Official Baylor vs. Wofford Preview/Prediction Thread

USA TODAY Sports

Ok, by now you've read everything I've posted this week about Wofford, their offense and defense, and what we can probably expect. You've also listened to the podcast, which is good. It's time to put it on record.

vs.
RV/RV BAYLOR (0-0) vs. NR/NR WOFFORD (0-0)
Aug. 31, 2013 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000)

TV: FSN
Listen | GametrackerGametracker | Game NotesNotes | Tickets | In-Game BlogSportStream | Gameday Central
| BaylorBears.com Preview

Before you go any further, check out the SportsStream link above, along with the Gameday Central provided by BaylorBears.com.  The former is new this season and will collect everything from the official twitter accounts and site in one place during the game.  Bookmark that if you're not on twitter already, yourself.  The latter has been reworked, it appears, and provides more useful info than ever before.

We've spent most of the last few weeks here at ODB presenting as much as we can think of about this season so you can be prepared for the 2013-2014 Baylor Bears football season.  We've done Position Previews for just about every spot on the team as part of a CampBU storystream, Community Projections for all the majors players (finishing tomorrow, get your projections in), and nearly 5 hours of podcasts already.  We've predicted outcomes for the season and shared thoughts on depth chartsBearsTruth.com graciously gave us permission to post S11's excellent Wofford preview videos, and I've posted a few things I've found along the way to get things moving.  Everything you want on Wofford is in one place, and if that doesn't interest you, Ted's .gifgasm will.

In about 48 hours, that preparation will meet action as the Bears take on the Wofford Terriers to start the season.  Everyone here is excited, and I know you're excited, or else you probably wouldn't be reading this post.

As far as last thoughts on Wofford goes before we get to predicting, I don't have many.  Their offense is designed to keep ours off the field, grinding away yards and time of possession in a frustratingly-efficient choreography of boredom.  Where we want every yard on every play, they're content with getting a little over 3 every down to move the sticks.  Their system is set up so that their defense bottles us up and their offense plods along, keeping them in the game as long as possible.  For Baylor to win as we hope they will, a quick start is absolutely critical.  This is not the kind of team you want to play with like a cat and a mouse, as the Bears did against Sam Houston State last season.

The key to defending the option is discipline; the major problem teams face, a lack of familiarity.  It goes against everything a defender is not to go after the football every time, but he must.  Stopping the football where it is may open up a lane where it wants to be.  If our players fall into the trap of "wanting to make plays" rather than doing their job, bad things can and will happen.

MY PREDICTION:

Baylor wins going away in the second half.  I don't see a 52-17 thrashing like David Ubben predicted this morning, if only because we may not get that many offensive possessions, but I think we'll win handily, something like 45-20.

OFFENSIVELY, Baylor keeps the training wheels on Bryce Petty a bit by letting Lache Seastrunk and Rashodrick Linwood carry most of the load, with Glasco Martin limited coming off of injury.  Briles will challenge the defense as he always does, but passing won't be the focus. I think we'll have 45-50 rushing attempts or more from those 4 players, Petty included.  The real stars of the game will be the offensive line, led by Spencer Drango and Cyril Richardson on the left side.  They will manhandle Wofford's undersized front, opening things up for our RBs to run and Briles to keep it relatively simple.

DEFENSIVELY, Chris McAllister and Terrance Lloyd have to make themselves known on the outside so that linebackers Bryce Hager and Eddie Lackey can flow over the top.  When Wofford drops back, Baylor should be able to get a decent pass rush, at worst, against Wofford's OL.  Look for James Lawson, the junior, to get the most snaps for the Terriers at QB with Michael Weirner spelling him in a Belldozer-esque role and Evan Jacks taking over when the game is somewhat out of reach.

I'LL BE WATCHING to see see what kind of pass rush we can get, first, and how our safeties do in coverage and run support, second.  I have every confidence in our starting corners to acquit themselves well on the outside, but if our defense as a whole is to improve, it must start from the pass rush.  Preventing the QB from making a sandwich in the backfield while he lazily waits for his receivers to get open makes everyone look better.

SCORE PREDICTION: 45-20. Lache is the leading rusher.  Petty passes for 270 or so.  Team posts 300+ rushing yards.

Now I'll probably be wrong about absolutely everything, but let's hope not.

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