With two weeks to prepare for a team that was coming off a bad loss at home after losing its star quarterback for the year (one of 20+ players they have lost since the end of last season), the Baylor Bears had as much reason for hope as one could imagine. Coming off of their own tough loss, starting off 0-2 in their Big 12 conference schedule, with two tough road games after this home game, a loss would be disastrous.
So, what happens? The Bears stroll out on the field, and get their butts whipped by TCU, 49-21. It was the first loss at home for Baylor since November 20th, 2010 against Oklahoma, in the final game of that season. This might have been the worst offensive performance since that game as well, though the Oklahoma State game last year might have something to say about it.
The Bears turned the ball over 6 times, led by 4 interceptions from senior starter Nick Florence. He threw across his body into the middle of the field, he overthrew receivers, he threw into triple teams, and he even stared down his man. It was just a terrible day for Florence, no doubt about it.
"Fun" Stats of the Game -
Not much fun about it, but here are some things stat stood out to me
TCU held the ball for 41:50 of the game. That is almost 70% of the game-time in a 60-minute game. Ridiculous.
All four of Trevone Boykins' touchdown passes came on third down. 3rd and 3, 3rd and 7, 3rd and 19, and 3rd and 11
TCU converted 14 of 19 3rd downs, and that was after failing to convert on their first third down.
They converted on a 3rd and 15, 3rd and 19, 3rd and 9, 3rd and 8, and 3rd and 11. With a 3rd and long (7 yards or more) they were 7 of 10, but two of those they gained enough yards to convert on 4th down attempts.
Baylor scored on the 2nd play of scrimmage, but did not score again until 9:12 left in the 3rd quarter.
Baylor averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, while TCU averaged 4.4 yards. TCU did it on 57 carries, while Baylor just had 32.
Baylor had just 55 offensive plays. 23 passes versus 32 rushes. Against WVU, they had 92 plays (45 rushes, 47 passes). That is 40% less.
Players of the Game -
Offense - Terrance Williams - 3 receptions, 163 yards, 2 touchdowns
The kid is a beast. He is by far our best offensive threat, and might be the best receiver in the country. He had our two big plays, a 74 yard touchdown catch on the 2nd play of the game and a 77 yard touchdown reception to pull the Bears within 28-21 late in the 3rd quarter. That catch would be the last score of the game for the Bears. But don't take anything away from Williams. There is no one in college football that can cover him one-on-one. Florence did a bad job of getting the ball to him, as he only had 3 receptions, but his impact on the game was huge.
Defense - Ahmad Dixon - 13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass break up
Dixon is by far our best defensive player, and he played like it against TCU. He was all over the field and had a HUGE sack to put the Horned Frogs at 2nd and 19 on TCU's first possession of the 2nd half. Of course, they would convert the 3rd and 19 for a 43 yard touchdown play.
The Word of the Game:
Offense - Donate
What is the one thing you can't do on offense when your defense is struggling? Turn the ball over. And that is what the Bears offense did time and time again. What else can you say about 6 turnovers? The Bears offense had numerous chances, especially in the first half to score and get ahead in this game, but they failed to finish drives. Baylor had
Defense - Soft
The thing that I will remember about this game i the just terribly soft coverage on 3rd down. The Bears defense performed very well on first down in the first halfTCU averaged only 2.57 yards on first down in the first half of the game. However, the longer they were on the field, the worse it got. In the 3rd quarter, the average went up to 4.33 yards per first down, and in the 4th quarter it was a ridiculous 8 yards per first down. That is a sign of a tired and worn out defense.
Here is the Bears performance on third down by quarter:
1st quarter - 4 plays, 56 yards, 14 yards per play
2nd quarter - 7 plays, 59 yards, 8.43 yards per play
3rd quarter - 5 plays, 80 yards, 16 yards per play
4th quarter - 3 plays, 17 yards, 5.66 yards per play
TOTAL - 19 plays, 212 yards, 11.16 yards per play
The Horned Frogs gained 509 total yards, with 212 coming on third down. That is 41.65% of their total yards coming just on third down, plus they scored four touchdowns on third down. The worst part about this game though? The defenders were in position to make plays time and time again. On three of the touchdown passes, the defender was right there, he just didn't make the play. The Bears also struggled to wrap up and bring the ball carrier down on numerous occasions. I do not put this defensive performance on the coaching staff as much as last week. This week, the players were in good position to make plays, they just failed to do so.
The Bears lost back to back games after not losing 9 straight games. This is the first losing streak since October 15th and 29th, when the Bears lost back to back road games to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State by a combined score of 114-52. What awaits the Bears now though? Back to back road games against Texas and Iowa State. There is a good chance the Bears will be the underdog in both of those contests, and could start 0-4 in the Big 12. The Bears need to just move on from this game, and try and regroup, because a win in one of these next two games might be needed to save this season.
So what will decide the game this Saturday between TCU and Baylor? We have 5 keys to the game, and…