Well folks, last week we got a good glimpse at what KD Cannon can do, with a long touchdown grab. This week, we got a much longer look. Despite the TV broadcast going out for most of the second quarter, Baylor fans were treated to a masterful performance by the true freshman receiver out of Mount Pleasant.
Prashanth normally does these postgame threads, so I'm just subbing for him tonight. As such, my thoughts will be brief.
Team Stat Comparison
Seth Russell was as dynamic as you could expect him to be tonight, setting a Baylor record for passing yards in a half (438) while tossing 5 touchdowns before giving way to redshirt freshman Chris Johnson at halftime. Johnson showed himself to be an excellent ball-hander-offer, which he did a lot.
Johnny Jefferson got the lion's share of the carries, going over 100 yards for the first time in his young career. Shock Linwood, wearing #5 in honor of Antwan Goodley's birthday, got early action catching the ball but didn't play in the 2nd half at all. Silas Nacita (AKA #SalsaNacho) played most of the 2nd half and was obviously the best player on the field.
Silas Nacita runs like he has a chip on his shoulder. #doyouseehwhatIdidthere— Brice Cherry (@BriceCherry) September 7, 2014
As an emergency backup RB, Baylor put in Baylor Black to play backup for Baylor, which wasn't wearing black like Baylor did last week when Baylor wore black and Baylor Black didn't play backup.
KD Cannon routinely burned an unprepared secondary deep, and even when he was covered he made a couple of fantastic catches, one of which is lost to the ether of TV broadcast van generator failures on a 3rd-and-28 in the first half. Davion Hall and Jay Lee also got in on the action. Due to all the injuries, few other receivers got into the action much. Neither Chris Platt nor Ishmael Zamora saw their redshirts burned for this game. Jordan Feuerbacher, back from a knee injury that kept him out of fall camp, did burn his redshirt. Kaleb Moore and Quan Jones each got some burn. I'm going to use burn here for a fourth straight sentence.
That said, there are still some things to worry about. The offensive line did not get much of a push for the running game last week and that pattern continued this week, at least for the first half. The team rushed for 100 yards on 23 carries, a pedestrian 4.3 yards per carry against a team that should have been physically overmatched. In the second half, the Bears fed Johnny Jefferson to satiation, and he scored his first touchdown in a Baylor uniform. Speaking of uniforms... clean. Clean clean clean. I'm a big fan.
Xavien Howard is good, guys. Really good. After ripping an interception out of the hands of an intended receiver on NWSU's second drive of the game, the Demons rarely looked his way again. They did find some success targeting his defensive backfield compatriot, Ryan Reid, and even as their total yardage remained low, Northwestern State found some success making big plays in the first half, especially on their (one) scoring drive. Terrence Singleton and Tion Wright came in for the 2nd half and played admirably.
The defensive line continued to be dominant, although not comically so as it was last week against SMU. We saw mostly 4-man fronts in this game, I think, but TV watchers missed so much of the 2nd quarter that I can't say for sure. They got plenty of pressure on the quarterback, especially Andrew Billings and KJ Smith, who has played like a dude in the first two games of his Baylor career.
As for the linebackers, Bryce Hager was everywhere, and a replay of the game will show this to be true. He's a master at reading plays. All 5'7" of Taylor Young got himself another sack.
In any case, who would have thought when we were scoring 63 points and losing that Baylor would ever have a two game stretch in which they didn't allow a touchdown, no matter who the opponents were?
The best part about this game, however, is that nobody else got hurt. Hopefully the team can return Bryce Petty, Corey Coleman, and Antwan Goodley at full strength next week against Buffalo, who gave up a lot of points to Army this week. It's another short week for our Bears before a much-needed bye.
1. KD Cannon: 6 catches, 223 yards, 3 TDs.
2. Seth Russell: 16/25, 438 yards, 5 TDs, another TD rushing.
3. Whatever the opposite of Fox Sports Southwest is.
Those thoughts might not have been brief. In any case, thanks for watching with us tonight. Stay safe, kiddos.