The Baylor Green and Gold game started out with former Baylor letterwinners taking the field in a flag football game. Former Baylor quarterback Odell James was "all-time" quarterback, and showed he still had all the tools that led him to be one of the highest rated recruits coming out of high school in the later part of the 1990's.
When the Baylor Bear football team took the field, all the fun and games were over. They took the field and immediately set a tone for the game. Running back Brandon Whitaker took a handoff and scampered for nearly 20 yards on the first play from scrimmage before being hit hard on the sidelines. On a day in which the offense used minimal sets, formations, and plays, the Baylor Bears defense seemed to have all the answers for most of the game. BearsIllustrated.com will give you a brief breakdown of what took place, who impressed, and what offensive position battles you need to look for heading into Fall. We will cover the defense in part II of the Spring game review.
Senior Michael Machen, a 6-6 235 pound transfer, appears to be the starting quarterback at this time. Machen stands tall in the pocket and throws with ease using his strong arm. In the spring game, Machen hit his short and intermediate passes, and never took a shot downfield. He had a bit of an issue keeping his balance as he slipped on the stadium turf a couple of times. Besides one pass that was intercepted along the sidelines, Machen did not lose ground to those behind him on the depth chart trying to reach the top.
Blake Szymanski, a 6-4 205 sophomore took reps as the unit's second string quarterback. With the wind picking up and getting his chance heading into a strong gust, Szymanski found Carl Sims and Justin Fenty underneath on a couple of plays. He let a few passes get away from him, and it appears he is in a dogfight for that all-important back-up quarterback position.
John David Weed a junior college transfer standing 6-4 215 took reps next and his first two passes were complete, moving the chains, and getting the offense excited. As the quarter ended, Weed faced the strong gusts again and found his next pass end up off wide receiver Justin Fenty's hands and into the hands of safety Zach Jones. Weed showed his mobility scrambling up the middle on one play for a good gain on first down. The big-armed quarterback also showed his velocity on a strike to wide receiver Carl Sims over the middle. Weed and Szymanski are in a tough battle headed into the Fall.
Ryan Roberts, 6-0 212 pound junior, got plenty of reps and looked sharp hooking up with Brandon Whitaker on the biggest play of the afternoon. Roberts did throw an interception in the endzone however as rover Marlon Price snagged a porrly thrown fade route intended for Thomas White.
Brandon Whitaker a 5-10 200 pound senior is the Baylor Bears starting tailback and he showed off some great moves today. He hauled in a tocuhdown pass and moved the chains often with his cutback ability. Whitaker is a threat to run or catch out of the backfield and will likely be a bigplay threat everytime he touches the ball.
Jay Finley a 5-11 195 redshirt freshman and Andre Pierce a 5-10 180 redshirt freshman both had solid outings. Pierce ran hard between the tackles, and Finley showed off some tackle-breaking abilities. Finley had an uncharacteristic day receiving wise as he dropped a couple of passes in the flat. Finley did enough to show off his open field running abilities and Pierce handled the hits as both appear ready to be a bigger part of this offense.
Jacoby Jones, a 5-11 220 junior, appears to be the short-yardage guy for the Bears. He hit the wholes hard inside the redzone and put his head down while carrying the ball in between the tackles. Jones looks primed to perhaps be the short yardage/goalline back for this Baylor Bears offense.
In Baylor's offense the ball will get spread around like it did today. Ernest Smith, Thomas White, Carl Sims, Justin Fenty, Mikail Baker, Ben Randle, and Brad Taylor all took turns making catches. All looked solid and will head into Fall after a solid spring.
The offensive player of the game goes to Brandon Whitaker. He ran hard, starting things off early, and scored on a redzone pass in the front left corner of the endzone.
Stay tuned to BearsIllustrated.com for Part II of the Spring Game review as we take a look at the defense.
Baylor Spring Game Wrap-Up
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