Baylor Center J.D. Walton Talks Football

BearsIllustrated.com caught up with Baylor's starting center, senior J.D. Walton, to get his take on the Baylor offense, steps that are being taken to increase productivity, and the upcoming game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Baylor's starting center, senior J.D. Walton, is on of the Bears' leaders on and off the field. Ranked as one of Scout.com's top centers in the entire nation, Walton took some time to talk with BearsIllustrated.com about where Baylor is as a team right now. "It's just execution. The more reps we get in practice the better," Walton said when asked about what Baylor's offense needs to do to move the ball effectively. "As an offense we can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot. That's been the case the last two weeks. We will get a drive going…penalty," Walton explained.

The Baylor Bears (3-4, 0-3) host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-3, 1-2) this Saturday, a game that the Baylor Bears seemingly must win to get back into bowl contention. However, after injuries to Baylor starting quarterback, sophomore Robert Griffin III, and starting running back, junior Jay Finley, the Bears' offensive productivity has been lacking. Walton feels that the Bears are close to finally putting it all together.

"Reps in practice this week, we have to be perfect and crisp. Everything we do, routes have got to be perfect, o-line has got to be perfect, quarterback has got to throw the ball good, execution-wise, we have to clean up all of that stuff this week." Baylor head coach Art Briles has preached to this season's squad that his team must match the level of intensity of the opposing team when the teams come out of the tunnel. The Bears have a slogan: "Start Fast", however, living up to that motto has been a goal that has fallen short since the Bears suffered hosted Connecticut in the second game of the season. Baylor's talented center believes this team is close to reaching its potential.

"This offense is very close. I mean, if he throws it five yards further and lets the receiver go get it, or if we give him half a second more time, he doesn't get hit, if our running back hits it, or if we give him a little bigger hole. But, Nick [Florence] is doing a great job. He has taken the spot and ran with it very well. It's very close to breaking out. I feel like it could happen at any time, we just cant let the stupid penalties hurt us. We cant quit, and we have to keep grinding every time we get the ball."

Walton admits there is no secret formula to getting this offense on track other than practicing hard, and eliminating costly penalties.

"Everything comes back to practice. If we are confident going into the game on Saturday, we are going to hit the field fast and hard. Our saying is ‘Start Fast', but in the first quarter in the past couple of games, we have shot ourselves in the foot. We just have to execute, that is the thing. We are going to be ready on Saturday no matter what."

The Baylor Bears take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 11:30 a.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas. The game is nationally broadcast on the Versus Network.

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