency to be a little off target on crossing routes and slants. It seems that he is a little high or a little behind the receiver when he doesn’t just drill the receiver in the chest (which is what he does MOST of the time). In addition, it seemed that Seth was just a little off on some of his deep throws. I know…this is really nitpicking to say a guy is off when he only has 9 incompletions out of 27 throws. Sorry. Seth’s 2nd touchdown pass of the day was a dart between linebackers and underneath the safety right at the goal line. That was some throw. Seth got sacked on the last play of the half. It was Seth’s fault – he was indecisive about running or throwing (he had to be thinking that if he scrambled, it might run out the clock). It wasn’t his best play.
Jarrett Stidham (3) threw 2 touchdown passes on the afternoon (the 1st multiple touchdown pass day of this career). Jarrett, also, set new career highs in passing yards (177), completions (9), and attempts (10) on the afternoon. Stidham showed off his arm strength on a dart to Platt running a square-in. Stidham found the window between the LBs and drilled the ball for a 14-yard gain.
Corey Coleman (1) continues to strive to demonstrate himself to be the best receiver in college football this season. Corey’s not the biggest receiver, but he has certainly been the most productive when calculated by minutes played. In limited play due to the fact that his team has been so far ahead in many of the games, Corey has caught 13 touchdown passes, tying him with Antwan Goodley (2013) for the 2nd most in a season in Baylor history (and he has 7 games remaining – Wow!). By the way, Corey is just one short of Kendall Wright’s school record of 14 touchdown receptions in a season. What Corey is doing this fall is just phenomenal (have I used that word before?). Corey totaled 108 yards in a quarter and a half of play (his 9th career 100-yard receiving day in his Baylor career). Corey’s first touchdown (ending the opening drive) was another one of those hitch routes where he got the ball and was able to turn around and see the defender. Coach Ebby is right. Every time this happens, Corey makes the guy miss. Coleman’s 2nd touchdown was a great throw by Russell between LBs and underneath the safety. But Corey found that opening and really did a great job of presenting his numbers to the quarterback to facilitate an accurate throw. Corey cradled the ball and fell into the end zone. Coleman is very good at reading coverages and choosing routes for those coverages. This makes him a viable option most of the time. One of the best plays of the day was set up when the KU defensive end jumped offside. The Baylor philosophy is to go deep anytime the defense jumps offside. Despite the safety being deep, Seth threw the ball up and Corey made a terrific adjustment on the ball, catching it right in front of the defender (who I’m sure thought he had an interception). This was another display of making a great play on the ball while it is in the air – Spencer Tillman (the play by play announcer called it “an item of excellence.” I liked that.
KD Cannon (9) had 4 catches for 46 yards. KD appears to be improving at finding that opening behind the linebacker level and underneath the safety. KD’s speed will keep the safeties deep, so this window should be there for the Bears to exploit quite often.
Chris Platt (14) continues to be a favorite target of Stidham, catching 4 passes for 36 yards. Chris made an excellent catch on a quick slant that Jarrett threw slightly behind the receiver because he had a defensive end that was about to plant his helmet into the quarterback’s chest. It moved the sticks.
Jay Lee (4) only had 1 reception in the contest, but he did a great job of working back to the quarterback utilizing the scramble drill effectively. Jay broke a tackle and dashed down the sidelines for quality yardage. Jay did some quality blocking in the short game on the perimeter. This is a big improvement from what was seen at times last fall. Jay missed an opportunity at a touchdown when he wasn’t on the same page as Russell on a back-shoulder-fade attempt. Seth put the ball in the perfect place, but Jay wasn’t ready for it. Ishmael Zamora (8) had a career-long reception of 37 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Zamora just ran right by the corner and Stidham put the ball right on the money. Davion Hall (16) had a 30-yard reception for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Davion easily beat the coverage and Jarrett had the ball there in a hiccup, right on target. Davion is one of the best perimeter blockers in the receiving corps, too. Lynx Hawthorne (7) had a terrific 34-yard punt return that gave the Baylor offense excellent field position and set up the touchdown to LaQuan McGowan. Lynx, also, had two receptions for 23 yards. Lynx isn’t a physical blocker, but he does a great job of getting just enough of a defender to allow the back to break off of his block. Lynx made a huge mistake in the kicking game when he failed to catch a punt that eventually hit him, giving the ball to the Jayhawks. Chris Johnson (13) had 1 reception for 9 yards.
Baylor was a terrific 7 of 12 on 3rd down and 1 for 1 on 4th down conversions. The Bears only had to punt once in the game. Baylor did not throw a pass after the 12 minute mark in the 4th quarter.
Chris Callahan (4) made a 31-yard field goal, but missed to the right on a 34-yard attempt (his first miss of the year). For his career, Chris has made 19 of 28 (and remember, he missed his first 5 in a row – 19 of 23 since).
Originally Posted by ftblbob5
The Baylor Bears’ defense got 4 turnovers (2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions) and had 5 other stops against the Red Raiders’ offense. These turnovers are critical because of the difficulty any team might have in stopping the Red Raiders’ highly-effective offense. Regardless of their 3-2 record, Tech has defeated Arkansas and played number two TCU to a 54-52 loss on a fluke play at the last seconds of the game. This is not last year’s Texas Tech team. These guys have a very balanced offense (in that they can throw the ball to any receiver and still run the ball fairly well) and a quarterback who is a true playmaker, probably better out of the pocket than in the pocket. They play a wide-open style of offensive football that tries to place defenders in wide open spaces, daring them to make a tackle on the quick footed offense skill players that Tech seems to have by the hundreds.
In addition, Tech was willing to play with more risk than most teams. The Red Raiders tried 6 different “trick plays” against the Bears. When you play a team that plays like they have nothing to lose, sometimes they can make plays when a more conservative team might be punting. The Red Raiders “went for it” on 4th down 5 times in the game. They made only two of those, but those two conversions kept drives alive that might otherwise have ended if the Bears were playing a team less willing to “live on the edge.” The Bears held the Red Raiders to less than a 50% conversion rate on 3rd down (8 of 18 for 44.4%).
On the negative side, the Bears did give up a lot of yards (but not many points, relatively speaking). Tech tallied 636 yards of total offense and 530 of it was through the air. The Red Raiders completed 62% of their passes (40 of 65) and averaged 13.2 yards per completion. They had four touchdowns through the air and one by rushing. From the beginning, it appears that Coach Bennett was planning on bringing the pressure on Mahomes because he was nursing a bad knee. This philosophy put defenders in one-on-one matchups with the quick footed Tech skill players. Those guys took full advantage of these opportunities (despite dropping several passes that could have gone for significant yardage).
The defensive line did a great job of controlling the Tech rushing attack and their quality running back, DeAndre Washington. Washington carried the ball 13 times for only 41 yards, a 3.0 yards per carry average. In playing the run, the Baylor line dominated the experienced Tech offensive linemen. There was just no place to go. Shawn Oakman (2) and Andrew Billings (75) were standouts against the run for the Bears. Oakman and Billings are not credited with many tackles or ANY sacks, but they did a great job of hemming in a dangerous quarterback and stuffing run blockers to reduce the effectiveness of Washington.
Against the pass, the Bears’ strategy appeared to be to try and keep the slippery Pat Mahomes within the pocket. We didn’t see much of the sprinter-style pass rush from the defensive ends. The defensive tackles appeared to be happy with a bull rush technique, keeping their relative position in their rush lanes occupied. This concentrated effort to keep Mahomes in the pocket probably reduced the amount of pressure that was applied directly to the quarterback, but it, also, reduced the number of times the Tech QB got outside of contain or was able to scramble. These were two huge goals for the Baylor defense going into the game.
Mahomes was most dangerous when he was able to extend plays by rolling to one side or the other. On Tech’s opening drive, the Bears appeared to be squeezing the pocket on the Tech quarterback when Jamal Palmer (92) was not able to mount much of a rush to Mahomes right. The Tech quarterback rolled away from pressure and heaved a ball deep and beyond a defending safety that misjudged the ball for a Tech touchdown. This was a harbinger of things to come. Whereas Tech was able to complete quite a few passes, the big plays came when the quarterback was able to roll to one side or the other, getting out of the pocket. To his credit, Jamal Palmer was the most productive pass rusher on the Baylor defense. Palmer is credited with 4 quarterback hurries on the afternoon. Jamal does a great job of using his hands to free him, like he did on his first quarterback hurry in the 1st quarter. In addition, Palmer is very good (like Oakman) of coming down the heel-line of the offensive line and making plays on inside dives or on runs away from their side for little or no gain.
Andrew Billings is becoming a much more effective pass rusher. Against the Tech center and guards, Andrew was giving those big guys the slip quite often. This forced the QB to unload the ball much earlier than he would have liked.
One thing I saw that I have never seen previously was the Tech right guard drive blocking Beau Blackshear (95) 4-5 yards down field. Usually, Beau is much too strong to be driven off the ball like this. Beau had a decent day. He is credited with 4 tackles on the afternoon, which is a little above his average production. KJ Smith (56) got 2 quarterback hurries in the snaps he received. KJ doesn’t get quite as many snaps as some of the others, so getting 2 hurries are very productive.
Taylor Young (1) is the bell cow at linebacker for the Bears. He leads the way. He sets the tempo. The Desoto product is as active as any linebacker in the conference. Against the Red Raiders, Taylor had 8 total tackles, two of which were for losses. Aiavion Edwards (20) came in for Taylor and got quarterback hurry on Davis.
Grant Campbell (5) had an active day, with 9 total tackle and quarterback hurry to his credit. Grant made some quality plays on the afternoon, but Grant continues to miss tackles in the hole at the line of scrimmage. He does this because he stops closing grass with his feet and reaches, diving at the runner’s ankles. Campbell needs to keep squeezing the ball carrier and run his eyes right through the opponent’s chest, rather than diving at their feet. A huge play early in the game was a blitz by Campbell, where the MLB was unblocked and had a bead on Mahomes. Campbell ran right at Mahomes and the Tech quarterback faked out the linebacker, rolled left and found a waiting receiver for a touchdown. Coach Bennett and Coach Briles both got after Campbell quite spiritedly when he got to the sidelines. My question is: how many more times are they going to chew him out rather than just seeing what another defender (Raaquan Davis - #19) might be able to do? The change to Chance Waz (18) is paying dividends. Another change might pay off, too. What how many times you see Campbell reaching with his feet stopped, arms extended as the ball carrier speeds past the Baylor defender. Grant made a foolish mistake when he took a late shot on Mahomes after the whistle blew at the end of the long interception return.
Travon Blanchard (48) continues to be very solid at the Bearbacker position for Baylor. Travon had some critical plays against the Red Raiders. Travon made a huge play late in the 2nd quarter with the Bears leading 49-21, but Tech was driving. Blanchard forced a fumble by Brown right on the Baylor sidelines. Safety Chance Waz (18) recovered the ball on the Tech 40-yard line (the play was reviewed by ruled to “stand”). While the offense didn’t score on that possession, it kept the margin at 28 going into halftime. Travon, also, got a good interception when he out-fought a fellow defender for a prayer thrown up by Mahomes under heavy pressure from Jamal Palmer.
Patrick Levels (21) was outstanding as the extra nickel linebacker in the 3-4 package Coach Bennett employed for some of the first half and most of the second half. Levels was used as an edge blitzer and tallied 2 tackles, 3 QB hurries, and almost had a pick six (he needs to work on his catching skills, LOL).
The overall coverage concept appeared to be to take away the deeper in-breaking routes and then react up on the check down routes Tech ran under those deeper routes. Tech is good at taking what you give them and they have displayed superior patience for an air-raid-type offense. This makes them doubly hard to contain. The Bears were very lucky that 2 or 3 passes (right on target) were dropped by the Red Raider receivers.
Orion Stewart (28) had a very active day. Against a passing offense like Tech’s, it is not surprising that a safety would be the leading tackler for the Bears. Stewart had 10 total tackles, and a forced fumble which he also recovered. Stewart made this big play on Tech’s first drive of the 2nd quarter. Just as the ball carrier was going to the ground, Orion yanked the ball loose and right into his arms, stopping the drive and giving the Baylor offense the ball at the Baylor 41-yard line. Baylor quickly turned this turnover into another touchdown. Early in the game, Orion made a “bonehead” play when he totally misjudged a deep ball thrown by Mahomes when he was able to get out of the pocket to the right. Mahomes hit Zach Austin for a way too easy 55 yard touchdown to tie the score, 7-7.
Chance Waz has taken over at the cover safety position (this is the safety that plays to the wide side of the field). Chance continues to be a solid player that has shown he is a sure tackler. Waz had 8 total tackles on the afternoon, plus a fumble recovery. Like Burt, Waz is struggling with covering the square-out (what many call the quarters beater, because it is so difficult to cover this route and not give up something deeper, if you do). In the 1st quarter, Giles beat Waz for 18 yards, but the true sophomore safety drove on the ball very well and made a quality tackle in the open field. Later, Chance gave up a touchdown when Mahomes got out of the pocket and found Brown just beyond the young safeties ability to reach the ball. At the end of the 1st half, Waz did a great job of reacting to the loose ball and corralling it prior to touching the out of bounds line (at least, that’s what they said on the field).
Xavien Howard (4) continues to have a good year (not perfect, but good). Against the Red Raiders, Xavien broke up 2 passes and had a big interception and return of 46-yards to flip the field for the Bears. Xavien, also, is credited with 4 tackles on the afternoon. Xavien was very quick to react up on a pass from Mahomes to Washington in the 1st quarter. Howard nailed the elusive running back for just a 1 yard gain. Xavien got tagged for a defensive holding penalty on a 4th and 8, giving the Red Raiders 10 yards and an automatic first down when he grabbed Austin as the Red Raider went by the cornerback.
Ryan Reid (9) had a decent, but not spectacular, game against the Red Raiders. Ryan broke up one pass against Tech and he was close in coverage on several more. On a post (that was dropped) in the first half, it seemed that Reid was gliding (not running full-out) behind the receiver like he thought the ball might not come that way. Corners have to be ready all the time against a team like Tech. I don’t know why Ryan didn’t come up with a tackle inside the 5-yard line on the Mahomes scramble. It seemed he just gave up on the play. Ryan got beaten by Grant for a 34-yard gain to open a late 3rd quarter drive for the Red Raiders. Grant is a terrific talent, but Ryan needs to be able to defend the ball better. Reid got nailed for pass interference when he made contact without turning for the ball, giving the Red Raiders the ball deep in the Baylor end of the field midway through the 4th quarter.
The first kickoff coverage of the afternoon saw Tech run a “lateral return” where one safety starts to return the ball and then stops and throws the ball across the field to the other return man. The Baylor coverage group way over-pursued the kick side of the coverage and were badly flanked by the play. To the coverage units credit, they did a great job of rallying back to the ball and kept this play from going the distance (which it easily could have done).
The Bears began to play a 3-man front late in the first quarter. This 3-man front took out a defensive lineman (usually Beau Blackshear) and added an extra nickel linebacker – Patrick Levels (21).
Kendall Ehrlich (14) deserves special recognition for fighting through a block in the back to make a high, sure tackle on the Tech punter return man at the Tech 2-yard line. That was a heck of an effort by Kendall on that play.
In the category of “here’s hoping,” the Bears were assessed only 8 penalties for a total of 72 yards. While this is still a significant total, it is so much improved from previous performances that one has to hope that Baylor can use this as a springboard for future improvement.
The Bears will be playing Kansas in Lawrence, KS on Saturday, October 10th, at 11 AM. The last time the Bears had an early game on the road was the WVU game from last season. Let’s hope that the Bears are more wide awake for this game. GO, Bears!
Originally Posted by ftblbob5
The Baylor Bears ran their record to 4-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Big XII with a 63-35 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders, which was the Bears’ 5th straight win over their rivals from Lubbock. The Bears got out to a fast start in this game with a 49-21 halftime lead which they never relinquished. The Baylor offense was hitting on all cylinders on Saturday as they rolled up 333 yards of offense in the 1st quarter and 498 yards of offense by halftime.
The Baylor offense was hitting on all cylinders on Saturday as they rolled up 333 yards of offense in the 1st quarter and 498 yards of offense by halftime. The Bears are running the football so effectively that, for the 2nd week in a row, Baylor threw the ball less than 30 times. The Bears are the top rushing team in the nation; above all the option offenses and those run the ball down your throat offenses in the B1G. That’s amazing!
It wasn’t until the last play of the 1st quarter that I saw an offensive lineman from Baylor miss a block that directly affected a play in a significantly negative way. Up until that time, the Baylor offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage in a manner that I have rarely seen at the top levels of FBS football. As you watch the first quarter, notice that there is a body on a body on each and every play. Notice the movement that “Good ‘Ole Baylor Line” is getting on each and every play. Notice that they only players that are making plays for Tech are those that cannot be accounted for with the numbers available to the offense. Notice that the pass protection is impeccable. The quarterback has more than enough time to find where he wants to go with the ball. The only time the quarterback is under pressure in the 1st quarter is when his read is blitzing. That opens the vertical passing game, which the Bears took advantage of repeatedly.
Spencer Drango (58), Blake Muir (73), Kyle Fuller (55), Jarell Broxton (61), and Pat Colbert (69) were dominant. The movement that this group was getting in the first half was surprising. There were quite a few plays where 3 or 4 players out of the 5 interior guys were able to move their designated defender at least 3-4 yards backwards off of the original line of scrimmage. It wasn’t until Pat Colbert was beaten on an inside pinch on the backside of an off-tackle play to the left on the last play of the 1st quarter that the Red Raiders were able to get the Bears off-schedule significantly enough that it resulted in the first Baylor punt of the game.
Blake Muir continues to be the best offensive lineman in America that no one is talking about. Muir is a terrific drive blocker and very good in wrapping around on the power play. Muir is excellent in pass protection. He has great balance and is rarely out of position on a block. Kyle Fuller continues to improve his physicality. Fuller is getting more and more movement in the middle of the offensive line each week. He’s a big body that is surprisingly agile. Broxton is a great drive blocker and Pat Colbert has been my biggest surprise of all. I anticipated Pat to be the obvious weak link in the offensive line. Instead, the senior has brought is level of play up to the level of his peers and is having a good season.
Spencer Drango is a terrific player, but he’s having a little problem on his dart play pulls. He is having a tendency to swing wider than is optimal. He is still a physical player and is the anchor of the offensive line at the left tackle position.
Shock Linwood (32) was phenomenal. The junior running back carried the ball 20 times for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns. He never had a play in the game where he was thrown for a loss and he had a career-long touchdown of 79 yards on his first 3rd down carry of the day. Shock ended the game with a per carry average of 11.1 yards (more than a 1st down per carry – Wow!). Shock’s 221 yards was the 3rd most productive day carrying the football for the Bears in the history of the Baylor football program. Linwood ran by the Red Raiders, he ran over the Red Raiders and he ran through the Red Raiders all day long. He had his best combination of power and balance he has demonstrated in his career at Baylor. He looked like a big-time running back on Saturday. Shock’s 8-yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter was vintage Shock Linwood. Shock got in behind the big butts of the Baylor line and rode them, making a great cut to slither through an opening and then using power to remain upright and get the ball across the goal line.
Johnny Jefferson (5) had a quality day. He carried the ball 12 times for 42 yards. Johnny made a bad mistake on the last play of the first quarter. When a defender off of the backside beat his blocker, Johnny tried to go around the kickout block of the H-back on the end. This enabled the Red Raiders to tackle Johnny on the Baylor 2-yard line. In that field position, Johnny must minimize the loss my turning up into the hole inside the block of the H-back. If the backside defender catches you, at least you get back to the line of scrimmage. You might even gain a couple of yards or, if you’re lucky, beat the defender and get through the hole for positive yardage. Terence Williams (22) got only 4 carries for 21 yards late in the game. He did run over (and I do mean run over) the Texas Tech defensive end on his last carry. He’s a very impressive young man.
LaQuan McGowan (80) continues to be a work in progress. The good news is that most of the progress is good. McGowan is becoming a more reliable lead blocker in this offense. He is better at blocking (at least on the rushing plays) as a tight end. There are times where he just blows away defenders. On the other hand, LaQuan had more than a few whiffs in this game. These whiffs come when he gets his body over-extended and leans into the block too much. Because of this, he can’t maintain the ability to adjust as he gets to the block. Even with these misses, McGowan is still a real asset (I almost typed big, but that would have been redundant) to the offense. Even when he doesn’t get great contact, the defenders have to jump so far around him that they run themselves out of the play. LaQuan did make a big contribution to one of Russell’s touchdowns when he drove the Baylor QB and knocked the whole left side of the line into the end zone on a quarterback sneak.
Gus Penning (15) had his first instances of not being able to make some of the plays we have seen him make repeatedly this season, so far. Prior to now, Penning has been almost perfect on his blocking assignments. In this game, there were a few times where Gus was in position to make his block, but didn’t have the power or foot movement necessary to complete the assignment. On the other hand, Coach Kendal Briles appears to be very comfortable in utilizing Penning’s skills as a pass receiver. On two separate times, Briles dialed Gus Penning’s number on the tight end delay. Penning did a great job of selling the block prior to releasing and was wide open. On the first, the quarterback tried to feather the ball into Penning too much and the pass fell short. On the second, Penning caught the ball and turned upfield, carrying defenders with him.
Seth Russell (17) had another terrific day. Russell was 15 of 23 passing with 3 drops and 1 interception (with :07 left in the half, which was on a 4th down play). These 15 completions were good for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns. That is good for 19.5 yards per completion. That’s powerful offense. In addition, Seth pitched in 12 carries for 83 yards on scrambles and predetermined runs. Seth used a great fake to allow him to run naked around a flat-footed Red Raider cornerback for a touchdown.
Seth was more accurate in this game than he has been at any time this fall. Two great passes he made fell for incompletions when they might have been touchdowns or big gains. Seth has a strong arm. He can drive the ball, and is willing to drive the ball, into spaces where previous QBs for the Bears have been hesitant to try to place the ball. On a rail to Corey Coleman (1), Seth drove the ball into the back of the Tech defender when it appeared that it would have been better to arc the ball over the defender (a lighter touch on the ball). But for the most part, Russell was spot on during this game.
Seth Russell is the biggest run threat the Bears have had at the QB position since Robert Griffin III left. Like RGIII, there are times where Seth might choose to keep the ball when the read is 50-50 and probably should be a give. A couple of times, Seth came up short of a first down when he kept the ball on this kind of play. But Seth is explosive. He crosses those horizontal stripes on the field very quickly. Just go back and look at his first scramble. Seth gets out of the pocket and a few seconds later the Bears are a lot further downfield than they were previously. He’s special.
Corey Coleman is well on his way to becoming the next in a line of receivers that have had great careers at Baylor during Coach Briles’ tenure. Coleman is a man. Coach Lebby says that if Corey can catch the ball and turn around to see the defender, that it is probably a touchdown. For the second week in a row, Corey was able to turn a short hitch route into a touchdown in a scenario like Lebby described. Coleman caught 7 passes for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns of 24, 16 and 16 yards, respectively. Coleman will catch balls vertically over the middle, crossing routes, and down the sidelines (either short or long). He does a great job of fighting to the ball in the air. This quality earned a pass interference penalty when the defender rode Corey out of bounds. Had Corey not fought this effort, he wouldn’t have gotten that call. Coach Art Briles says Corey plays angry. It seems to be working.
KD Cannon (9) had 3 catches for 39 yards and 1 touchdown. KD did have two plays that could have been considered drops. On the first, Russell threw the ball over this outside shoulder and perfectly away from the safety trying to overlap. This is a tough catch, but receivers at WRU are expected to make this catch. A few plays later, Seth hit KD right on the hands as the Mt. Pleasant-product neared the goal line. Again, KD didn’t come up with the catch. KD has been the most inconsistent ball catcher in the receiving corps this fall. He needs to correct this.
Jay Lee (4) had 3 catches for 120 yards. Jay has become a very reliable receiver for the Bears. He has improved his blocking and is becoming a big-time playmaker. His 87 yard catch (he just couldn’t get that extra two yards, although it probably should have been marked at the 1-yard line) was a huge play for the Bears. The Red Raiders had just narrowed the lead to 21-14 and they had momentum. The Bears were pinned on their 11-yard line due to a penalty on the kickoff return. Russell hit the big receiver in stride and the horse race ensued. To the defenders credit, he was able to click the heels of Lee and felled him just short of the goal line.
Ishmael Zamora (8) had a great run after the catch late in the 4th quarter. Lynx Hawthorne (7) and Davian Hall (16) continue to make quality contributions to the Baylor offense with their blocking.
The Bears now lead in the all-time series against the Red Raiders, 37-36-1. In these neutral site games, Baylor holds a 5-2 lead. For the first time this season, the Bears did not gain over 700 yards of total offense, but it might have been their best offensive effort.