Akina on Baylor Passing Game

The Texas Longhorn defense has faced its fair share of spread offenses in the past year. So how does Baylor's offense compare?

According to Texas defensive backs coach Duane Akina, the Bears run a similar system to that run by West Virginia.

"I think they are similar," Akina said. "They are built similar in a lot of ways. Their throwing game, which is kind of what you see quite a bit now, a lot of offenses are doing this. I think with all of the ones doing this, you see these kinds of numbers."

The Bears' ship is captained by senior quarterback Nick Florence, the nation's leader in total offense.

"I think he is a product of the system — a guy that's been in the system [and] been. doing the same thing over and over," Akina said. "He reminds me of some of those Texas Tech quarterbacks that have generated great numbers. They do a handful of things, they do it really well and a system is there. They are well-coached and the receivers and him have good timing. They have seen a little bit of everything — they have seen all-out man, they have seen drop eight and combination coverages. So they are well-tested, and they do a very good job with it all."

So how does Florence compare to last season's Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III?

"Probably you don't have a 4.4 guy that's a threat with the ball in his hands," Akina said. "Probably Florence doesn't have that arm strength. What made RG3 so difficult is he could throw the 53 yards, but then he also had a chance, he probably could throw the ball 77 yards in the air. Now all that long speed where he could hold it and hold it, now you're really defending a lot of that football field, which made him unique."

At the same time, Akina said wide receiver Terrance Williams is a first-team All-Big 12 candidate in a league loaded with talented wideouts.

"Boy I tell you, it'd be a tough choice right now through the middle of the year, but certainly he'd collect his share of votes," Akina said. "He's a good player. I think his numbers say that, and I think offensively their numbers say that.

"He may be similar to [Stedman] Bailey," Akina said. "Real straight-line [fast]. He's a home run hitter. A lot of vertical throws. They do a good job on getting their matchups out there, with how they align, with space, they really do a nice job by alignment forcing you to defend 50 yards the width of the field, and then there's a lot of vertical push up inside. You've got to defend the vertical 60-plus yards vertically too. That's what this game is coming to: there's just so much grass out there to create some one-on-one tackles."

The Baylor offense has been nearly unstoppable this season, up until the Bears' recent loss to TCU.

"[TCU] did a nice job, I thought, by disrupting [Florence], got some pressure," Akina said. "I thought the initial coverage was good, so it got him to his second look and made him hold the ball. Those guys up front did really a nice job. I thought their DBs just made some great plays, and I'm sure there's an ill-advised throw there."

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