The #25 Baylor Bears (6-2, 3-1) head to Austin on Saturday to take on the Texas Longhorns (4-3, 2-2). The Bears are having great success on offense especially in the month of October averaging over 600 yards a game per contest. A large part of that is the play of senior running back Jay Finley. The Bears leading rusher has gained 697 yards on the ground and has scored 5 touchdowns on the season. Last week, Finley set a school record for most rushing yards in a single game by rushing for 250 yards in a victory over Kansas State.
"It is a collective effort,” says Finley about his team’s offensive success. “I believe we have a great offense, great team. The O-line played great, and I came ready. When you have Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright and those receivers outside playing the way they are playing, it opens up holes. We are just playing good as a collective unit."
The talented senior from Corsicana, Texas is returning from off-season ankle surgery. The injured ankle hampered his ability to do certain things on the football field last season. Entering his senior year, Finley began the season with something to prove.
"I was real motivated,“ said Finley. “I had big goals set last year, and I wasn't able to reach them. Just knowing me, I am going to work hard every year, so right now hard work is paying off. It is just paying off."
Headed into Saturday’s showdown with the Texas Longhorns, the Bears are bowl eligible for the first time since 1995. Finley talks about the accomplishment.
"It was one of our goals, a stepping stone for me,” says Finley of winning their 6th game of the season. “Coming here, that was one of my goals, to get this team to a bowl game. I have helped do that. So, we want to go for higher things right now. Shoot for the moon."
The Bears currently sit atop the Big 12 South standings, but face the 6th best defense in the entire country in the Longhorns. Finley knows Saturday’s match-up will be a major challenge for Baylor in all facets of the game.
"I am looking forward to it. [The University of] Texas gets a lot of great athletes,” said Finley. “So, it doesn't matter how many games they lost. They are going to have great athletes, and they are going to play. We are going to their home, and nobody wants to lose at home. We have got to come with our A-game."
Baylor sophomore quarterback, Robert Griffin III, is having a stellar season, and Finley knows a large part of Baylor’s explosiveness on offense is due to the talented quarterback’s ability to run and throw.
“When you have Robert Griffin, he is a threat all together,” says Finley. “He opens up a lot of things for me and the other players."
The #25 Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns kickoff at 6:00 p.m. at Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.