Baylor Defense Pull Yeoman's Service in Loss

In the Big 12, or any major conference, a team cannot turn the ball over five times and have much chance of winning, especially against a "wrecking crew" defense like the one Texas A&M has. Put into difficult situations time after time by a "mis-firing" offense, the Baylor defense was finally worn down to the point it gave up a couple of big plays and when the Bears looked up at the scoreboard, it read A&M 41, Baylor 0. It shouldn't have been like that.

When the Aggies ran their first series of downs starting at the Baylor 25, they certainly didn't expect to go three and out. However, the Baylor defense stopped them cold and forced a punt. A nice return put the football at the Aggie 49-yard line.

Methodically, mixing pass with runs, the Bears moved steadily down the playing field and faced a fourth and inches, with the ball just inside the one. The Bears decided to go for it, the play was called, the ball was snapped, but for some unknown reason, the play went to the right when it was called to the left, and was stopped short, just at the one-inch line. It was only the beginning of an "off-day" for the offense.

The Baylor defense, on the next series, gave up the longest sustained drive of the day, about 64-yards, but it ended with a missed field goal. After that, the defense would be put into difficult situation after situation, and have to give a "yeoman's effort" to keep the Bears in the ball game. They did an exceptional job.

A prime example occurred just before the first half. With the Aggies leading 7-0, QB Aaron Karas lofted a wobbling pass downfield. The ball hit WR Marques Roberts in the hands, but somehow squirmed off and was picked off. The ball was returned to the 9-yard line, where the Aggies would have it, first and goal. Three plays later, the Aggies were still at the 9, and had to settle for a 26-yard field goal, going up 10-0 at halftime.

The Baylor opening drive, until that last fourth down play, was crisp, deliberate, and effective. However, after that last play that came up short, any effectiveness was "set back" or "extinguished" by mistakes. And, it wasn't just the QB's fault, the WR's fault, or the OL's fault, or just the RB's fault, or just the kicker's fault - everyone on the offense played a pivotal part, and could take responsibility for not scoring and being "shut out" for the second time this season.

Certainly more than one pass thrown by the QB sailed way beyond the intended receiver - I counted at least three - two long, and one short. No one missed seeing receivers who had footballs careen off their hands only to be swiped in mid-air by Aggie defenders. We had an offensive lineman commit a "senseless" penalty when he roughed a defender at the end of a play, backing us up 15 yards. Then, we miss a field goal from "chip-shot" range that, if nothing else, would have avoided the shutout. No, it was a group effort.

So, where do we go from here? Well, in a word, Colorado, more specifically, Boulder, Co. After all was said and done, however, our defense is #26 in the country against the run. However, we also will be hosted by the top running back in the country, Colorado's Chris Brown who leads the nation with 987 yards and 10 touchdowns on only 141 carries - that's 7.0 yards a pop. It was nice to get DE Aaron Lard back, who saw his first action of the season against the Aggies.

The bad news is, we got shut out 41-0 by the Aggies. The good news is, we're still tied with three other teams for second place in the Big 12 South. Now, after two conference games, when was the last time that happened?


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