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Baylor Football Gears Up for Saturday Spring Game

Baylor has their annual spring football scrimmage/game/practice shindig this Saturday at 12 PM. The past few years it has been on Fox Sports Southwest, and I assume it will be this year (Fox’s webpage is not loading for me right now).

I’ve written a couple of spring football pieces: a general primer and a projected depth chart.

There has not been a lot of news coming out of the spring. Baylor used this spring to do a lot of “clean-up” style surgeries, and of course semi-resting the more veteran players. Spring has been most important for the fringe-starters and young players who are still learning the schemes.

Thus, I would not take anything too seriously that we see this Saturday. The tight-ends are down to 2 scholarship players: Christoph Henle and Ben Sims. WR Denzel Mims, CB Grayland Arnold, RB JaMycal Hasty, and RB/S John Lovett are among the many guys who have been out for much of the spring, healing up for the fall.

Offensive-Line coach Shawn Bell has used this spring to move his guys around. “We don’t just teach this position, we teach a system,” Bell said. “Once you understand the system you can play any one of those positions. We’ve been trying guys at right side, left side, inside, outside and center. Our goal is to find the five best guys, and those are the guys who will be leading us through the fall.”

So, not much to take away as far as the small-things go in spring. However, there could be some big-picture things to look for. For instance, is the defense primarily working out of the 3-down or 4-down look? I’ve pontificated that Baylor could look to base out of a 3-down look this year after losing 3 defensive line starters from last year and retaining a lot of defensive backs. In a (fantastic) video of a Mic’d-up Phil Snow, Baylor is practicing this look in the very last clip.

Notice how #42, Jairon McVea, is lined up directly in the deep middle of the field, right behind the linebackers. This is the look that Iowa State has popularized over the past two years. Baylor has operated out of a 3-down look a decent amount the past few years, but in a different look than this. What Baylor has used has been more of a specialized package to provide flexibility on passing downs. This look could be more of a base-look. Who knows, we should learn some more on Saturday!