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Looking ahead to the SMU Mustangs, we take a look at 5 keys for the Bears

Looking ahead to the SMU Mustangs, we take a look at 5 keys for the Bears

After an impressive performance against the Northwestern St. Demons last week, the Bears return to McLane Stadium for a midday matchup against the improved SMU Mustangs. The Mustangs are led by 2nd year HC Chad Morris and look to show improvement over last years big loss to the Bears in Dallas. 

As we continue our game preview series, we take a look at 5 keys to the game versus SMU.

  1. Stay Healthy. As with last week, this again is a major key heading in to this game. SMU will be much more physical than Northwestern St. was last week, and will challenge the Bears up front. Seth Russell is the key that makes the Baylor offense goes, so it will be important for the offensive line to continue to improve and keep Russell from getting too dirty. Also, with more physicality, you also have to keep players along the offensive and defensive lines fresh to avoid injuries. The Bears can't stand to take on too many injuries, so jumping out to a big lead early will help.  

  2. Win the turnover battle. I don't recall Baylor having a turnover in their game last week. It didn't hurt last week, but as the competition gets better, it will be important for the Bears to get key turnovers. SMU will be a stiff test against an improved Bears defense, but Baylor will have to win the turnover battle in order to keep this game from getting to comfortable for SMU.  

  3. Dont Underestimate the Opponent. This is important and will likely be a key every week. The Bears have talent, but the depth is thin, so it is important for the Bears to not underestimate the opponent. There is a small margin for error and as the competition gets tougher, it will be important for the Bears to stay focused and determined. 

  4. Continue to improve on offense. This is three fold. The OL should continue to gel and improve as we continue through the season, but it will be important for them to continue to establish themselves in the run game. The running game is an important element to the Baylor offense, and while SMU's defense is young, there is talent there. Still though, the Bears should have no problem running the ball with Shock Linwood and Terence Williams. Also, look for the Bears to air it out more. SMU has some experience in the defensive secondary, but they have no one that can keep up with KD Cannon or Chris Platt. Look for Seth Russell to throw the ball early and often. This is a game in which many players should get a chance to contribute. 

  5. Win the Line of Scrimmage. This is important as the Bears continue to find the right combinations along both the offensive and defensive lines. Starters Ira Lewis, Byron Bonds and Jaimie Jacobs were impressive in their performances against Northwestern St., but will face more of a challenge against the Mustangs. The Mustang OL isn't a very impressive unit, but they are workhorses and will give the defensive line fits if they aren't sound in their technique. Stopping the run and putting the Mustangs in long yardage situations will help against an up tempo offense.  

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