CFN Take: Baylor Gets By KSU For Big 12 Title

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 6, 2014


Baylor Bears 2014 ... Head Coach: Art Briles

2014 Baylor Bears

2014 Schedule
Record: 11-1

Aug. 31 SMU W 45-0
Sep. 6 Northwestern St W 70-6
Sep. 12 at Buffalo W 63-21
Sep. 20 OPEN DATE
Sep. 27 at Iowa State W 49-28
Oct. 4 at Texas W 28-7
Oct. 11 TCU W 61-58
Oct. 18 at West Virginia L 41-27
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 Kansas W 60-14
Nov. 8 at Oklahoma W 48-14
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 Oklahoma State W 49-28
Nov. 29 TTech (in Arl.) W 48-46
Dec. 6 Kansas State  W 38-27
Dec. 6 at Baylor 38, Kansas State 27
And You Care Because … Baylor came out red hot with Bryce Petty and Shock Linwood each rushing for one-yard scores, and Johnny Jefferson made it 21-7 with a two-yard run in the second. But Kansas State wouldn’t go away as Zach Trujillo caught a 36-yard touchdown pass, Matthew McCrane hit two field goals, and Tyler Lockett caught an eight-yard touchdown pass, but Baylor was able to stay ahead on a second Jefferson touchdown run and a 58-yard Antwan Goodley scoring play. The Bear defense was able to hang on after the Lockett score.
What Else? Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 34-of-40 passes for 412 yards and a touchdown with a pick, and ran for a score
- Kansas State QB Jake Waters completed 22-of-27 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and ran 20 times for 31 yards
- Kansas State WR Tyler Lockett caught 14 passes for 158 yards and a score
- Third down conversions: Baylor 8-of-10 – Kansas State 6-of-12
Game Rating: B

Nov. 29 Baylor 48, Texas Tech 46 in Arlington
And You Care Because … Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and Texas Tech went on a roll. Down 45-20, the Red Raiders came up with four touchdown passes in just under 17 minutes, with a 40-yarder to Bradley Marquez with 1:42 to play to pull within two, but the two-point conversion attempt was stuffed. Patrick Mahomes threw for close to 600 yards for the Red Raiders with six touchdowns, including three to Marquez, but Baylor got a huge day on the ground from Shock Linwood, and Seth Russell stepped in for Petty and threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Levi Norwood for a 42-17 lead. After the two teams traded field goals, Texas Tech rallied, but came up just short.
What Else? Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes completed 30-of-56 passes for 598 yards and six touchdowns with a pick
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 18-of-25 passes for 210 yards and two scores, and Seth Russell completed 8-of-17 throws for 82 yards with a touchdown, and ran seven times for 29 yards. RB Shock Linwood ran 24 times for 158 yards and two scores
- Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant made five tackles for 155 yards and a score, Bradley Marquez caught six passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns, and DeAndre Washington ran 15 times for 65 yards, and caught six passes for 107 yards and a score
- Total yards: Texas Tech 712 – Baylor 547
Game Rating: A

Nov. 29 Baylor 48, Texas Tech 46 in Arlington
And You Care Because … Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and Texas Tech went on a roll. Down 45-20, the Red Raiders came up with four touchdown passes in just under 17 minutes, with a 40-yarder to Bradley Marquez with 1:42 to play to pull within two, but the two-point conversion attempt was stuffed. Patrick Mahomes threw for close to 600 yards for the Red Raiders with six touchdowns, including three to Marquez, but Baylor got a huge day on the ground from Shock Linwood, and Seth Russell stepped in for Petty and threw a 27-yard scoring pass to Levi Norwood for a 42-17 lead. After the two teams traded field goals, Texas Tech rallied, but came up just short.
What Else? Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes completed 30-of-56 passes for 598 yards and six touchdowns with a pick
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 18-of-25 passes for 210 yards and two scores, and Seth Russell completed 8-of-17 throws for 82 yards with a touchdown, and ran seven times for 29 yards. RB Shock Linwood ran 24 times for 158 yards and two scores
- Texas Tech WR Jakeem Grant made five tackles for 155 yards and a score, Bradley Marquez caught six passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns, and DeAndre Washington ran 15 times for 65 yards, and caught six passes for 107 yards and a score
- Total yards: Texas Tech 712 – Baylor 547
Game Rating: A

Nov. 22 at Baylor 49, Oklahoma State 28
And You Care Because … Baylor got payback for last year’s blowout with a dominant first half, getting two big Bryce Petty touchdown passes to start – a 65-yarder to Jay Lee and a 54-yard play to Corey Coleman – and then it was Devin Chafin who took over the scoring, running in three short touchdowns to go along with a one-yarder from Shock Linwood for a 42-14 lead. Oklahoma State got two touchdown passes from Mason Rudolph, including a 68-yarder to James Washington, but just when it seemed like things might get interesting, on a two-yard Rennie Childs run to make it 42-28 early in the fourth, Petty put it away on a 21-yard scoring sash.
What Else? Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 18-of-29 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns with two picks, and ran five times for 23 yards and a score
- Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph completed 13-of-25 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns with two picks
- Baylor RB Shock Linwood ran 21 times for 113 yards and a score, and Devin Chafin ran 21 times for 106 yards and three touchdowns
- Penalties: Baylor 12 for 68 yards – Oklahoma State 4 for 45 yards
Game Rating: C+

Nov. 8 Baylor 48, at Oklahoma 14
And You Care Because … Oklahoma got out to a 14-3 on two short touchdown passes from Trevor Knight, and then it was all Baylor the rest of the way with 45 unanswered points starting with a second quarter explosion. Devin Chafin ran for two short scores and Bryce Petty found Corey Coleman for a 33-yard touchdown, but that was just the beginning. Coleman ran for a five-yard score and Shock Linwood added touchdown dashes from three and 15 yards out as everything worked for the Bears and nothing seemed to move for the Sooners.
What Else? Baylor WR Corey Coleman caught 15 passes for 224 yards and a score, and ran two times for seven yards and a touchdown
- Before getting carted off the field with an injury, Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight completed 12-of-27 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns with an interception
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 32-of-42 passes for 387 yards and a score
- Third down conversions: Baylor 8-of-19 (4-of-4 on fourth down) – Oklahoma 4-of-13 (0-of-2 on fourth down)
Game Rating: B-

Nov. 1 at Baylor 60, Kansas 14
And You Care Because … Everything worked for Baylor as Corey Coleman caught touchdown passes from 72 and 49 yards out and Chris Callahan hit four second quarter field goals on the way to the easy win. Kansas made it 13-7 BU with a 28-yard Nick Harwell touchdown run, but the Bears held a 39-7 first half lead and got up 53-7 after Levi Norwood scored from ten yards out. Devin Chafin and Shock Linwood each added one-yard touchdown runs.
What Else? Total yards: Baylor 669 – Kansas 304
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 15-of-27 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns, and ran seven times for 11 yards
- Kansas QB Michael Cummings completed 21-of-30 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns
- Baylor WR Corey Coleman caught three passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: D+

Oct. 18 at West Virginia 41, Baylor 27
And You Care Because … There wasn’t a late comeback this time week for Baylor, as West Virginia broke a 27-27 tie with 14 unanswered points on two of Clint Trickett’s three touchdown passes hitting Kevin White from 12 yards out and Mario Alford for a 39-yard pass play. Baylor was held to two Chris Callahan field goals and kept Bryce Petty to two touchdown passes to Antwan Goodley and Corey Coleman, and Shock Linwood ran for a score to tie it up late in the third, but that would be it for the Bear offense. WVU’s Josh Lambert hit a 54-yard field goal at the end of the first half and a 24-yarder in the third.
What Else? Penalties: Baylor 18 for 185 yards – West Virginia 14 for 138 yards
- West Virginia QB Clint Trickett completed 23-of-35 passes for 322 yards and three scores with a pick
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 16-of-36 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns
- West Virginia WR Kevin White caught eight passes for 132 yards and two scores, and Baylor WR Antwan Goodley caught nine passes for 132 yards and a score
Game Rating: B

Oct. 11 at Baylor 61, TCU 58
And You Care Because … In one of the craziest games in the history of the Big 12, and the highest scoring game ever between two AP top ten teams, TCU appeared to be on its way to a blowout with a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown from Marcus Mallet for a 58-37 lead with under 12 minutes to play. And then Bryce Petty went to work, leading the way to 24 unanswered points with two 90+ yard touchdown drives in 1:23 on the first, finishing with a 28-yard pass to Antwan Goodley, and needing under a minute on the second with a 25-yard scoring pass to Corey Coleman to tie it. TCU had its chance, but misfired on a 4th and 3 from the Baylor 45, and Petty got it done taking the Bears 44 yards leading to a Chris Callahan game-winning field goal as time ran out. Lost in the insane ending was a huge day from the TCU offense, with B.J. Catalon returning a kickoff for a touchdown and running for two scores, but Petty and the passing game were too much with six touchdown passes including a 66-yarder to Goodley and a 67-yarder to KD Cannon.
What Else? Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 28-of-55 passes for 510 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions, and ran for 23 yards.
- TCU QB Trevone Boykin completed 21-of-47 passes for 287 yards and a score, and ran 18 times for 45 yards
- Baylor receivers: Antwan Goodley 8 catches, 158 yards, 2 TD. Corey Coleman 8 catches, 144 yards, 2 TD, KD Cannon 6 catches, 124 yards, 1 TD
- Total yards: Baylor 782 – TCU 485
Game Rating: A

Oct. 4 Baylor 28, at Texas 7
And You Care Because … It wasn’t the easiest of days for the Baylor offense, but the special teams came up with a blocked field goal for a score, Shock Linwood ran for a one-yard score and Bryce Petty threw a pair of 30-yard scores with one to Antwan Goodley in the third and another to Corey Coleman in the fourth for a 28-0 lead. Texas finally got on the board late on a two-yard Johnathan Gray touchdown run.
What Else? Total offense: Baylor 389 yards – Texas 334 yards
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 7-of-22 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns
- Texas QB Tyrone Swoopes completed 16-of-34 passes for 144 yards and two picks, and fumbled a key snap on the goal line
- Texas LB Steve Edmond made 17 tackles with two sacks
Game Rating: C

Sept. 27 Baylor 49, at Iowa State 28
And You Care Because … Bryce Petty only threw one touchdown pass, but he ran for two touchdowns and Shock Linwood ran for three more as Baylor pulled out to a 35-7 lead and cruised. Iowa State kept battling with Sam B. Richardson taking off for a 47-yard touchdown early in the second half and Aaron Wimberly running for a one-yard score to pull within 21, but Petty answered back with a ten play drive finishing with a one-yard scoring run.
What Else? Total yards: Baylor 601 – Iowa State 339
- Baylor QB Bryce Petty completed 30-of-44 passes for 336 yards and a score with a pick, and he ran nine times for 47 yards and two touchdowns.
- Iowa State QB Sam Richardson completed 17-of-39 passes for 212 yards and two scores with a pick, and ran 14 times for 99 yards and a touchdown
- Baylor WR Corey Coleman caught 12 passes for 154 yards and a score, and Antwan Goodley caught six passes for 114 yards
Game Rating: C+

Sept. 12 Baylor 63, at Buffalo 21
And You Care Because … Bryce Petty looked healthy and in perfect form on the way to a 35-0 first half lead. Petty threw four touchdown passes and Shock Linwood ran for two scores in the breather. Buffalo kept pressing and got three touchdowns in the second half, with Anthone Taylor turning into a 41-yard score and Joe Licata hitting Devon Hughes for a 41-yars score, but it was never close.
What Else? Bryce Petty was terrific, completing 23-of-34 passes for 416 yards and four scores, and he even ran a little bit with 11 yards on two carries.
- The Baylor running game didn’t rumble like normal, but it was fine on the way to 189 yards. There weren’t any big plays, but Shock Linwood ran for 97 yards on 20 carries with two scores. KD Cannon continues to impress, catching six passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, and Jay Lee and Lynx Hawthorne each went over 100 yards with two scores.
- Buffalo had the ball for over 35 minutes and moved the chains on third downs, but it couldn’t move enough in the first half.
- Baylor did exactly what it was supposed to do in a game like this. It got in, put up 669 yards, never let it get interesting, and moved on.
Game Rating: D+

Sept. 6 at Baylor 70, Northwestern State 6
And You Care Because … It didn’t matter that Baylor was missing Bryce Petty as Seth Russell threw five touchdowns including three to K.D. Cannon in the first quarter from 50, 81 and 42 yards out. Ja Lee added a 61-yard touchdown grab and Davion Hall scored from 57 yards out for a 49-3 halftime lead. Baylor rolled up 720 yards – the ten penalties and two turnovers didn’t matter – with Russell completing 16-of-25 passes for 428 yards and five scores, and Cannon caught six passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns. Johnny Jefferson and Silas Nacita each ran for over 100 yards.
Game Rating: D

Aug. 30 at Baylor 45, SMU 0
And You Care Because … Baylor was Baylor again right out of the box, scoring 24 points in the first quarter helped by two Bryce Petty touchdown passes and a Shock Linwood touchdown run from four yards out. The scoring didn’t slow down with Petty running for a five-yard score in the second, but he ended up playing just a half after taking a big shot in the back early on. SMU never threatened and was totally dominated.
What Else? Petty’s back injury didn’t seem like anything too serious, but Seth Russell was able step in and keep the offense moving. Both Petty and Russell completed 13-of-23 passes.
- The Baylor defense was swarming and unstoppable, stuffing SMU allowing just 67 yards of total offense finishing with -24 next yards and just 91 yards through the air. Nothing worked on the Mustang offensive front.
- Not everything was perfect for the Bears. Along with Petty’s injury, the Bears committed 12 penalties and turned it over twice.
- Baylor came up with 31 first downs, SMU seven.
Game Rating: D

2014 Preview 

But you’re Baylor.

You know, perennial Big 12 doormat, went a bazillion games without winning a conference matchup, had just one bowl appearance – and lost it - from 1993 to 2010, 15,000-enrollment, happy to get any recruit who ever dreamed about playing for Texas or Oklahoma ... Baylor.

But Art Briles has done a miraculous job in his six seasons in Waco, turning around an afterthought program that was impossible to make into a winner and he made it cool. What he has done is like, well, turning Baylor into a Big 12 champion.

As the end of last season showed, though, just winning a conference title and getting to a conference championship game isn’t good enough for a team that managed to rip through the first nine games of the season like the opponents had no idea how to play college football.

The ugly, nationally-televised spotlight loss to Oklahoma State and the Fiesta Bowl defeat to UCF put a damper on what was, by any other measure, an all-timer of a campaign for the program, but now there’s another carrot at the end of the stick. The Bears showed they could produce and play at a high level under Briles, and now the motivation is there to do even more.

First, though, try to wrap your head around what Baylor did until the debacle in Stillwater – the team made a 70 point game seem routine.

In 2008, Sam Bradford and the record-setting Oklahoma offense never hit the 70-point mark scoring 716 points on the season. Baylor scored 70 four times and could’ve made it 100 in the 69-3 win over Wofford on the way to a 681-point season with one fewer game. Blink, and Bryce Petty had three touchdown passes on the way to a 35-0 lead.

Baylor outscored teams 208 to 64 in the first quarters of games and 407 to 138 in the first halves – the opponents never knew what hit them.

Briles does a terrific job of getting the ball out of the hands of his quarterback in a hurry to a receiver on the move, and his attack finds wide open spaces for the speed backs to run through. It sounds much easier than it is – everyone would hang 70 on a regular basis if they could – but the offense that cranked up 619 yards per game and averaged 52 points per outing needs to have the parts in place.

It’s not just a gimmicky spread, Briles has found a way to load up with very fast, very athletic players who simply outquick most teams. Put a heady quarterback behind a good offensive line to deliver the ball, and all of a sudden, boom.

Petty is back for his senior season after getting the option of leaving early for the next level, and his main weapons are back in Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood to make the passing game fly. Lache Seastrunk might be gone, but the team of Shock Linwood, Devin Chafin and Johnny Jefferson should keep the ground attack rolling and explosive.

The defense that didn’t get quite enough respect or attention returns better and stronger with improved depth and a base of seven good starters to work around. The Bears finished 28th in the nation in total D and was fantastic at getting behind the line and being disruptive, and now they have the potential to be dominant with a front four as good as any in the Big 12.

Now it’s time to take Baylor seriously. Yeah, everyone waited for reality to set in last year, and it might have happened against Oklahoma State, but that was the aberration. Even against UCF, the team proved to be the real deal.

Yeah, now it really is time to believe that Baylor can actually play.

What to watch for on offense: Don’t forget about the running game. Bryce Petty might bomb away and be on everyone’s Heisman short list, but the Bears finished 13th in the nation in rushing 3,368 yards and 47 touchdowns, helped by Petty punching in 14 of them. The entire rushing attack averaged over five yards per pop, and even without Lache Seastrunk, the speedsters are there in the backfield to hit home runs on a regular basis behind a terrific offensive line. There are a few questions about whether or not star left tackle Spencer Drango is 100% after getting hurt last season, and this is one area that’s a wee bit thin in terms of proven, talented depth, but the team came up with 200 rushing yards or more in every game but three. The 35-25 close call against Kansas State, the blowout loss to Oklahoma State, and the loss to UCF.


What to watch for on defense: The pressure from the front four should be outstanding. The linebacking corps can get behind the line on a regular basis – Bryce Hager is great at making big things happen – but the defensive line has the potential to destroy with a good-looking rotation and a nice blend of talents. From the massive Shawn Oakman on one end, to the speedster Jamal Palmer on the other, to the quick 300-pounders on the inside, the Bears should be able to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has plenty of options to mix and match to make this work.

The team will be far better if … the penalties stop. If you’re going to go from being Big 12 championship good to College Football Playoff good, you can’t lose a game or two on dumb mistakes. Baylor finished dead last in the nation in penalties, committing 120 for and average of 83 yards per game. While the offense makes up the yardage in a hiccup, it’s still a problem. Ironically, the least-penalized game last year was the Oklahoma State loss with just three for ten yards, but sins were a killer against UCF, getting flagged a season-high 17 times for 135 yards. On the season, Baylor was hit with ten or more penalties six times.

The schedule: Now the Bears are going to be the hunted instead of the hunter – this isn’t your older brother’s Baylor team. Even so, there shouldn’t be any problems with the non-conference schedule starting out with a shootout against SMU before getting a scrimmage against Northwestern State before travelling to Buffalo for an odd non-conference road trip. Getting a week off after a 3-0 start should be a positive before diving into conference play.

Fortunately, two of the potentially easiest Big 12 games – Iowa State and West Virginia – are on the road, but that means there can’t be a slip-up. Beat the Cyclones, and then it’s up to the Texas road game as the key – if the Bears are good enough to beat the Longhorns on the road, they’ll be good enough to beat TCU, West Virginia and Kansas to go 8-0 before going to Oklahoma. Getting Oklahoma State and Texas Tech at home after a week off is a major bonus.


Best offensive player: Senior QB Bryce Petty. It’s not like he’s a try-hard type who just so happens to be in the right offense. A good recruit, Tennessee was an option before choosing Baylor, and after being seasoned in the system, he came out roaring last year. Efficient, resilient and effective at getting into a groove and staying there, he was lights out early on last season. However, he completed fewer than 60% of his passes against the good defenses like TCU’s, Oklahoma State’s, Oklahoma’s and Kansas State’s. Keeping the mistakes to a minimum, he threw only three picks all season long. That won’t happen this year, but he should be a statistical superstar again.

Best defensive player: Senior LB Bryce Hager. Very quickly, 6-9, 280-pound DE Shawn Oakman could be the one everyone comes to see, and the defensive backs make a slew of big plays in this D, but it’s Hager who’s the tone-setter in the middle making 195 tackles in the last two seasons despite missing the last four games of last year. With tremendous instincts and the ability to get behind the line in a hurry, he knows how to anchor a defense. Expect a third straight All-Big 12 campaign.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore S Orion Stewart. The 6-2, 200-pounder has to replace longtime big hitter Ahmad Dixon, but he’s not the only one who has to come through in a young secondary. Everyone will get helped by the pass rush, but the defensive backfield has to replace Sam Holl, K.J. Morton and Demitri Goodson as well as Dixon. Stewart saw his share of time as a freshman, coming up with 39 tackles with four broken up passes and an 82-yard pick six against TCU, but now he has to be in the 75-tackle range, and steady.

The season will be a success if … the Bears get into College Football Playoff. Is that too greedy? Not for a team that went 11-1 last year and would’ve at least been in the discussion if there was a four team playoff. This season, with so much talent returning, a relatively favorable schedule, and so many realistic expectations, the goal is to win the Big 12 title first, and then hope is all works out from there to be among the big four.

Key game: Nov. 8 at Oklahoma. Oklahoma State has been the real problem for the Bears lately – going 1-6 over the last seven years including last year’s blowout loss – but the Big 12 road should go through Oklahoma this season. 2-20 all-time vs. the Sooners, both wins came within the last three years and neither one was in Norman. If all goes according to plan, and if Baylor can beat Texas in Austin, the record could be 8-0 going into the showdown with the Sooners that might deicide the Big 12 title.

2013 Fun Stats:
- Rushing Touchdowns: Baylor 47 – Opponents 15
- Average Yards Per Play: Baylor 7.5 – Opponents 4.8
- Total Offense: Baylor 8,044 yards – Opponents 4,684

-  2014 Baylor Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players


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