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Baylor-Duke First Half Thoughts and Second Half Game Thread

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Some brutal moments for the Bears

NCAA Football: Duke at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor trails 23-0 at halftime. The Blue Devils will get the ball to start the second half. With the way things are going, I’m reminded of something. John McCain used to say, “Remember the words of Chairman Mao: it’s always darkest before it’s totally black.”

Some really tough moments for the Bears, and a few baffling ones.

*John Lovett’s fumble was devastating. He picked up a big first down on a short pass, then Duke recovered the ball in bounds. In a low scoring affair, possessions are so important.

*Baylor’s defensive call on Duke’s touchdown run was terrible. The Bears kept five guys in the box and just three down lineman. Duke called a draw and easily scored. Duke’s passing attack wasn’t working, and the Bears should have been quite comfortable working single coverage in some spots.

*The Bears missed two field goals; both from 47 yards. Connor Martin missed his first kick wide. The Blue Devils blocked the second one. Baylor had a much easier opportunity on the second kick, but Duke’s rush beat Jake Frughmorgen for a sack.

*Baylor still can’t run straight ahead. Duke has a fantastic defensive line, but the Bears’ offensive line didn’t get much done. On 3rd and 3 before halftime, Baylor tried to run straight ahead with Lovett. He’s one tough dude. He’s not tough enough to run over three men behind the line of scrimmage.

*Jalen Hurd missed some tough catches- On the third series, Jalan McClendon made a couple of imperfect passes to Hurd. But Hurd needed to come up with those strikes. Even with those mistakes, he came back and was the Bears’ only consistent receiver. He added another rough drop—which was somehow originally ruled a fumble—on an easy catch over the middle.

*Baylor uses timeouts in bad spots. The Bears used one before a 3rd and 1 and another to avoid a delay of game on third down. The Bears can’t use timeouts in so many valueless spots. In a low scoring cost, the Bears need to keep timeouts.

*McClendon’s injury is rough. He hurt his ankle running. He’d made some nice throws, and even for those of us that prefer to have one QB, he’s a solid option.

*Duke finally scored on a passing play. in the second quarter. Duke’s backup, Quentin Harris, started 1-of-8. He completed his next four strikes, including a 28 yard touchdown pass. Elliot Coffey reminds us how things went poorly on that play:

*Baylor could not get out of their own way. Charlie Brewer managed to find Chris Platt on 3rd and 17. It was erased by a hold. The offensive line is just not good enough. They’re young, and they try hard. But this group hasn’t improved much.

*Harris hit another open receiver before halftime. Duke’s receiver missed two tackles and scored. 23-0 Duke.

*Drops, drops and more drops. Hurd, Pooh Stricklin, Trestan Ebener and JaMycal Hasty had some easy opportunities. They wouldn’t have changed this awful half, but they’d have at least moved to the good spot on the list.

The bright spots:

*Charlie Brewer running.

*James Lynch doing anything.

*Tristan Clark has lifted quite a few weights. Basketball is ready to surprise some folks.