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Daily Bears Report 12/23

Football’s losing 12 seniors plus K.D.Cannon?

Baylor v Rice Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Next Event

Football, vs. Boise State, The Cactus Bowl is 4 Days Away, 12/27 @ 9:15 p.m. CT, ESPN

Cactus Bowl Travel Day

Bowl Preview

The football equation was looking good when the Bears rattled off six straight victories to open the season. From The Sports Xchange.

But the defeats piled up as the schedule got tougher and standout senior quarterback Seth Russell was lost to a season-ending ankle injury.

So getting one last chance to play a football game is coveted and the Broncos (10-2) figure to be a challenging opponent.

"I'm really excited that our players have a chance to play in a bowl game this year,"

Grobe told reporters.

"I think we've certainly had some challenges this year, but we've got a wonderful group of young men that I've been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with."

True freshman quarterback Zach Smith (10 touchdowns, six interceptions) will again start in place of Russell and he has a superb target in junior KD Cannon, who caught 73 passes for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cannon ranks fifth in school history in both career receptions (181) and receiving yards (2,887).

Lady Bears’ Natalie Chou

Thank you Coach Grobe

Good thing this wasn’t one of those celebrity roasts. Even jokingly, you would have a hard time finding anyone to say something bad or malicious about Jim Grobe. From Baylor Bears dot com.

“Someone called me the other day and asked me if I would consider Coach Grobe for Coach of the Year,” said former Baylor coach and AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff. “I said, ‘No, I would recommend him for Saint of the Year, that’s much higher than Coach of the Year. I have officially put that in with the Pope, but I don’t know what will happen. You deserve it, Jim.”

Grobe took over the Baylor football program as interim head coach on May 30 and led the Bears through one of the toughest stretches in program history. Tuesday night, a group of more than 100 Baylor fans and Baylor administrators gathered at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame to show their appreciation for what Jim and his wife, Holly, have done over the last seven months.

“I was looking back at some of the things said in the beginning when he was announced as the coach,” said Dr. David Garland, Baylor’s interim president. “Someone said this is the most challenging coaching job in America. And he was able to get them focused in challenging situations. But also, I think he gained the respect of everyone in the nation. He already had that respect, but he continued to earn that respect and earned the gratitude for everyone in the Baylor family.”

Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said the Grobes will “forever be a part of Baylor and a part of us.”

“Coach has talked about this being a calling from God to be here,” Rhoades said. “We’re glad that God called you Coach, and you, Holly, to be here with us. . . . It was never, ever about him. Coach Grobe always made it about our players, our student-athletes, our assistants, our staff, never, ever about him. And that’s an unbelievable quality of a person.”

What’s Next for Football’s Seniors

While running back Shock Linwood is the only Baylor senior to have opted out of playing in the upcoming Cactus Bowl, he’s not alone in his pro football aspirations. From BearsExtrta.

Several of Baylor’s 12 seniors have publicly voiced their intentions to give the NFL a shot. Others, like safety Orion Stewart, who has mostly been withheld from media interviews over the past couple of seasons, are also expected to begin draft preparations following Tuesday’s bowl game.

Receiver Lynx Hawthorne didn’t have a particularly productive senior year for the Bears, with six catches for 106 yards on the year. That was partially due to an ailing knee that has required multiple injections. But Hawthorne said he wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t at least explore any pro football options.

“In the long run I wouldn’t mind coaching,” Hawthorne said. “Dad’s a coach, his dad was a coach. Especially, I love the game of football, been around it my whole life. But I don’t know if I’d be able to sleep at night if I didn’t at least give it a shot at the next level, wherever the next level would be. If that’s Canada, Sweden, Europe, Japan, wherever it is. To get out there and get in pads for another year, another month, whatever it is, more so I can say that I did everything in my power to see what I actually am capable of.”

Bryce Petty will Play against Patriots

Bryce Petty announced his intentions return to the Jets starting lineup in Week 16, continuing his audition to be New York’s quarterback of the future. SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea has the complete story.

The second-year passer will have the opportunity to boost his stock against a revitalized New England Patriots pass rush on Saturday.

Petty left last week’s Jets loss after getting brutally sandwiched by Dolphins pass rushers Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake.