WARNING -- THE FOLLOWING POST IS RIFE WITH SUPERLATIVES. I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO TALK ABOUT THIS TEAM.
The "Thoughts" posts are intended to be more general, with the "Grades" more specific, so just know that going in. Typically, I try to get these up the same night as the game, but seeing as I was in transit until about 2:00 this morning, I didn't get a chance.
First off, my wife and I got the chance yesterday to go to the game in Waco, our first trip to a home game since 2011, thanks to the generosity of one of ODB's own, Linda Trotter. I can't thank her enough. Getting down to Waco yesterday gave us the opportunity to meet several ODBers, all of whom were very nice, and put numerous faces to names. We had a great time, start to finish, and I'm already trying to figure out how I can get to the next game. I didn't think it was possible, but I need more Baylor Football in my life. I tweeted it last night-- just being there, surrounded by Baylor fans exultant in the success of this team, is an experience unlike any other. You could feel the crowd swell with anticipation as the ball swirled through the air, the fans sure it would find a Baylor receiver streaking into the endzone. Everybody talks about the confidence Briles exudes and how he's instilled it in this game. Our fans feel that confidence, too. As soon as we get the ball, people start talking about how next we'll score. A minute goes by-- why haven't we scored? Then we do and everybody cheers and the other team wonders what just happened to them. Baylor happened.
Speaking of the crowd-- The goldout didn't really take hold (and I didn't help it by wearing a green jacket), but I don't really care. The stadium was nearly full of exciting Baylor fans contributing to one of the best, if not the best, gameday experiences I can remember. Baylor fans brought the bling, even if they didn't wear the gold, and everybody had a great time. Also, having actually been in the stadium, I don't blame people for leaving early nearly so much as I did. Disagree if you want, but it's kinda boring watching our second team run dive after dive, basically trying not to score halfway through the third quarter.
Other than that, Briles sending a signal in the third quarter up 40 that he wasn't interested in scoring anymore, I have zero negative things to say about our offense. In fact, I have a hard time talking objectively about it, at all. It's just that impressive. Art Briles and his staff have taken the concepts of blitzkrieg, "lightning war", and applied it to college football in a way we've basically never seen before. The entire scheme is designed to attack you, put you on your heels, and keep attacking you until you lose the will to resist. Everything revolves around speed, and it's done in a way there's really no way to prepare for. It's an inexorable machine that could not care less how it scores; it just scores. That is its only function. Briles' art is scoring points ... And he's painting his masterpiece.
Defensively, things played out pretty much exactly as we expected. Baylor dared Clint Trickett to beat them by bringing the safeties up incredibly close to the line of scrimmage -- within 10-12 yards for almost every play of the first team defense -- and he couldn't do it. He hit a couple and was bailed out several times, but the scheme worked. Baylor shut down the run and took away the short passing game, and Trickett tried in vain to do what Trickett wanted to do: launch bombs. The only real negative was that we didn't come away with more interceptions. None of what happened in the second half really bothered me, defensively, since I expected their starters to be better than our backups, anyway.
The final margin of victory did bother me, however. I know Briles said in the post-game that he didn't care about basically anything that happened after halftime, when Baylor had 617 yards and a 56-14 lead, and that we were playing backups and backups to backups. Because I'm a fan and inherently irrational, I do care. I took some heat about it on twitter last night, most of it deserved, but I don't like Baylor shutting things down so early and allowing WVU to make the score more respectable than it otherwise should have been. I want everyone who didn't watch this game to know the story: that Baylor blew WVU out and it was never close. Because they did and it wasn't. I don't like that Holgorsen kicked an onside kick down 30+ with ~2:30 to go in the game, because doing so has nothing to do with winning and everything to do with making the score look better. I have this terrible feeling that someone, somewhere is going to make an argument against Baylor based on the fact that we gave up 42 points to West Virginia, when even saying that disregards everything that actually happened in that game.
I intended to say so much more, but I'm not sure what else there is. It was a pleasure meeting everybody, at the tailgate and in the game itself, and being a part of a great night for Baylor Football. This team is doing things none of us, if we're being perfectly honest, ever thought we'd see done. In conjunction with the new stadium, the uniforms (which were amazing!), and the heightened commitment overall to athletics, Baylor Football is changing the way the school we love is viewed. In the best way possible.
I might add more later as more comes to mind.
More from Our Daily Bears:
- Baylor Rising: Bears up to #15 in AP and Coaches' Polls
- Baylor vs. WVU: The Morning After -- Links, Highlights, Tweets, Everything Internet
- Baylor Incinerates West Virginia, in GIFs!
- Another Record-Breaking Saturday in Waco: West Virginia 42, Baylor 73
- Game Thread #2: West Virginia @ Baylor + A Curmudgeon Apology