Special teams, defense key No. 7 Baylor to 28-7 defeat of Texas

6 Comments

The perfect way to encapsulate the gap between Baylor and Texas right now is to examine Bryce Petty’s stat line and then look at the final score. Baylor’s senior Heisman Trophy candidate completed only seven of his 22 passes, and for a scant 111 yards. And the Bears won by 21.

Crucial special teams play and a defense patient enough to allow Texas’ offense to self-destruct pushed No. 7 Baylor past Texas 28-7 in Austin.

Let’s start with Petty’s numbers – or lack thereof. Part of Petty’s silence was Texas’ defense, which took away the middle of the field and kept the Baylor passing attack out of rhythm for most of the day. It definitely wasn’t in the game plan for Petty to complete 4-of-11 passes for 43 yards in the first half.

Baylor took a 14-0 lead, and thus effectively put the game away, on the strength of its special teams. Beau Blackshear blocked a Nick Rose field goal, which Terrell Burt returned 62 yards to put the Bears up 7-0 at the 9:02 mark of the first quarter. That was the only score of the first half, although it should not have been.

The Texas defense mounted a goal line stand, stuffing Petty millimeters from the goal line on fourth-and-goal, and then promptly marched 98 yards in 14 plays, seemingly putting itself in position to forge a 7-7 tie with half a minute remaining until halftime. But Tyrone Swoopes lost Jake Raulerson’s snap and – who else? – Blackshear hopped on the loose pigskin to preserve a 7-0 lead and send Texas into its locker room with a steel-toed gut kick.

On Baylor’s second possession of the second half, punter Spencer Roth tucked the ball and ran 19 yards on a 4th-and-5, giving the Bears new life at the Texas 48. A clearly shocked Texas defense then allowed plays of 10, eight and 30 yards, the last on a Petty scoring strike to Antwan Goodley, to push the lead to 14-0.

Texas did have one chance after the goal line catastrophe to make Baylor sweat, on the possession before Baylor eventually notched its second touchdown. Taking over at the Baylor 36, Swoopes found John Harris between two Bears defenders for a 34-yard gain, but Harris was hit with an utterly ridiculous taunting penalty pushed the ball back to the 45. Three plays and one penalty later, and William Russ was punting from his own 44.

Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson dominated the rest of the game, gashing the interior of the Texas defense and shedding tackles to the tune of 39 carries for 220 yards and one touchdown.

Texas got good production behind its tandem of Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray with 138 yards and a two-yard garbage time touchdown on 26 carries, but inconsistent decision making and execution by Swoopes (15-of-33 for 142 yards with two interceptions, 13 carries for 38 yards) doomed every Texas drive but the last one.

The most alarming development for Texas: Swoopes played his best in his first start against UCLA, and has regressed in the two games since.

Baylor, which will surely rise to the Top 5 in tomorrow’s polls following losses by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 6 Texas A&M (with No. 5 Auburn still in action as of this writing), has now beaten Texas is four of the past five seasons, with the last three wins coming all coming by 20 points or more. It gets more difficult from here, though, as Baylor hosts No. 25 and rising TCU on Saturday, while Texas faces off with No. 4 and dropping Oklahoma in Dallas.

Iowa State QB Re-al Mitchell latest to enter name into transfer portal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The portal has claimed another name and Iowa State’s quarterback depth will suffer as a result.

Cyclones signal-caller Re-al Mitchell became the latest enter the NCAA Transfer Database this week and confirmed on social media that he was leaving Ames for another opportunity elsewhere.

The move is fairly unsurprising given that Mitchell arrived on campus in the same recruiting class as current starter Brock Purdy. With a pathway to significant playing time blocked by one of the best young QB’s in the sport, a ticket out of town seemed like it was coming sooner or later for the team’s No. 2 on the depth chart.

A dual-threat known for his speed, Mitchell was originally ranked as a three-star prospect coming out of high school who picked ISU over Arizona, Illinois, Kansas State, South Carolina and others. He wound up playing in six games under Matt Campbell over two seasons and threw for an even 100 yards and one touchdown.

A Southern California native, it’s possible a move back West could be in the cards for Mitchell. He appears to be insistent on playing under center but did see spot duty as a wide receiver during his stint in Ames.

Following the departure of Mitchell, Campbell will quite a bit of youth behind Purdy on the team’s depth chart. Freshman Aidan Bouman enrolled early for spring practice while fellow Class of 2020 QB and four-star recruit Hunter Dekkers will arrive later as they battle it out for backup reps. Iowa State opens the season at home against FCS South Dakota before heading to Kinnick Stadium to take on rival Iowa in Week 2.

Texas LB Ayodele Adeoye to miss spring practice with foot injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

New Texas coordinator Chris Ash’s task at turning around the team’s defense got a tad bit harder on Saturday.

According to a release from the school, linebacker Ayodele Adeoye suffered a foot injury and will undergo surgery to correct it. While he is expected to be back in time for summer workouts, the upcoming trip under the knife will knock him out for all of spring practice in Austin.

Adeoye was a top recruit out of high school in 2018 but played in just four games and redshirted his first year on the Forty Acres. He turned into a regular starter (nine games) last season however and was fifth on the team in tackles (45) while recording an interception and 2.5 sacks.

With the redshirt sophomore out, the Longhorns depth this spring as they re-tool under Ash will certainly be tested. Fellow rising sophomore David Gbenda likely will take on an increased role based on the depth chart — though he might have to earn his way back after being sent home from UT’s Alamo Bowl win over Utah due to a violation of team rules.

Texas opens the 2020 season at home against USF and new head coach Jeff Scott before heading to Baton Rouge for a must-see game against reigning national champion LSU in Week 2.

Miami DL Scott Patchan enters transfer portal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The transfer portal has giveth for Miami football and it’s taken away.

Less than a week after Hurricanes got a big pickup in the form of Temple grad transfer DL Quincy Roche, the program learned that veteran defensive end Scott Patchan had entered his name into the transfer portal via an announcement on social media:

Patchan started six games last season and played in all 13 for Miami in 2019. He recorded 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks while in the lineup but ultimately took a back seat to star pass rusher Greg Rousseau and a host of others.

The loss of Patchan certainly hurts the depth head coach Manny Diaz has to play with but is by no means a killer given what will return in 2020 along the line. In addition to Rousseau (coming off a 15.5 sack campaign) and former AAC Defensive Player of the Year Roche, rising sophomore Jahfari Harvey saw action and former five-star Jaelan Phillips will be eligible after transferring from UCLA.

Patchan, who received a waiver from the NCAA for a sixth-year after injuries hampered his career, will be immediately eligible for his new school.

Miami opens the 2020 season with a game against Temple as part of a three-game homestand against Group of Five opponents before traveling to Michigan State for a big non-conference test.

Buyouts and Chip Kelly’s grocery bill lands UCLA with $18.9 million deficit in 2019

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A difficult year for UCLA on the football field was just as difficult on the balance sheet.

According to details obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the Bruins reported a shocking $18.9 million deficit for the recent 2018-19 fiscal year. This was the result of $108.4 million in revenue and $127.3 million in outgoing expenses.

“A confluence of events over the past two years led us to this point,” AD Dan Guerrero said in a statement to the paper, “and while it is unusual for us, we expect this shortfall can be mitigated.

“The investments made into our football and men’s basketball programs will pay off, ticket sales will normalize and one-time expenses will be paid.”

Those investments included a nearly 30 percent increase in the football program’s funding since the hire of Chip Kelly in late 2017. While former head coach Jim Mora’s buyout (nearly $12.5 million) was recorded in the previous year’s budget, the effects of it naturally carried over and created an even tricker situation when basketball coach Steve Alford’s buyout was thrown in for 2019.

In addition to buyouts, the grocery bill seemed to play a pretty big factor in the deficit as well. While this doesn’t appear to just be the case of switching from Albertsons to Whole Foods, under Kelly the program’s budget for nutrition ballooned from just a shade under $1 million to nearly $5.4 million last year. Add in decreased ticket sales in football (down $3.5 million from projections) after a disappointing year and increased costs from other places in the department and you can see how UCLA quickly went from being in the black into the red.

Needless to say, that puts even more pressure on Kelly and company to help turn things around in 2020. Things in Westwood haven’t been rosy in some time in the major revenue-producing sports and it seems it’s finally caught up to the folks in powder blue.