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Daily Bears Reports 10/29

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Today’s Events: Football, Cross Country, Equestrian, Volleyball. Feature article on Ryan Reid.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Baylor
Baylor Defensive Coordinator Phil Bennett
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Baylor Athletics Update

Equestrian

No. 5 Baylor equestrian (3-2, 0-1) hosts No. 4 SMU (2-0) this Saturday, Oct 29th at 11 a.m. at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Bears will ride in Waco to start a three weekend homestand to close out the fall, coming off a loss to conference rival Oklahoma State in Stillwater last weekend.

BU kicks off the final stretch facing another nationally-ranked opponent, with SMU checking in at No. 4 in this week’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association top-10 rankings. The ranking for the Mustangs stands as the highest in the program’s history.

Baylor bested SMU last year in Dallas at the Sleepy P Ranch to close out the fall season and look to keep that streak alive in Waco.

For the second season, Baylor will host live scoring updates of unofficial scores on BaylorBears.com.

Cross Country

Volleyball

The players know that — they’ve heard television commentators remark about it in broadcasts of their matches.

But the Bears have adopted the notion that they don’t have to possess a bunch of redwoods on the roster to get in the way. They can still be a nuisance at the net.

Baylor has elevated its blocking prowess in recent matches, and it’s helped fuel the team’s rise in the standings. Since being outblocked 16-3 in a four-set loss to No. 2-ranked Texas on Oct. 12, the Bears (18-6, 6-2) have recorded more blocks than each of their next three opponents, registering double-digit efforts in all three matches.

“Coach (Ryan McGuyre) always tells us that blocking is a mindset,” said junior hitter Camryn Freiberg. “We’re one of the shortest teams in the Big 12, and all the commentators are always saying that about us. So we’re not trying to prove anything to anyone, but we’re just trying to better each other and better everyone else around us.

“But I really think that, again, it’s just the mindset and going after every ball. It’s me versus the other person on the other side of the net. So, why not us? Why can’t we be the best blocking team in the country?”

  • Baylor volleyball (18-6, 6-2) kicks of the second half of the double round-robin conference schedule, trekking north to face the Kansas State Wildcats (16-6, 5-4), this evening at 7 p.m. in Ahearn Field House. From Baylor Bears dot com.

With a firm hold on the third-place spot in the conference standings, the Bears can continue to create separation from the middle of the pack, with the Wildcats checking in at No. 4 in the current conference standings.

Baylor swept KSU earlier this season, with the Wildcats ranked at No. 23 in the country at the time.

The Wildcats still represent a significant opportunity for BU’s postseason hopes, with the Wildcats holding the second-highest RPI ranking in the conference at No. 17.

Kansas State carries a 27-15 all-time series lead heading into the weekend match, including a 16-5 margin in Manhattan.

For this and all other Baylor road matches, fans can tune into the live internet radio broadcast on BaylorBears.com/allaccess. Additionally, Saturday’s match will be televised on FOX College Sports Central.

Football

  • Baylor and Texas renew their rivalry for the 106th time when the schools meet Saturday, the third-most played rivalry in Baylor football history behind TCU and Texas A&M (111 & 108 meetings, respectively). From Baylor Bears dot com.

Texas leads the all-time series 75-26-4, but Baylor has won four of the last six meetings. The Bears are just 10-45-2 in games played in Austin. In last year's meeting, Texas a 23-17 victory at McLane Stadium, despite BU outscoring the Longhorns 17-3 in the second half. In the last meeting in Austin, Baylor captured a 28-7 victory. In 2013, Baylor exploded for 17 points in the third quarter and never looked back taking a 30-10 victory to clinch its first Big 12 title. The series dates back to a 23-0 Texas victory Oct. 29, 1901, in Waco. The programs have played every year since 1945. This will be only the 11th time in the series that a ranked Baylor team takes on an unranked Texas squad. BU is 5-5 in those previous 10 contests, but has won four of the last five such contests, including in 2010, 2011 and 2014. The Bears will be trying to win back-to-back games in Austin for the first time since 1989 and 1991.

Through the first six games of 2016, Baylor has displayed a balanced rushing attack with JaMycal Hasty, Shock Linwood, Seth Russell and Terence Williams all producing over 50.0 yards per game on the ground. BU is the only FBS team that has four rushers averaging 50.0 yard per game or more.

Baylor leads all Power-Five conference teams, after rushing for a touchdown in 35-straight games. The Bears have had at least one score on the ground in every game starting with a win over TCU on Nov. 30, 2013. BU's mark ranks third among all FBS schools, trailing only Navy (54) and New Mexico (43). Since the streak began, the Bears hold a 29-6 record with 106 (3.03 per game) rushing TDs and 8,097 (238.4 per game) yards gained on the ground.

BU's defensive impact has improved under sixth-year D-coordinator Phil Bennett. Over the last three-plus seasons, in which Baylor has posted a Big 12-best 38-7 record and won two league titles, the Bears D has increased its sacks and tackles-for-loss totals. In 2016, the Bears have debuted a 3-4 look that has resulted in a stifling defensive effort through six games.

Baylor has posted the best record among in-state programs over the last five-plus years, a 56-15 mark. The Bears are also 21-5 head-to-head vs. Texas schools since 2011, and boast an overall 43-7 record in games played in the Lone Star State.

That’s not surprising since first-year Longhorns offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has been schooled in Art Briles offensive philosophy and was co-offensive coordinator at Tulsa under former Baylor assistant Philip Montgomery.

“It’s very similar to what we see every day,” said Baylor linebacker Aiavion Edwards. “We know a lot of the stuff that can happen. It’s different, obviously, but it’s nice to see that we have a similar feel and a feel for what they’re going to do.”

The Baylor defense hopes familiarity with Texas’ offensive scheme will provide an edge in Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game against the Longhorns at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Baylor
Ryan Reid after 2nd interception against Jayhawks.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

You know Ryan Reid as Baylor’s most experienced cornerback. Perhaps you watched him play Sherman High School, north of Dallas; you’ve almost certainly watched him the last four seasons wearing the green and gold.

But do you know Ryan Reid, the jack of all trades?

Of course, there’s his leadership on the Baylor defense. As a fifth-year senior, he ranks fourth on the team in career starts, behind only Kyle Fuller, Shock Linwood and Orion Stewart. He entered 2016 already among the Bears’ all-time top 10 in career pass break-ups, and was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team by Lindy’s.

But deep inside, there’s also Ryan Reid, the punt and kick returner.

Not at Baylor, of course; for the Bears, Reid has appeared almost exclusively at cornerback. But there’s a part of him that wishes he could really be the guy back there receiving kicks and punts. In fact, in high school, he not only returned kicks; he also, at various times, played quarterback, receiver and even place kicker at Sherman High (where he was coached by former Baylor standout Gary Joe Kinne).

“I always watched Devin Hester when I was growing up,” Reid says. “I’m a big punt return and kick return guy, so when I really started playing in middle school, that’s what I wanted to do. But my middle school coach made me the quarterback, so…,” he trails off, laughing.

“Then when I got to high school, I was trying to be like Devin Hester. But my coach turned me into a cornerback. I had a couple of plays at returning, and then when I finally went to Sherman High School… they pretty much let me do it all, so I finally got to show my talents from watching all those Devin Hester films.”

But it was at cornerback where Reid made a name for himself, ranking among the top 50 nationally in his class, according to ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports.

“I was more of an offense dude growing up, and switching to defense my sophomore year, my high school coaches had a big argument about it. They tell me about it to this day. I was playing quarterback my freshman year, and then my sophomore year I moved up to varsity as a receiver. Then my track coach was like, ‘I want him to play cornerback,’ because my track coach was the cornerback coach. But the offensive coaches were like, ‘No, no, no!,” and they finally worked it out.

“It was different, learning to play coverages – that was the main thing. That was kind of difficult for me, but once I got it down, I was like, ‘Oh so this is what Coach meant when I was playing quarterback, that they’re in Cover 2 or Cover 3.’ If I would have known that when I was playing quarterback, it probably would have made things a lot easier!” he laughs.

After learning his part, Reid excelled on defense, earning offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. But he chose Baylor – in large part because of conversations with some friends.

“I had a bunch of friends – Corey Coleman, Jamal Palmer, Kiante Griffin… They were all like, ‘Let’s go to Baylor to switch the program over. Everybody else wants us to come to their school where it’s already a tradition; let’s go make our own.’”

In addition to helping build a program here, Reid took full advantage of the opportunities he was given and found a new title: Ryan Reid, college graduate.

A communication studies major, he earned his degree last May – the first member of his immediate family to graduate from college.

“That means a lot to me,” he says. “I love everything about college, I love everything about Baylor. Where else are you gonna get a great education and then, on the back side of that, play on a great football team? I’m having experiences with great people on campus, and it’s lovely.”

So with his degree in hand, what’s next for Reid after this season is complete?

“I’m gonna try and enter the [NFL] draft, and pray everything goes however God wants it to go. It’s already written.”

But once football is complete, he has another title in mind: Ryan Reid, healthcare administrator.

“Other than [football], I’m still gonna try to get a graduate degree in health administration. My mom, she works for the VA in Dallas, and she’s a certified nurse assistant. Just being around her makes me want to be in that medical field. Whatever I can do with that opportunity of taking graduate classes in health administration, I’m ready to pursue it.

“Being up at my mom’s job and getting to know all the people there, it’s a lovely thing. And it’s a field that’s always going to be around. I think it would be a great fit for me.”

You don’t meet many Devin Hester disciples who could see action in the NFL at cornerback and who plan a future as a healthcare administrator. But that’s Ryan Reid – the Ryan Reid Baylor fans should know.