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.