Baylor Football: What Was and What Will Be
The Baylor Football team came into the 2010 season with a heavy weight on its shoulders. That weight was in the form of the 16 teams before it, the 16 teams that failed to make a bowl game. This 2010 version of the Bears lead by Robert Griffin III finally shed that weight, or as some would say got the monkey off their back.
After all, we all know that great teams, good teams and even mediocre teams go bowling more than once every 16 years. Baylor is going to have a tough time going bowling again in 2011, playing a tougher schedule that includes all of the other nine teams that make up the "Big XII." For the sake of a different opinion, one that isn't just satisfied with one season going well, I'll play the devil's advocate.
The Bears also failed to play a competitive game against excellent competition. The Bears lost a close game to an average Texas Tech team, and played one excellent half against the Aggies before caving in the second half. However, Baylor lost to TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State by a combined score of 153 to 62.
Another issue with the scheme that defensive coordinator Brian Norwood applies is that the Baylor linebackers are often stuck covering Wide Receivers, which is an obvious mismatch. It seems as if Briles should bring in a coordinator that knows what he is doing, but it looks as if Baylor fans will be stuck hoping Norwood changes his ways next year.
It starts with the play calling, and drifts all the way down to the playmakers. The Baylor offense had no shortage of playmakers this past year with Jay Finley setting the record for rushing yards in a season, and Robert Griffin setting the mark for most passing yards in a career at Baylor.
However, Baylor fans remained frustrated with the play calling, tired of seeing bubble screen on back to back plays, and the quarterback read time and time again. Baylor rarely looks downfield; however, that might be Robert Griffin's fault as much as anyone else's. Griffin needs to hit the practice field this offseason and work on his execution of deep passes.
Too many times this year the Baylor receivers came up empty on their deep routes because Griffin either left the ball short, or overthrew his receivers. If this Baylor offense wants to compete with speedy defenses like TCU, they'll need to not only open up the playbook but also be able to execute those plays.
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