How is this year’s Baylor team different from recent versions?
The last few years, it was all about offense and nothing else. This year, the offense is better than ever, but the defense and special teams are also contributing, which is why this year’s Baylor team has a chance to run the table.
Look at No. 4 Baylor’s 63-34 win over Texas Tech on Saturday night as an example.
When the Bears were down 20-7 early to the Red Raiders, they didn’t rely just on their big play offense to come back. They took advantage of a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown by Levi Norwood and then an amazing interception by K.J. Morton to set up a touchdown that would give Baylor a lead it would never relinquish.
Given an inch by its special teams and its defense, the Baylor offense took a mile against Texas Tech. Heisman Trophy candidate Bryce Petty threw for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns and added another 2 scores on the ground to key Baylor’s ninth win.
And while Texas Tech scored 34 points and accumulated 457 yards, the Baylor defense was opportunistic enough to force three key turnovers that led to 21 Bear points.
Baylor now improves to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big 12. Texas Tech loses its fourth straight and falls to 7-4 and 4-4.
It didn’t matter whether Baylor passed it or ran it, the result was the same. Freshman Shock Linwood had his second-straight huge game, rushing for 184 yards in place of Lache Seastrunk, who sat out the game with a groin injury. All together, the Bears rolled up 673 total yards.
This Baylor team is for real and it might face its ultimate test next week when it travels to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State. Win that one and we might see the Bears become the the ultimate BCS buster.
“Baylor Attrition Day” here at CFT continues, although this one has nothing to do with a 2016 signee.
According to a report from Rivals.com affiliate SicEmSports, Chris Johnson has decided to leave Baylor and transfer into the Houston football program. The same website is reporting that the Bears gave the erstwhile quarterback a release from his scholarship.
Johnson will be graduating from BU this summer, thus making himself immediately eligible to play for the Cougars in 2016. Not only that, but he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Thanks to a rash of injuries at the position, Johnson started two games for the Bears at quarterback in 2015 before he too sustained an injury. He returned to start BU’s bowl win over North Carolina, but changed positions this spring and was listed as a wide receiver/tight end on his official BU profile. At least in the beginning, he’s expected to continue in a receiving role with the Cougars.
This past week, Texas confirmed four-star 2016 Baylor signee Devin Duvernay had joined Charlie Strong‘s football program, just a couple of days after BU announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent. Shortly after that, another 2016 BU signee, offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez, revealed via Twitter that he too will be moving on to the Longhorns.
Now, another has migrated from Waco to Austin.
According to a report from ESPN.com, Donovan Duvernay has committed to play his college football for Texas. This Duvernay is the twin brother of Devan Duvernay.
The wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Longhorns in 2016.
A three-star member of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class, Duvernay was rated as the No. 61 athlete in the country and the No. 113 player at any position in the state of Texas.
In the end, Baylor’s loss will turn into Texas’ gain. Again.
Just a couple of days after Baylor announced five 2016 signees had been granted releases from their National Letters of Intent, one of those prospects announced their new landing spot. And, to add insult to injury, said landing spot is a fellow Big 12 member.
And the state’s flagship university for good measure.
Pictured with Texas head coach Charlie Strong, that would be offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez announcing that he will begin his collegiate playing career with the Longhorns. And the get for UT, at least when it comes to recruiting pedigree, is a huge one.
Urquidez was a four-star BU signee this past February, rated as the No. 22 offensive tackle; the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Texas; and the No. 244 player on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
The lineman becomes the second 2016 Bears signee to join the Longhorns since the sexual assault scandal slammed headfirst into Waco. Late this past week, UT confirmed the addition of four-star wide receiver Devin Duvernay.
Thursday, reports surfaced that two Tennessee offensive linemen would be leaving the Volunteers football program and possibly transferring to the FCS level. Friday, one of those two confirmed he’s looking into it.
Speaking to The Knoxville News Sentinel, Ray Raulerson acknowledged that he’s “exploring options right now,” although he stopped short of confirming a transfer. However, the redshirt sophomore center talked of his time in Knoxville in the past tense, an indication that he is prepared to move on.
“I’m exploring options right now,” Raulerson told the News Sentinel. “…I really loved it at Tennessee, but I’m going to go to a place where I have a better chance to play.”
Raulerson was a three-star member of UT’s 2014 recruiting class. After redshirting as a true freshman, he played in five games in 2015.
It has yet to be confirmed that the other lineman, fifth-year senior tackle Dontavius Blair, is indeed transferring. Raulerson, though, told the newspaper that his teammate is leaving as well.