"Hello, Mr. Heartache
I’ve been expecting you
Come in and wear your welcome out
The way you always do
You never say if you’re here to stay
Or only passing through…..”
Well Baylor fans, Mr. Heartache stopped by my house for a visit Saturday night around 10:45pm. Not sure if he stopped in to see you or not, but I can confirm that he was definitely in the Dallas area.
Good grief, if you had given me a blind choice to take Baylor in Morgantown playing a top 5 ranked WVU in their Big XII opener (not season, but career), and drop 63 on them, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. Along the same lines, if hanging 50 on a UT team that has been in the top 10 this year, in Austin, in front of 101,353 rabid fans was on offer, I would have taken that deal too. When you score an average of 57 points against top conference competition, on the road, in notoriously tough stadiums, you win both games. Wrong. You lose both games. That is a tough pill to swallow to say the least.
For me, I was past the TCU game. 6 turnovers in an uninspired game was not a positive experience, but it had the feel of an anomaly to me. Take nothing away from TCU, but come on, 6 turnovers? If you are TCU and you lose a game with +6 in the turnover category, you might as well cancel the season. So you are welcome TCU. St. Nick was feeling very generous last week and handed over your share of gifts with wanton disregard of your standing on the naughty/nice list. C’est la vie, it seems that we always have one game that we come out flat for and that was it. As I said, I was past it.
I was really thinking that we would come out guns blazing for Texas, and we did. Even late in the game we had every fan in DKR stadium sitting on the edge of their seat, nervously unscrewing the lid on the flask that they just pulled out of their boot and wondering how the game was going to end up. Well for UT fans it had a happy ending. For Baylor fans, we were shaking our heads, slumping our shoulders and looking very dejected.
Turnover the ball, turnover the game
Baylor has not had a forced turnover since playing in Monroe and the results have shown. 3 losses is a predictable result when you have -9 in the turnover category. Granted 6 of those 9 came against TCU but when close games were on the line, turnovers seemed to turn the tide against us. Reduce turnovers in our two close games and we have a great shot at being 5-2 right now.
Offense continues to baffle opposing D
For the second week in a row, Terence Williams was streaking down the sidelines early in the game for a long score. The hits just kept on coming Saturday with the Bears O putting up 50 points and 600+ yds. Outside of the turnovers, this was a tremendous performance. Defensive coordinators in the Big XII are chewing Pepcid AC like tic tacs when they think of playing Baylor and that is a good thing. Nick Florence accounted for 4 TDs and looked fairly sharp. Don’t look now, but even with a poor showing against TCU he is still the number 3 rated quarterback in D1 right now. On the subject of Terence Williams, I predicted him to finish 3rd in the Belitnokof voting but he now has to be a clear favorite. Ridiculous stats, extending the field, physical tenacity, speed and hands are nice traits to have in a go-to receiver.
Where’s the D
Defense, come on man. I know it is a team sport and no one squad loses alone, but please, please, please, stop somebody. 80+ yard TD runs? Receivers running wild in the backfield? A quarterback with question marks (suspected broken wrist) looking like a champion (again)? 56 points? Guys, we have got to start holding teams below 50 if we want to win any more games.
Where do we go from here?
To be honest, this Baylor team could go either way. We have one more game where we will be overmatched with our opponent in Waco vs. Kansas. I did not say that we would win, but clearly we will be over-matched. The rest of the games are toss-ups at this point. All of our competition has been up and down throughout the season, but clearly looking strong and mostly winning. If we play like we did Saturday, we will be lucky to win 3 of them and go to a bowl. If we rely on our offense to score 80 points a game, we will be in trouble. We have some horses, but not that many horses. On the other hand though, with some inspired defense, we could win out. It is certainly doable. Even Kansas State, our most formidable challenge at this point, has shown a few weaknesses during the season.
To sum it up, “you never say if you are here to stay, or only passing through”. Lets hope Mr. Heartache moves on to greener pastures next week and pays someone else a visit. Where is that bottle of Pepcid AC….