We started to write the OU game recap, and then remembered that we gave up a safety on a kickoff. This game deserves no recap.
Besides, I am going to get my costume ready for the Sunday showing of Harry Potter instead.
I had a dream last night, Demarco Murray and Broyles were really good athletes. This was after I had visions of myself working at Foot Locker wearing that referee work shirt.
What’s unfortunate about this scenario is that Murry and Broyle really are good athletes and Foot Locker is on a hiring freeze. They scare me, as much as I’m sure Griffin/Finley/Wright scare other teams. They will make some plays, let’s just hope the Bears can contain them.
Looking at some betting statistics, roughly 65% of the action is going toward taking Oklahoma and the 7 points. Not surprising seeing how Baylor just lost to the Aggies 42-30 at home. The great thing about this game is Oklahoma loves to play Jekyll and hyde with their home-road games this year.
I have to admit I was a little surprised by this line, I thought it would be somewhere around Oklahoma -12 to -14. Oklahoma’s woes on the roads seem to have the odds-makers hesitant to make them stronger favorites.
The Bears have playmakers which gives me hope that Baylor can come out on top tonight vs. the Sooners. Baylor also was a 7 point underdog to Texas in Austin and we saw how that one ended up. The difference, Texas is the worst team in the Big 12 South. (Did I really just type that?)
Prediction: (OU -7, Total: 64.5)
Oklahoma 38 Baylor 32
And now for seconds:
1. After the losses to Oklahoma State and Texas A&M the last two weeks what is the pulse of the Baylor fan base right now.
Humans naturally have short memories, so I would venture to say that the average fan is pretty down after two straight weeks of losing. However, the die-hards are still very excited about playing OU and the season as a whole. We are very frustrated at last week’s game against A&M, but OSU had a much better team and we can accept that loss. That was our first time all season to lose back-to-back games. The last time BU’s first back-to-back losses were in November was probably during the George H. W. Bush administration.
2. Is there a love/hate relationship with this team when comparing the offense and defense?
Love/hate does not even begin describe it. In defense of the defense, they have had some very untimely injuries to key players, and had to dig deep into the roster to fill those positions. It has been good experience for some of our true freshman, but the results just have not been there. On the positive side, they have played well enough to get us into a bowl game, which was the ultimate goal this season. Brian Norwood’s seat is hot, but I would be very surprised if he were gone after the team goes to a bowl for the first time since 1994.
3. What is at the root of the struggles for the Baylor defense?
At the root, in my mind it is an inability to get off the field on 3rd downs. Offenses convert on 3rd downs 42% of the time (#87 nationally), which is a momentum and crowd killer when at home (OU is #29 at 36%) . In addition, like always, it is a combination of personnel and scheme. Brian Norwood (DC) continues to play the defensive backs 8-12 yards off receivers when it is 3rd and short, which doesn’t help. We were making steady improvements on fundamentals (arm tackles, swarming the ball, etc.) but it seems like we have been on the decline since OSU (expected) and A&M (players thought they’d won at half time apparently).
4. Robert Griffin is only one of three quarterbacks in the Big 12 to crack 3,000 passing yards but he’s also tallied up over 500 rushing yards. If the game is on the line do you trust his arm or his legs more?
Most definitely his arm. While he does have 628 yards on 121 rushes for the season, he seems to do everything possible to throw the ball. This is sometimes very frustrating from the stands. We have seen him run out of bounds for no gain or even losses instead of turning it up field when he first starts to scramble (or even just throwing it away). So far he is averaging 11 carries per game, whereas in 2008 he averaged close to 15.
5. Talk about what it means for fans and the program to end the bowl drought.
It is HUGE for recruiting and fans. The program (and this season specifically) feels like Scott Drew’s basketball team during the 2008 season. That season, the basketball team left much to be desired in many games (CJ’s missed free throws in OT at OU still hurt), but over-all the season was a huge success. It was our first NCAA appearance in like 20 years, and rejuvenated the fan base for men’s basketball. It also gave recruits another reason to look at Baylor, which is where this season’s football success will help the most. It is a much easier sell as an “up-and-coming” team when you prove you truly are an “up-and-coming” team.
Bonus: Give us a score prediction
My heart: BU wins 42-35
My brain: OU wins 45-31
This week’s Bear University Blog Exchange (BUBE) is with the good folk over at Crimson and Cream Machine.
Part deux will be along later.
1) Nationally, your total offense is #11, and our total defense is close to 9 times worse (#96). What did Mizzou and A&M do to successfully slow down your offensive point production? Or was it just mistakes on your part?
The main thing that A&M and Missouri were able to do against Oklahoma’s offense was pressure Landry Jones. His home and road stats are vastly different with the main reason being that he just doesn’t get the protection on the road. Everything seems different about this team on the road. The offense doesn’t click like normal and the defense seems to break down on assignments. Missouri and A&M were able to exploit those mistakes by creating turnovers and scoring points.
2) Your last conference road win was in 2009 at Kansus (35-13). Since that win, you are 0-4 in conference road games (granted last year Sam got hurt). Why do you think your team has struggled away from Norman?
That, my friend, is the million dollar question. Last season was a write-off because of the injuries to just about every position along the offense. My theory this year is that the Sooners are relying on so many first and second year players that they’re just not at the same comfort level on the road as they have at home. They’ve got to quit allowing the home crowd get the better of them.
There’s another issue here as well in that the offensive play calling hasn’t been the same at home as it has been on the road as well. It seems like the play book is wide open in Norman and they even reach into the bag of tricks but all we see on the road is ultra conservationism.
3) Your defense has struggled to hold teams from scoring while in the Red Zone this season (#110). Through 10 games, teams have only made it in there 23 times, but of those 23, you have only kept the opposing offense from scoring 2 times. Is there any glaring reason your Red Zone defense has struggled?
My guess would be that its because Oklahoma can’t produce turnovers in the Red Zone and opponents aren’t missing field goals. The real answer is that Oklahoma is allowing opponents inside the Red Zone just about more than any other team. Keep in mind that this is a team with new starters in the secondary, at linebacker and along the defensive line. Breakdowns on defense were in abundance at the beginning of the season but have started to get under control.
4) Speak about your rush defense (#50). Atm’s was one of the tops in the conference / country and gave up almost 300 yards rushing to the Bears. Which does BU have a better chance to exploit: your rush or pass defense?
I think that Baylor is going to find offensive success through the air and on the ground. What the Sooners are going to have to do is limit big plays and capitalize on mistakes. Granted, the Bears racked up 291 rushing yards on the Aggies but just about half of those yards came on a 71 yard run by Robert Griffin and a 69 yard run by Jay Finley. Texas A&M eliminated those plays in the second half and ultimately won the game. If Oklahoma can prevent the big play then they’ll be alright.
5) We are terrible on Special Teams coverages (primarily kick-offs). Who will be your go-to players on kick and punt returns that we should be aware of?
Ryan Broyles is the primary punt returner and has the ability to take it the distance on any kick. On kickoffs DeMarco Murray and Mossis Madu as the primary returners.
Bonus) Baylor basketball got their first win ever against OU last season. Is this the year BU ends their football drought against OU? Predict the score for the game and how many Special Teams TDs OU will have against us.
Call me naive but I just don’t see it happening for Baylor Saturday night. The primary reason is that I just don’t see the Bears having the defense to allow them to win. Landry Jones is second in the Big 12 in passing yards with 3,154 and Baylor has the 11th ranked passing defense in the conference. That spells doom for the Bears. I’m taking Oklahoma with a 37-20 win.
A simple look at how we compare with Oklahoma, and the rest of the nation. These stats obviously do not take into account the level of competition each team has played, and are potentially meaningless. Read with caution. It’s not always pretty.
Most interesting stat: 91% of posessions that get into the Red Zone against OU score
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Yards per Game||Points per Game|
|Baylor||9||2||489.18||33.36 (#28 natl.)|
|Land Thieves||11||3||471.10||35.0 (#19 natl.)|
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Game Avg||Per Carry Avg|
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Yards/Gm||Touchdowns||Interceptions|
Red Zone Conversions
|Team||National Rank||Score% (scored-atmpts)||TD% (tot)||FG% (tot)|
|Baylor||85||78.57% (33-42)||47.62% (20)||30.95% (13)|
|Okies||103||75.93% (41-54)||62.96% (34)||12.96% (7)|
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Yards/game||Points allowed|
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Game Avg||Per Carry Avg|
|Team||National Rank||Conference Rank||Game Avg|
Opponent Red Zone Conversions
|Team||National Rank||Score% (scored-atmpts)||TD% (tot)||FG% (tot)|
|Baylor||54||81.25% (39-48)||58.33% (28)||22.92% (11)|
|OU||110||91.30% (21-23)||47.83% (11)||43.48% (10)|
over/under Prop Bets for the OU @ BU game
- OU total yards: 545
- Coach Briles will say “no doubt” in post-game comments: 7
- mobile homes used as “campers” at tailgates: 24
- tornadoes attracted by mobile homes: 5
- plays where Kendal Wright runs more yards horizontally rather than vertically: 3
- missed opportunities to do the Baylor-Bears chant: 6
- total attendance: 35000
- visually perceived # of BU fans at game due to lack of Gold: 12%
- actual BU fans: 55%
- Taco Bell challupas eaten by Flash before the game: 7
- OU players that mysteriously cramp during BU offensive drive: 8
A few observations from the A&M game:
- 5 BU first downs in the 3rd quarter and 2 punts.
- 3 BU first downs in the 4th quarter 0 punts
- 18 BU first downs in the 1st half
- outscored 28-0 to finish the game – starting with TAMU’s TD pass at the 4:11 mark of the 2nd quarter
- 2nd time ALL SEASON we have not scored points in a half. It is also the 2nd time in 2 weeks we have not scored in a half. (OSU was up 24-0 at half last week)
- First time ALL SEASON to lose back-to-back games.
- Trahan made a great play to tackle a TAMU defensive player (Terrence Frederick) at the 1 yard line who got Stork’s deflected kick to end the 1st half
- Epperson showed what a great punter he really is when he took a bad snap, looked what the defense gave him, started running for the 1st down, saw the lone defender recovering from being faked out to tackle Epp, and then Epp still got off a decent punt – ON THE RUN!
- 10 different BU receivers caught a pass (including RBs)
- Jay Finley is now over 1000 yards on the season with his 169 yard effort
- RG3 212 yards passing. Not sure, but this has to be near his career low, if not the lowest.
- RG3 0 passing TDs
- Stork: 1/4 FGs and 3/4 on PATs. That is a combined 4/8 for the game. He has been a big difference maker for us this season. I hope he can quickly get over this Ray Finkle like effort.
- 7 A&M players had an “injury” during the 1st half, and an additional 5 had injuries in 2nd half. I am not saying they were faking it, but does Sherman just not push his players that hard in practice? (maybe he is a genius and this is the way to stall out opposing team’s momentum/drives) Every player that went down with an “injury” came back to play from what I remember.
- we led in most statistical categories for the game, which is extremely misleading. We were very dominant in the 1st half and pulled a Lindsey Lohan in the 2nd half, and I wanted to reach through the radio and scream at John Morris to quit referencing these stats. He made it sound as though we dominated the entire game and just barely lost. No John, we dominated for most of the 1st half, and then reverted to Guy Morris football.
Atmosphere at the Game
- Wool from the sheep TAMU brought were flying all over the place. (it might have been spider webs, but since no one had seen it until this game, we all agreed it had to be some form of wool)
- Tailgating was bad-A. (However, some A-hole frat daddies tried to reserve parking spots at the tailgating area, and were complete D-bags about it. “we paid for these two spots” No A-hole, you paid for 2 random spots just like me. Had you simply been respectable about the situation, it would not have been an issue)
- BU crowd was great….in the first half. The 2nd half did not give them much to get excited about, but it was still a good showing (both vocally and bear clawally) on each and every BU defensive down. Since the K-State game, our ability to cheer on all of BU’s defensive downs has been very impressive.
- Too many fans were screaming their heads off while we were on offense. I thought we were over this like that last bout with crabs, but I guess not.
- Sound system seems to have improved this season, but it still sucks. However, at least it was loud!
- BU band & Cheer squad rating: F-. You do NOT let the other team’s band play their fight songs at will. You DO play over them. You DO start Baylor-Bears chants over them. Especially between the 3rd and 4th quarter, which is their favorite time to play these songs. (great job students to try and get the Baylor-Bears chant going during these times, too bad no one who is paid to make decisions about cheers figured this out)
- BU Band: leave “skits” to Rice. Embarrassing on multiple levels.
- We did not wear gold helmets. (seriously, why the F do they continue to wear the white helmets?!?)
We are still 7-4 with one game left to play. Even if we lose to OU next week, the season will still be a success over-all. Will we regret losing games we should have won? Of course. During the season, it is tough for us fans to look at the big picture. Typically, we can’t see the forest because of the trees.
What Coach Drew and Mulkey have done with our basketball programs was not done in one season. Just think about how many close games Coach Drew’s teams have lost in the past at home in front of big crowds. Baby steps is the key to the game, and just like Bear_Up_There said: you cannot rush the process.
With as many screen names as we have created on this site, it is a weird feeling to actually have a real human attached to a new screen name (as opposed to those blow-up dolls TheeJack has been using).
So please welcome our newest BFF (unless of course he does not increase our non-existent revenue stream).
Explosion to Implosion:
My 6th grade science teacher taught me the difference between explosion and implosion, fascinating. The only thing more fascinating at the time was the fact that a couple of girls in the grade started to stuff their bras. (Not fooling anyone Jessica and Tara). The term “stuffing” refers to the idea of girls with no chest filling their bra with tissue paper to appear ‘big on top.’ It’s an illusion that even David Blaine would frown upon.
The tale of two halves:
1st half: Explosion
This offense is explosive, and the Aggies were able to see this first hand as the ‘Wrecking Crew’ was able to take mental pictures of Griffin and Finley’s ham-cheeks scurrying down the field. Don’t worry though, we know Aggies only fancy white wool- a mammal that rhymes with jeep.
Robert Griffin bursts up the middle for a 71 yard touchdown reminding everyone, even the Baylor faithful, that RG III still knows speed.
Jay Finely is pissed that Griffin already has more rushing yards than him and decides to bust a 69 yard touchdown himself-sorry Jay, two yards shorter than Bobby.
Baylor is up 30-21 at the half with absolutely no signs that this Aggie team will slow down our explosive offense- Imodium AD perhaps? Wrong explosion.
2nd half: Implosion
Implosion happens when an object collapses upon itself, generally being crushed by an outside force. I can’t help but think that our defense is this outside force most of the time. And I’m sure Aaron Jones is a perfectly fine human individual who is incredibly philanthropic in his spare time, but he might be the stronger force that caused this implosion.
7 points were left off the board, that’s a punt return by Kalief Muhammad for a touchdown and an extra point. (Really it’s 10, but I had to find some way to include Kalief’s name). In big games, you simply cannot have this happen, especially when it involves an extra point and a straight away 27 yard FG.
Momentum is a funny thing in sports, and whether you want to believe it or not, that missed FG to start the 2nd half by Jones took the wind out of the green and gold sails. We looked deflated after that, both offense and defense. It’s a giant burden on an offense when they know they HAVE to score TD’s to win the game. A team plays slightly different when they lose faith in not only their defense, but their kicker as well.
Watching that game last night versus the Aggies reminded me of Tara and Jessica. The Bears wanted to appear like a Double D, instead the Aggies took their time pulling out each ream of tissue paper, piece by piece revealing a B cup.
We defeated some teams that weren’t too good, built up our confidence, and sparked hope in the great Baylor nation. It was grand, beautiful, exquisite, and…misleading.
We’re in a good place though, the good news is that girls who “stuff” are trying to speed up the process of the inevitable. Don’t worry girls, you’ll grow. If you don’t, I know some great plastic surgeons in Southlake.
The good news, Tara and Jessica are now going to have back problems when they’re older.
So we know this weekend is all about giving A&M a beatdown to put them back in their rightful place where they’ve been the last decade.
However, it is exciting to report that Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello are officially inked and bringing their high flying talents to Waco. Bello was ranked one of the top 25 dunkers…IN THE WORLD! If you thought watching Drew’s offense was exciting before, imagine these guys on the court with the Cookie Monster and Co.! Awesome stuff we have to look forward to there.
In other news, it is being reported tonight that LaceDunn will be back 11/22 after serving a 3 game suspension.
Time to re-focus on Aggy after that brief basketball update.