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.
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
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)
Strength of the offense: Wide receivers
Weakness of the offense:
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
- 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
- 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
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: 6
- 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.
- 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
- 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
Receiver Rating: 7
- 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
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
- 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
- Mikail Baker, Soph. - 8 catches, 158 yds, 19.8 ypc,
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
- 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
- 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.
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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.