It was ugly. It was not a fun game to watch, or probably play in. It was a game that was marred by penalties, and by a WAY too talkative referee with a microphone. It was a game that saw a 7-0 lead at halftime for the Bears, but felt more like a deficit for the good guys. The only scoring for the first 40 minutes of game action game courtesy of Terrell scooping up a Beau Blackshear blocked field goal From that point till the late third quarter, it was frustrating and ugly football.
Then, the Baylor rushing attack started to become much more effective. Back-to-back three and outs by the Baylor defense put the Texas defense out there for a long time, and it allowed the Bears to start pushing them around.
Fun Stats of the Game
-The Bears surrendered their first three sacks of the 2014 season
-Spencer Roth set a career high in rushing yards with 19
-25% of all of UT’s first downs came by way of a Baylor penalty (5 of 20)
-Only four Baylor receivers caught a pass, while just Antwan Goodley caught more than 1 pass
Words of the Game
The passing attack for the Bears has never looked more dysfunctional under Art Briles. It was a mess. Bryce Petty seemingly refused to use all of his weapons, instead locking on the just returned Levi Norwood early in the game and then Antwan Goodley for long stretches after that. Just four Bears caught a pass, and only Goodley caught more than 1. That is very uncharacteristic for a dynamic Baylor offense. Petty was throwing high all night, missing simple quick screen passes, 5-10 yard curls, and even some deep balls. The Bears were saved though by a dominant second half rushing attack that wore down the Texas front line defenders, and started to make some huge plays after the mid-way point of the third stanza. It must be nice to be able to score 28 points on an awful night against a really good defense on the road and call it ugly, but that is the level this Baylor offense has set as an expectation.
Defensive – Smothering
We wanted to know how the defense would look in a 60 minute game where we would need them for the FULL 60 minutes. We got it. The Bears defense was smothering, even without a 3-touchdown lead. They attacked the Longhorns and snuffed out any type of drive, except for 1. Before the fourth quarter, the Longhorns had just two drives longer than 26 yards. They had a 45 yard drive that was ended on a fourth down stop by the defense. They also had a 98-yard drive that started on the Texas 1-foot line, and ended on the Bears 1-foot line. The rest of their 8 drives before their lone scoring drive totaled 114 yards. That is just 14.25 yards per DRIVE for Texas. Overall, they gained just 27 yards per drive, and that includes a 98 and 92 yard drives. This Baylor defense set a strong tone against a Texas offense that probably had its best rushing attack of the season.
Tweets of the Game
Play of the Game
4th and 5 at the Baylor 33. Roth,Spencer rush for 19 yards to the UT48, 1ST DOWN BU (Hicks, Jordan).
Not often will you find a fake punt in this section of the OC, but here we are. On twitter, I said that this Baylor team just needed a big play to break through. They were struggling on offense and were starting to give a little bit on defense. This was the danger zone of the game. Let’s take a look at how UT defended the first four punts of the game
First Punt – UT rushed three players, 7 backed off at LOS, 1 returner
Second Punt – UT rushed no one, 2 player stayed at LOS, 8 dropped off, 1 returner
Third Punt – UT rushed two players, 8 backed off at LOS, 1 returner
Fourth Punt – UT rushed two players, 8 backed off at LOS, 1 returner
The fifth punt found the Bears on their own 33 yard line. It was 4th and five. The Bears had three players lined up wide to the right, with four lineman, and three protectors in front of the punter, Spencer Roth. UT had 10 guys on the line of scrimmage, with 1 returner. They had 6 players over the ball, and four players more out wide to the right. Texas backed off one rusher right before the snap. At the snap 6 of the Texas players immediately head away from the line of scrimmage, with 3 more staying right the line. No one put any pressure on Roth, other than a player out wide came in to rush him, but one of the Baylor blockers easily took him out of the play.
There was a gaping hole between the right hash and the sideline, with just 1 Texas player within 10 yards of Roth, and no one else on that side of the field between Roth and the first down. Roth headed toward the sideline, allowing the blockers to easily taking out the one Longhorn player. It was a brilliant read by the coaching staff, Art Briles, and Spencer Roth. Three plays later, the Bears went up 14-0 and the game was pretty much over.
Players of the Game
Offense – Shock Linwood (28 rushes for 148 yards, 1 TD)
Like a bruising tailback, Linwood seemed to get stronger as the game went on. He rushed for 42 yards on the first possession of the 4th quarter, including his diving 1-yard touchdown that put the game officially out of reach. He ran for 104 yards in the second half, and just got stronger and stronger throughout the game. He should have had a 2nd touchdown as well (that for some reason, the refs did not review, about the only play they didn’t) and dominated the game for a Baylor offense that obviously wanted to run the ball.
Honorable Mention: Spencer Roth (19 yards rushing), Johnny Jefferson (11 rushes for 72 yards)
Defense – Orion Stewart (7 tackles, 2 interceptions)
The first year starter and sophomore safety had his first multi-interception game. His first came on the third drive of the game, where he jumped a seam route by the tight end, making a perfect play on the ball. The second came on the final drive of the game. Where he again picked off Swoopes again trying to go deep over the middle. Stewart was a part of a great performance by the Baylor secondary. The sophomore quarterback was just 16-34 passing and limited to Texas to just 144 yards on those 34 attempts.
Honorable Mention – Bryce Hager (8 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 QB Hurries), Beau Blackshear (4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 blocked kick), Shawn Oakman (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL), Xavien Howard (5 tackles, 2 passes broken up)
The Bears are 5-0 so far in 2014, and have improved to 3-0 on the road. They will come back to Waco for the first time in a month to take on a TCU team that just upset Oklahoma in Waco. Baylor is healthy, undefeated and now will have plenty of motivation to improve all over the field in preparation for TCU. The Bears passing attack has never had a worse game under Art Briles. The timing was off, led by Quarterback Bryce Petty who could never get into a good rhythm. He displayed happy feet and seemed to be playing too quickly. His throws were high and off-target for the entire game, as he would never set his feet. The Bears rushing attack though wore down the thin Texas defensive line and eventually got going late in the 3rd quarter. With the defense playing lights out and special teams putting the Baylor offense in great position (scoring a TD themselves, or getting a huge first down), the Bears offense finally showed up to the party.
Overall, this was a 21 point win, on the road against an in-state conference rival, who happens to be one of the Bears oldest rivals. That is a good result, though the data wasn’t pretty. There are worse ways to win a game, but the Bears showed a different way to win in Austin. Not with a team that simply scored at-will, but one that could lean on defense and an improved special teams unit.