Spring Practice Report: March 17

After having Wednesday off, the Baylor Bears resumed practice Thursday afternoon. Tuesday, the defense let the offense get the best of them, giving up several big plays and not forcing a turnover. Thursday, they came out and played like they had a chip on their shoulder.

After finishing individual drills, it was time for about 20 minutes of 7-on-7 style football. The starting secondary looked much improved from Tuesday, virtually taking away any deep threats and forcing Robert Griffin to check down and dump it off for a short gain several times. However, the real fun was just about to begin.

Thursday's practice featured two different scrimmages: a short, 20 minute stand-up scrimmage and, directly after that, a 45 minute full contact, "bring-them-to-the-ground" scrimmage (complete with a chain gang and play clock). During the first scrimmage, the defense really swarmed to the ball well. Just like in the 7-on-7 drill, they eliminated any chance of Griffin going deep. However, they couldn't stop the tandem of running backs.

Coach Art Briles sent the defense to one sideline and the offense to the other. The scrimmage began with a Ben Parks punt that was fair caught by Kendall Wright. Then, the first team offense and defense took the field.

The defense looked ready to hit someone and redeem themselves from their performance on Tuesday. The first series, they forced a three-and-out after safety Ahmad Dixon leaped towards the sideline to break up a pass on 3rd and 8. The second teams took the field (that time led by Nick Florence) and quickly marched the ball down the field and scored after a combination of Terrance Ganaway runs and Florence passes.

Griffin and company took the field again, looking to make up for their first drive. LeQuince McCall made a great stop on a screen to Lanear Sampson to bring up 3rd and 12. Griffin then hit Terrance Williams for a gain of 14 to move the chains. A couple of plays later on 3rd and 9, Sampson caught a short screen and took it for a 10 yard gain. Isaac Williams went in at running back and took it right up the middle for a 15 yard gain. On the next play he was replaced by Glasco Martin, who took what looked like a dumpoff pass on a busted play 28 yards for a TD.

With the first team defense having won one drive and the offense having won the other, the teams took the field again one final time to settle the score. After a couple of failed running plays broken up by Nicolas Jean-Baptiste and Tracy Robertson, the offense was faced with a 3rd and 10. Griffin went to Sampson on a screen and he was stuffed right at the line of scrimmage by Chance Casey to force another three-and-out.

The first team offense went back out against the second team defense and easily moved the ball down field. The biggest play of the day came on a perfectly thrown corner route to Josh Gordon for a gain of about 30 yards. When the first team defense took on the second string offense, the drive ended after a Tyler Stephenson interception, which even caused new defensive coordinator to bust out a smile for the first time all afternoon.

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