Scouting the Bears

Colorado plays host to Baylor and stellar sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin on Saturday at Folsom Field (5:10 p.m. Fox College Sports-Central).

INSIDE SLANT

By now, the Baylor Bears were hoping to be within one win of becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. But the Bears played lousy on defense in losing last Saturday to Texas Tech, 45-38.

Tech racked up a whopping 635 total yards in putting a damper on Baylor's postseason bowl aspirations.

The defeat was so difficult for Baylor coach Art Briles to swallow that in his postgame press conference, instead of making an opening statement, a distraught Briles decided to go directly to the reporter's questions.

Briles, however, acknowledged that he doesn't anticipating seeing that Baylor team again this season. And he definitely doesn't want to see them Saturday when Baylor (4-2, 1-1 in the Big 12) travels to play Colorado.

"We'll take what didn't work for us the other day and we'll learn from it,'' Briles said. "Some lessons are hard to learn than others, and we learned some hard lessons Saturday.

"And we'll be a better football team down the road, and hopefully some of the things that transpired Saturday will help us win a game here in the next six weeks."

Two days after the loss to Tech, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin was still trying to come to terms with the setback. Griffin had career highs in pass completions (31), pass attempts (42) and passing yards (384) against the Red Raiders, yet it wasn't enough to add up to a victory.

"I just knew we were going to win that football game, and it just didn't happen,'' Griffin said. "So you know you just look at it as it wasn't in God's will for us to win that game.

"As far as the bowl eligible thing, we've got a lot of games ahead of us. There's bigger things out there for us, but of course everybody's going to make a big deal out of us getting those next two wins (to become bowl eligible)."

Colorado (3-2) comes in after an embarrassing 26-0 defeat at Missouri in the Buffaloes' Big 12 opener. It was only the ninth time in their last 495 contests that the Buffs were shut out.

Against Missouri, Colorado netted just 311 total yards, including only 61 yards rushing on 26 carries.

But the Buffs are 2-0 at home this season, and that's a concern for Baylor. Still, the Bears have confidence they can go into the Rocky Mountains and emerge with a victory, particularly since they scored 38 points and had 507 total yards against Texas Tech.

"We got down 45-28 (against Texas Tech) and came back and made a game out of it -- a legitimate game to where we could have won,'' Griffin said. "We had a lot of missed opportunities.

"But you've just got to move on from there and realize that we're in good shape right now. We've just got to keep pressing forward and then keep getting better."

NOTES, QUOTES

--Baylor coach Art Briles said the situation involving wide receivers Josh Gordon and Willie Jefferson will be dealt with internally. Gordon and Jefferson were arrested in the wee hours of Oct. 3 when Waco police allegedly discovered them passed out in a vehicle in the drive-through lane of a Taco Bell restaurant. Both players played last week against Texas Tech.

--The 93 points the Bears scored in their two conference games are the most they've ever tallied in consecutive Big 12 conference games. Baylor scored 55 points two weeks ago against Kansas, and 38 this past week against Texas Tech.

--QB Robert Griffin threw for 380 yards two games ago against Kansas, and for a career-high 384 yards last week against Texas Tech. It's the first time in Griffin's career that he has passed for at least 300 yards in back-to-back games.

--Through six games, the Bears have allowed 13.8 points per game in the first half and only 6.0 points per game in the second half.

SERIES HISTORY:Colorado leads Baylor, 9-6 (last meeting, 2007, 43-23 Colorado).

SCOUTING THE OFFENSE:There's absolutely nothing wrong with Baylor's offense. In the past two games, the Bears were completely unstoppable, as they scored 93 points and manufactured 1,185 total yards. During that span, quarterback Robert Griffin was 57 of 78 for 764 yards and five touchdowns. Colorado is third in the Big 12 and 20th in the nation in rushing defense at 104.4 yards rushing allowed per game. Cornerback Anthony Perkins leads the team in tackles with 38, including 22 solo tackles.

SCOUTING THE DEFENSE: Baylor's defense is in sore need of a wake-up call. While the Bears' offense and special teams shined last week against Texas Tech, Baylor's defense gave up 45 points and 635 yards to a struggling Red Raider squad. Too much arm-tackling mostly did in the Bears, who also permitted 45 points in their other loss this season -- to TCU. Colorado is led by quarterback Tyler Hansen, who has completed 82 of 126 passes for 833 yards and five touchdowns. Scotty McKnight, who has 21 catches for 250 yards and two touchdowns, is his favorite receiver.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "From a physical standpoint on the field, Phil's as good as anybody in America in my mind in a situation where he's allowed to be that way." -- Baylor coach Art Briles, discussing Bears' nose guard Phil Taylor

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAME: Baylor at Colorado, Oct. 16 -- Baylor ran into an incredible offensive performance by Texas Tech last week. But the Bears won't have to worry about that this week, because the Buffaloes' offense is nowhere near as potent as the Red Raiders. Colorado is 10th in the Big 12 in total offense at 340.8 yards per game. Thus, Baylor's explosive offense should have enough juice to earn the Bears their fifth victory of the season.

KEYS TO THE GAME: It's imperative that the Bears score first and keep the crowd out of the game. They also need to establish a running game that was non-existent last week against Texas Tech, when they netted just 80 yards rushing on 30 carries. Baylor's special teams, which came up big against Texas Tech, also need to continue their superb play.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

QB Robert Griffin -- His 13 touchdown passes this season have gone for an average of 44.6 yards. He also is fourth in the country in total offense (329 yards per game), and second in the Big 12 in passing efficiency (154.5).

WR Kendall Wright -- He has three of Baylor's five 100-yard receiving games this year. That includes the 145 yards he collected on 11 catches last week against Texas Tech.

KR Mikail Baker -- Baker is the Bears' career record holder in kick returns (68) and kick-return yards (1,688).

ROSTER REPORT:

--DL Terrance Lloyd has missed the past two games with a knee injury, and may play against Colorado.

--CB Cliff Odom might be able to return to action after missing the last three games with a sprained ankle.

--CB Antareis Bryan has been sidelined for the past four games with a pulled hamstring, and could possibly play against Colorado.


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