Three games in, and the Bears are still undefeated. You could say that they are still perfect, but the start to the 2014 season has not gone perfectly. There have been several issues, a few major surprises, and
KD Cannon goes in for the score.
Stock Up! : KD Cannon – I think his parents filled out the birth certificate wrong, it was supposed to be TD Cannon. The true freshman from Mount Pleasant, TX leads the nation in receiving yards, is fourth in yards per reception and tied for 2nd in touchdowns. Simply put, Cannon has been one of the most explosive players in the nation, with 5 out of his 14 catches going for touchdowns. Cannon looks like a young Tevin Reese out there, blowing by defenders as if they are standing still. On his 89-yard touchdown reception, Cannon got a delayed start on his route, and still blew past the entire defense.
Stock Down: Chris Callahan – Another freshman for the Bears, this one isn’t working out as well as many had hoped. After a string Fall Camp secured Callahan’s spot on top of the kicking depth chart. Callahan is just 1-5 on kicks, with his only make being a chip-shot from 23 yards out. Callahan missed a simple 36 yarder badly against Buffalo, even though the ball was lined up in the middle of the field. It was a perfect opportunity for an easy kick, and a confidence booster. It sailed hard right and never had a chance. The Bears have not needed their kicking game much so far, but they will need some big kicks soon enough.
Xavien Howard with the pass break up.
Stock Up! Xavien Howard – Baylor fans are watching a future NFL cornerback at work. With great size at 6-foot-1, good agility, and tremendous ball skills, Howard has been the Bears best defender in the backfield. He had two big-time pass breakups against Buffalo, acrobatically breaking up two deep balls. The sophomore corner is showing to be one of the best cornerbacks in the Big 12 so far in 2014.
Stock Down: Interior Run Blocking – The lack of push in the middle of the offense line is a concern for the Bears. Baylor has seen quite a few teams load the box with up to 8-defenders, and have just not gotten any push up the field in the running game. The good news is that the passing attack has found some very large plays down the field due to single coverage on the outside, or a linebacker being matched up in man-to-man coverage against a slot receiver.
Stock Up!: Wide Receiver Depth – Looks like the Bears could be getting some good news for their trip to Ames, IA to open up Big 12 play against the Iowa State Cyclones. Injured receivers Corey Coleman, Antwan Goodley, and maybe even Clay Fuller could all be back and playing for the Bears. Even getting 1 or 2 of those players back would be a welcome addition to the team. The Bears performance in the passing game has not lacked up with their absences, as Lynx Hawthorne and the two true freshmen in Mr. Cannon and Davion Hall have stepped up and played huge roles.
Bryce Hager, Baylor linebacker
Stock Down: Defensive Tackling – The second half of the Buffalo game was quite concerning for Phil Bennett and the Baylor defense. Bad angles, missed assignemnts, and a few hero plays led to way too many missed tackles and big gains for the Bulls. Over 300 yards allowed in a half, and the first three touchdowns allowed in 2014 left a bad taste in their mouths. Baylor was an excellent tackling team for the first 2.5 games, hopefully they can get back to it.
Stock Up!: Bye Weeks – Anytime you are missing four key offensive players, have your quarterback recovering from a broken back, and have played 3 games in 13 days, a bye week is always a good thing. The Bears need to recharge, get healthy, and get ready for the Big 12 schedule ahead of them. They have 2 more road games on deck, and will see a rowdy crowd in Ames, IA as they face the Cyclones at 7:30 pm on FOX.