The fine folks at Baylor blog Thee Bears asked for a good old fashioned blog exchange. We're running a bit behind so we kept things short, but head on over to their place for my grumblings about our offense, and read on below for some insights on Saturday's opponent at DKR.
We're huge fans of Robert Griffin. He's certainly looked impressive in all areas of the game. Can you tell us a little bit about how he's played this year. Any lingering effects from the knee injury?
He's been nothing short of spectacular, and is the primary reason Baylor is 6-2 (the O-line and resurgence of a healthy Jay Finley are the others). His first step seems to be a little slower than his freshman campaign, but once he gets going, there is negligible difference.
The media portrays him as some sort of run-first quarterback who all of a sudden learned to throw, which is extremely frustrating. His freshman season saw him break the national record for passes without an interception, and in that entire season he completed 60% of his passes with 15 TDs and only 3 INTs. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers, and Baylor Nation is more excited than they have been since Taeff's heydays.
Talk to us a little bit about what TCU did to shut down RGIII and the offense. What does Baylor need to do better against a top defense?
They were prepared to play a big-time game, and we weren't. After the game Briles said something to the affect "we did not expect them to come out with that much intensity", which of course set baylorfans.com off like a bottle rocket. However, it definitely served as a wake-up call to the team since then.
Against a top defense (like Texas), we definitely need consistent run blocking from the Offensive line. Finley is now healthy (lingering ankle injury), and his legs have opened up so many other plays for Montgomery (the o-coordinator who is now calling plays).
The bigger concern is that our offense has to play against 2 defenses. The injury bug has hit our defense pretty bad, and we have not found a way to get off the field on key 3rd downs.
If you were game planning to play Baylor, how would you plan to attack the Bears defense?
Play-action-pass, side-line bubble screens (if your receivers are even half-way decent blockers), and then mix in a reverse/trick play every now and then and you will easily score 45 points. Our defense has just not put together a good game since Kansas (who doesn't really count), and is just full of holes on almost every play.
We are 79th in total defense (3085 total yds), 60th in rush defense (1206), and 84th in pass defense (1879). Honestly, after looking at these numbers, it is amazing that we are 6-2. Thank God we have RG3 and and his staff on offense.
Also, in the 2nd half, kneel the ball on 1st and 2nd downs, and then you will easily make it on 3rd and long. In 3rd down defense, we are 76th in the nation at 40.68% (you are 26th with 34.29%), and we have a knack for giving up big 3rd and longs in the 2nd half of close games.
Give us a couple names we may not know to keep an eye on Saturday who could have an important impact on the game.
"Stork", our field goal kicker (aka Aaron Jones). He is 16-20 on the season, and has been the best kicker we have seen in almost a decade. Even his misses look pretty (well, besides the 3 points missing on the board), and easily nailed a 50 yarder earlier in the season.
I will also throw in the receivers Tevin Reece, Lanear Sampson, Terrance Williams, and TE Brad Taylor (left out Kendall Wright who you have probably heard of and then Josh Gordon - of Taco Bell fame). These guys are unsung heroes, along with the offensive lineman.
Sic 'Em Bears!