Overreaction Central - Wofford

The Bears slayed the mighty house dogs on Saturday night, moving to 1-0 and a step closer to making all Bear fans freak with even more optimism. It's a new era here folks, so let's overreact to every little thing we saw!

It feels so good to be back ladies and gentleman. Here at Overreaction Central, we like to do some analysis of the game and give out some awards. But we also like to overreact to every little thing. Needless to say, the tone of this article really depends on what happens in the game. Some weeks, it will be celebratory and over the top. Other weeks, it will be solemn and about as depressing as you can imagine. But hey, we are fans, so our emotions ride with how the team does. So let's get to it folks!

To say that the season opener of the 2013 campaign went well would be an understatement. Heck, it is hard to imagine a game going better than the Baylor victory over Wofford did. A 69-3 demolishing of a solid FCS team is a great way to start the year. The Bears had their way, and make no mistake about it, this score could have been much worse. But the best part about this game? No injuries. Baylor left the field 1-0, with a few things to work on, a lot of confidence, and healthier than when they started the game.

It started fast for the Bears, as they won the toss and as per Art Briles commandment #17, chose to receive the ball and get their offense on the field. Getting the ball at the 30 yard line, it took only 6 plays for the Bears to move 70 yards and get their first touchdown of the 2013 campaign, courtesy of a Glasco Martin 8 yard plunge. Bryce Petty started it off with two screen passes to the perimeter wide receivers first to Tevin Reese for 11 yards, and then to Antwan Goodley for 22. After that, the Bears turned to All-American candidate Lache Seastrunk for 3 straight carriers that netted a total of 29 yards, to setup Glasco Martin's touchdown scamper.

With the first drive out of the way for the offense, it was the defense's turn to show what they could do. While the Terriers did gain 40 yards on their initial drive, the Bears held on 4th and 6 at their own 34 yard line to get the Baylor offense the ball back. Ahmad Dixon took over this first defensive series, with 4 tackles, including the one for loss that finally got Wofford behind the chains and put them off schedule.

With the Bears again in great field position, it was only another 37 seconds till Baylor fans were cheering wildly again as Bryce Petty read the defense perfectly and threw it to a wide open Clay Fuller on a seam route right up the middle of the defense for 41 yards. Petty finished the drive with another great read, this time finding Goodley in the end zone for a 27 yard touchdown on 3rd and 13.

With the defense holding Wofford to a 3-and-out on their next possession, the Baylor offense got the ball back in a hurry again and moved methodically 50 yards in just over 2 minutes for what Briles call his slow down offense. With Seastrunk getting his first touchdown of his hopeful Heisman campaign, the defense decided to get into the scoring column as senior defensive end Chris McCallister tipped a pass as the line of scrimmage to himself and he rumbled down the field for a 25 yard interception return for a touchdown.

It was 28-0 Baylor with just over 2 minutes to go in the first quarter. That is right, all of the above action happened in just 13 minutes of game-play. That was this game in a nutshell. The Bears came out focused and ready for action, they simply steamrolled the Terriers. The final score doesn't do justice to the way this game went. The Bears could have kept throwing and scoring and pretty much doing anything they wanted to in this one. Wofford needed a slow start for the Baylor offense and to get something going on offense with a few 3rd and 4th down conversions. They got none of these.

Score By Quarters1st2nd3rd4thF
00303
281028369

Fun Stats of the Game

- Lache Seastrunk averaged over 10 yards per carry on his 11 touches

-Nine receivers caught passes for the Bears, with no running backs or tight ends registering a catch

-Anthony Webb played both safety and running back for the Bears, gaining 71 yards on the ground, and played safety on defense late in the game

-Baylor had the ball just 25:01 minutes in the game, gaining a point every 21.7 seconds of offensive possession.

-The Bears gained 9.6 yards per play, while Wofford gained only 3.0 resulting in a positive margin of 6.6 yards.

-Last year, Aaron Jones had just 39 touchbacks on 95 kickoffs (41%). Against Wofford, Jones was 8 for 8 on touchbacks.

-The Bears fumbled the ball four times, losing two.

Words of the Game

Offense – Normal

Let's just be honest, this is what we expected. Quick-decisive drives that got us a big lead early, and getting to see a ton of backups in action. This is what the expectation was going in, and it was met easily. Yes, there are a few things to fix. One, the offensive line had some miscommunications on some twists and blitzes, one causing a Bryce Petty fumble, but those are to be expected with 3 new starters. Also, Petty didn't really attack the middle of the field or try and stretch the field vertically in the mid-range (15-25 yards). He threw it short and deep, and that is about it. You can do that against Wofford, but it will be more difficult against Buffalo.

The running game was explosive and they did what they wanted with Lache and Glasco. Get them some touches, get some success, and get them out of the game before any injuries. The backups also looked very good, with Seth Russell completing 4-4 including a touchdown pass to Corey Coleman late in the 3rd quarter. We got a look at Robbie Rhodes and Shock Linwood as well, and the future of those two looks very bright. This was a normal offensive game for the Bears. Isn't it lovely?!?

Defense – Fast

With Dixon and Terrell Burt as the safeties, this defense improved its speed in the back end by quite a bit. But overall, this defense seemed to be very quick to me. They moved to the ball swiftly and usually did it with their assignments in mind. There is a negative to being too fast, especially if you abandon your gap or assignment. But the Bears did this very rarely. All game, they played fast and fundamental in attacking an offense that makes those two skills mandatory. Both Bryce Hager and Eddie Lackey were all over the field

Play of the Game

Seth Russell pass complete to Corey Coleman for 70 yard touchdown

With the Bears up 52-3, Bryce Petty was given the night off. On the first pass of Seth Russell's career, he found fellow redshirt freshman Corey Coleman open underneath on a simple curl route about 15 yards down field. With four defenders around him, it looked like a nice 15 yard gain and first down. However, Coleman slyly moved to his left, missing the first hit and then bounced off the second man. After that, he out-ran the safety to start across the field. Coleman then showed off his speed by getting by all logics of geometry that the defenders had been taught racing down the field for a 70 yard touchdown.

Players of the Game

Offense – Tough to pick just one guy from an offense that gained 692 yards and had 5 rushing and 3 passing touchdowns. The Bears had an efficient outing from their starting quarterback, completing almost 80% of his passes and gaining over 300 yards. But Lache Seastrunk was simply too dominant in this game, despite having only 11 touches. He averaged 10.1 yards per carry and got his first touchdown. With his normal number of carries, we are talking about a 200+ rushing yard game. He looked quick and decisive despite Lache himself saying he didn't hit full speed once in the game.

Honorable Mention – Bryce Petty (19-24, 312 yards, 2 TD), Tevin Reese (5 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD), Anthony Webb (71 rushing yards)

Defense – Bryce Hager led the Bears with 12 tackles, but none of those tackles had the impact of what Ahmad Dixon did to start the game. He had the hit of the night on the first drive out of his 4 tackles. He was all over the field from his strong safety position, primarily acting as a 3rd man on the strong side for the option defense. He was fundamental in his assignment of the quarterback and read the option play very well.

Honorable Mention - Bryce Hager (12 tackles, .5 TFL, 1 BrUp), Eddie Lackey (9 tackles, 1 TFL), Shawn Oakman (6 tackles, 3.5 TFL)

Summary

As Bryce Petty said in the post-game interview, "one down; twelve to go". Of course, the Bears only have 11 regular season games left, but with the way they played last night, you can be pretty confident that the only question about #12 will be where we need to go. A dominating defensive and offensive performance that showed off the best of what the Bears can be against an overmatched team. With two more non-conference games to go, can Baylor play better? I think so, but honestly, it just feels good to have football back.


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