Vance Rants: On Baylor And The White Flag

Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford did his best woe-is-me, we-have-no-chance impression of Lou Holtz from back in the day while talking about facing Baylor on Wednesday. He joked that he's ready to wave the white flag ... at least we think he was joking.

#1 ... Vance Bedford said no one has slowed down Baylor, unless the game was in near-freezing temperatures like the BU-Oklahoma State game last year as well as last year's Texas-Baylor game.

"It was cold (in those games), and there were a lot of dropped balls," Bedford said. "It's not going to be cold on Saturday. So the dropped balls are not going to happen. I haven't seen anyone stop them. Baylor has stopped themselves when that happens."


#2 ... Charlie Strong compared Baylor QB Bryce Petty to former Florida QB Danny Wuerffel. Bedford compares Petty to Blake Bortles in the way Petty can run and make all the throws.

"I think he's a special kid," Bedford said of Petty.


#3 ... Bedford drew laughter when he appeared to be channeling his best "woe is me" Lou Holtz pre-game assessment of Texas' opponent this week.

"Somebody said we're a 14-point underdog. I'd give 21 points right now. If it was up to me, I don't know if I want to show up for the game. I want a white flag. I surrender. I mean, I gotta be honest, you talk about not sleeping, not eating? These guys do it all to you."


#4 ... When jokingly asked where all Bedford's swag had gone, he said:

"Back in the day, I had Johnny Johnson, a first-round pick. ... Steve McMichael, who has a Super Bowl ring. Kenneth Sims, the first player chosen in the draft. The list goes on and on. I could have all the swag I wanted with them guys. I'm not playing, and I don't have those guys by my side right now. So, it's hard to deal with that. If I had those guys, I'd say, 'Let's go play.'

"My swag is down right now, after watching some video. My stomach's in knots. I'm sweating right now. Let's ride."
 

#5 ...The first step in defending Baylor is getting aligned right "otherwise it's a 50 or 60 yard touchdown," Bedford said. Then, it's about tackling in space.

"On defense, you teach gang tackling. Against the Baylors of the world, it's all one-on-one tackling. They spread you out so much and go so fast, sometimes you can't get aligned, and then you give up a big play. That's a major, major concern of ours. And I wish I had an answer.

"Nick Saban came out and said this is unfair to college football. But this is what college football is all about. It's about change. For us as defensive coaches, we need to learn and adjust with it. It's a learning curve for all of us right now trying to defend these type of things."


#6 ... Bedford said Texas has to mix up its pass rush, bat some balls and hope Petty holds the ball too long from time to time, so UT's rush can get to him.

"He hasn't been sacked yet this season," Bedford said. "The ball is out that fast. I don't know how you get to him. You might as well drop everybody, hope he gets tired of holding the ball and takes a knee."


#7 ... Art Briles has brought "a championship attitude to Baylor that they haven't had since Mike Singletary was there, to be honest. ... This is the new Baylor," Bedford said.


#8 ... Hassan Ridgeway and Paul Boyette "did a tremendous job" replacing Desmond Jackson at NT against Kansas, Bedford said.

"They kept guys off our linebackers and were stout in the middle," Bedford said. "We expect for those guys to continue to play that way. If your defense is strong up the middle, your defense has a chance to be successful. If you're not, it's going to be a long day."


#9 ... Caleb Bluiett was "very disruptive" in his first start at DE against Kansas.

"We need more disruptive players from the defensive end spot," Bedford said.


#10 ... It takes a complete team effort to beat Baylor - offense, defense and special teams - Bedford said.

"Central Florida (in last season's Fiesta Bowl) had Blake Bortles, first-round pick.. Offensively, they (UCF) outscored em. Their defense was physical for three quarters. Their special teams were out of sight.

"Oklahoma State last year drove the ball 99 yards in 5 minutes, so you keep Baylor's offense on the sidelines. In order to beat that team, it's going to take a team effort to beat 'em.

"Last year, Oklahoma played with them for a half. That was an Oklahoma team that had great talent -beat Alabama in a bowl game. They just wore down because of the number of plays they had to defend. That's a concern. If you have to defend 100 plays, you're going to have a hard time winning the ballgame."


#11 ... Freshman DT Poona Ford made some freshman mistakes against Kansas but also showed some flashes of why the coaches think he's going to be a big-time contributor in the near future, Bedford said.

Bedford said some more redshirts could be burned this week, "depending on what happens in the ballgame."


#12 ... Last year, Texas played man coverage roughly 90 percent of the time against Baylor. Bedford said even though UT has most everyone back from that team, Texas can't do that again.

"We're going to have to play some zone. We need more depth right now. On defense, you're chasing all the time and a lot of the time you have your back to the quarterback. That leaves one safety in the middle of the field to stop everything else."


#13 ... Bedford was asked if his defense is making strides.

"We're making strides. Are we headed in the right direction? Taking baby steps? The only thing about baby steps is we're fixing to run into a buzzsaw. You wish you were playing Podunk U. But we're not. We're playing the team that leads the entire country in offense."

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