Baylor Preview 2006 - Offense
Baylor Bears
Posted Aug 1, 2006

Baylor Bears Preview 2006 - Baylor Bears Offense

What you need to know ... Playing around with the parts available, head coach Guy Morriss and his staff will turn to the Texas Tech-like passing attack. While it won't be a pure throw, throw and throw some more offense, but Bears will try to work with their good receiving corps and veteran quarterback Shawn Bell to get the offense moving. The line isn't bad, but it has to prove it can consistently pass block. Paul Mosley and Brandon Whitaker are serviceable veteran backs.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Shawn Bell
190-320, 1,964 yds, 12 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Paul Mosley
180 carries, 657 yds, 7 TD
Receiving: Dominique Ziegler
48 catches, 563 yds, 5 TD

Star of the offense: Senior WR Dominique Ziegler
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior OT Travis Farst
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OT Jason Smith
Best pro prospect: Senior OG Will Blaylock
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Ziegler, 2) Blaylock, 3) Smith
Strength of the offense: Wide receivers
Weakness of the offense:
Running game

While the coaching staff would like to have quarterback who poses a running threat, Shawn Bell and Blake Symanski will spend their time trying to be the next Texas Tech-like passer. They're smart decision makers with decent, but not great arms. Bell is a long-time starter who'll be a cool, calm leader. Symanski has to see time early on in case something happens to Bell. Terrance Parks is an emergency option, but he's playing tight end now after seeing a little time the last few years.
The key to the unit: More efficiency. Bell was accurate, but he didn't push the ball downfield enough and didn't make enough big plays. This is a passing team this year, and it needs a quarterback to be up to the task.
Quarterback Rating: 6

Projected Starter
- Shawn Bell, Sr. - 190-320, 1,964 yds, 59%, 12 TD, 6 INT, 1 rushing touchdown
A smart player who has been around long enough to have been through the Big 12 ringer, Bell is a good decision maker and a nice leader for the offense. While he won't run for any yards and he doesn't have a big enough arm to bomb away, he needs to be a precise passer who keeps the chains moving. Expect him to spread it around and go on runs where he tears off yards in chunks.

Top Backups
- Blake Symanski, RFr.
A pure passer, the 6-4, 198-pound Symanski threw for over 4,000 yards and 45 touchdowns his senior year in high school. He has a little bit of mobility, but he's going to be groomed as a high-octane throwing quarterback when it's his time to get in the mix. He'll see plenty of time to get his feet wet for next season.

Running Backs
While there's a ton of returning experience, there's not a lot of talent. Paul Mosley is a power back who can be effective when he gets on a roll, but he's not going to make anything happen on his own. Brandon Whitaker is a quicker option who'll split the carries with Mosley down the middle. The fullback won't be used too much in the offense, so Damon Dotson and Keegan Vann won't be used as anything more than blockers and occasional receivers.
The key to the unit: More production. It's hard to win in the Big 12 when you're averaging 3.1 yards per carry with ten rushing touchdowns. Baylor isn't going to try to pound the ball, but the average has to get to around four yards per pop.
Running Back Rating:

Projected Starters
- Paul Mosley, Sr. - 180 carries, 657 yds, 3.7 ypc, 7 TD, 12 catches, 90 yds, 7.5 ypc, 2 TD
A decent power back for the last few seasons, the 235-pound Mosley can be a good workhorse if the running game is working well. He tore off 105 yards and three touchdowns against SMU and ran for 133 yards in the loss to Texas A&M highlighted by a 57-yard dash, but he needs to be more consistent and has to get his average up. He can be used like a fullback if the coaching staff wants to get him and Brandon Whitaker in the backfield at the same time, and he has nice hands as a receiver.

- Fullback Damon Dotson, Sr. - 2 catches, 25 yds
The undersized 211-pound fullback is back, but he'll mostly be a special teamer. He's not a huge blocker and he's not going to get any carries, so he has to make the most of his time on the field and be a more physical presence for the ground game.

Top Backups
- Brandon Whitaker, Jr. - 101 carries, 481 yds, 4.8 ypc, 1 TD, 30 catches, 160 yds, 5.3 ypc
The co-number one starting running back sharing duties with Paul Mosley, Whittaker has a little bit of speed and dash showing few ill effects from a knee injury that sidelined him for all of 2004. He had his biggest day in the opener against SMU rushing for 110 yards, and then turned into a role player the rest of the way. He'll get a few starts this season.
- Mario Price, Sr. - 6 carries, 34 yds, 5.7 ypc
Mostly a special teamer throughout his career, he saw time in a few games on offense and will see a few carries per game. The former Army transfer can be a tough runner with decent quickness, but he's not going to see much action except in an emergence.
- Fullback Keegan Vann, Jr. 2 catches, 19 yds, 9.5 ypc
The JUCO transfer walk-on ended up seeing time in every game and even started against Missouri. At 242 pounds, he's far bigger than starting fullback Damon Dotson and is a better blocker. He's not going to get any carries, but he'll catch a few passes.

The receivers should be one of the team's strengths, and the opportunities will be there in the spread attack. Dominique Ziegler has 112 career catches and will be a good inside target to revolve the passing game around. Trent Shelton has too much deep speed to not stretch the field more, and there are several good, young receivers waiting to make big plays. Everyone will have a chance to shine, so patience will be a key.
The key to the unit: Everyone has to know their roles and play them well. The offense is about finding the weaknesses and exploiting them, but the receivers have to create those mismatches.
Receiver Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- Dominique Ziegler, Sr. - 48 catches, 563 yds, 11.7 ypc, 5 TD
One of the Big 12's better receivers, he'll be the number one target and the first look on most plays in the spread offense. He's consistent and grown into more than just a possession receiver with a few more big plays last season. While not a true home run hitter, he's a tremendous athlete who can outleap just about anyone for the ball.

- Trent Shelton, Sr. - 39 catches, 452 yds, 11.6 ypc, 1 TD
A steady performer over the last few years with more deep speed than his stats might indicate, the 6-2, 207-pound senior is a steady, reliable X receiver who plays his role well. If one of the quarterbacks can push the ball deep, Shelton will make more big plays.

- Trey Payne, Soph. - 6 catches, 35 yds. 5.8 ypc
The starter at the Little H spot has the best wheels in the receiving corps and should be a field stretcher. He started in the opener against SMU, but he didn't see much action the rest of the way and sat out the final four games. Even so, he's too quick to keep out of the mix.

- Mike Miller, Jr.- 1 catch, 2 yds
While listed as the starter at Baylor's version of a tight end, the 6-3, 243-pound junior will have to battle with Jordan Adams for time. He's a smart player with enough career starts to step in right away and now what he's doing, but he's still learning how to be a consistent tight end after playing quarterback in high school.

Top Backups

- Mikail Baker, Soph. - 8 catches, 158 yds, 19.8 ypc, 1 TD
Baker saw time as a true freshman and showed flashes of his potential as a deep threat with a 49-yard touchdown catch against Samford. He started to come on by the end of last season and should be a major factor in multi-wide sets and see plenty of time at the X. He'll also be used occasionally on kickoff returns.
- Carl Sims
, Soph. - 9 catches, 72 yds, 8 ypc, 1 TD
A starter in four and five wide sets this year, the quick Sims will see far more action in the new offense. He plays on the BU basketball teams a quick guard, but he's better at football where he should have a few flashes here and there if he's able to consistently find the openings.
- Jordan Adams
, Jr. - 4 catches, 49 yds, 12.2 ypc
The 248-pound junior saw time in every game last year at tight end. He's an All-Big 12 Academic performer with good hands and route running ability behind Mike Miller at the Big Y/H position.
- Terrance Parks, Jr. - 32-71, 324 yds, 45%, 1 TD, 6 INT
Mostly a quarterback over his first few years with three stars, the huge 6-4, 246-pound junior appears better suited at tight end. He has to learn how to be a blocker, but he should grow into a nice route runner.

Offensive Linemen
The line is big and experienced, but it's not much of a run blocking unit. That's a good thing considering it'll have to rely on any and all quickness to be steady in pass protection. There's plenty of hope for big things from this group with former tight end Mike Miller looking like an emerging star at tackle, while Will Blaylock will earn All-Big 12 honors at guard. There's enough quality depth to have a few good position battles for head coach and new line coach Guy Morriss to work with.

The key to the unit: Keep the sacks to a minimum. This will be a passing offense, so the more time this front five can provide, the better.
Offensive Line Rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- OT Travis Farst, Sr.
A backup for most of his career, the 6-7, 327-pound senior saw time in four games last year after coming back from a knee injury that kept him down for most fo the first half of the year. He has to be better in the running game, but he's more than solid in pass protection.
- OG Chad Smith, Jr.
Smith grew into the role as a spot starter at guard last season after seeing time at tackle in 2004. He's a strong 6-6 and 299 pounds who's expected to be one of the team's better run blockers.
- C Yancy Boatner, Sr.
Boatner will make the move from guard to center after starting nine games last season on the right side. At 327 pounds, he's one of the team's biggest players with good strength, but he's not going to do much on the move.
- OG Will Blaylock. Sr.
Able to play guard or center, the former Tulane transfer will move to right guard where he's expected to be one of the best players on the offense after earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. The 308-pound senior is one of the line's best all-around blockers and one of the few dependable players in the running game.
- OT Jason Smith Soph. - 6 catches, 70 yds, 11.7 ypc, 1 TD
A tight end last season getting eight starts, the 287-pound sophomore will become an athletic right tackle combining with Nick Pace for the job. Big things are expected out of him with his combination of size, quickness and strength.

Top Backups
- T Nick Pace, Jr.
A starter in nine games last season after coming back from a back problem, Pace is a talented, experienced backup who'll see plenty of time at both tackle spots. He'll start out as the backup behind Jason Smith on the right side, but he'll get every shot at winning the No. 1 job this fall.
- G
Dan Gay, Soph.
The former defensive tackle moved to offensive guard this year and should be a physical force at right guard behind Will Blaylock. He's a tough 314 pounds and could see plenty of action if Blaylock moves back to center.
- T Matt Lott, Sr.
The former JUCO transfer saw time in ten games last season playing behind Lequalan McDonald. Now the former all-star will be a big part of the rotation on the left side behind Travis Farst where he should be excellent against the pass.

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