September 22, 2013
ULM Game: The grades are posted
The Bears simply owned their non-conference schedule, outscoring Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe, 209-23. These games were basically decided in the first quarter and Baylor cruised through the final three.
So with Baylor 70, UL-Monroe 7 now history as well as the non-conference season, let's take a look at how the Bears graded Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium.
What I liked the most from Bryce Petty (18-27-0 351 4TD) was that his deep balls were nearly all perfect. He put enough air on each of them to where Antwan Goodley or Tevin Reese could just run under them and make the catch and do the rest. Petty also did a great job selling the fake when he walked in on the 2-yard TD run. You can just tell he has great command of the offense.
Running Back: A-
This game had such a weird start because Baylor's first two scoring drives consumed 1:12 total and there was one rush involved. Lache Seastrunk got bottled up on some short conversion opportunities but then the opening 75-yard TD scamper shows you how he is a TD waiting to happen on every attempt. Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin are going to be good compliments.
You can just see how Antwan Goodley is growing up before your eyes. He is a fast and physical wide receiver. But I like how well he runs his routes. Tongue in cheek, all Tevin Reese does is scored TDs from 40+ yards - 17 of his 19 career TDs have come from beyond 40 yards. I've never heard of anything like that. Can't say enough about Clay Fuller and the adjustment he made on the 23-yard TD pass in the second quarter. The good thing about Goodley and Reese's emergence is that it allows Robbie Rhodes and Corey Coleman to gradually work their way in. I know Coleman would like to have one his drops back.
Bryce Petty wasn't sacked. I can't even recall where Petty was under duress. Maybe a couple of times. The offense averaged 10.1 yards per play and was 6-of-12 on third downs. There were no turnovers. And it was great to see Troy Baker back in the lineup. With every great offense, it always starts with the line.
First of all, Byron Bonds made a solid showing for himself in his first career start. Phil Bennett fell in love with him the moment he saw him at the 2012 camp at Lake Highlands. Suleiman Masumbuko is handling things just fine. I thought Terrance Lloyd played really well in space. There were a couple of times where he came after Kolton Browning untouched. Chris McAllister is now tied for 8th in career sacks with 10.
Easily, their best game of the year. Really thought that Eddie Lackey, Sam Holl and Bryce Hager were great in space -- that's the way you have to play defense nowadays -- as they frustrated Browning to making some tough throws or take checkdowns away. In my opinion, this was the group responsible for turning the Warhawks away scoring threats in the Baylor red zone.
Think there were some come-to-Jesus sessions for this unit after the issues against Buffalo. Their positioning was really good. Terrell Burt was right where he was supposed to on his pick 6. Joe Williams was the alert one on his pick 6. And a solid quarterback in Browning was held to 5.3 yards per attempt. There still is work to be done with this unit. But this was a good step.
The coverage units were really solid. If kickoffs didn't go for touchbacks, the Warhawks started possessions inside their 20. But Aaron Jones missing a 39-yard field goal...sigh...and putting a kickoff out of bounds for a penalty...sigh...are just things that are not going to help your team when you are in a position where you need points or have to influence field position. Saturday was the reason why I voted Spencer Roth as the preseason all-Big 12 punter.
>Obviously, Baylor hasn't been challenged in any of these three games. So what we need to find out is how the Bears will respond when they get into tight games and have to make plays. We may see that for the first time Oct. 12 at Kansas State.
>It's really interesting to see how the DT situation is coming together with Bonds, Billings, Masumbuko and Blackshear. When Trevor Clemons-Valdez returns, this group may turn out fine. And everyone has moved on from the Javonte Magee situation.
>In the Art Briles era, the Bears are 28-5 when they lead at the half...the Bears have scored 40+ points in 17 of their last 20 games...the Bears have a defensive TD in each of their first three games...Baylor has collected 400+ yards of total offense in 30 consecutive games - the longest streak in FBS.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial