What an incredible season we’ve had...so far. I expect the good things to continue to come our way, but more on that later in this article. Let’s do a walk down memory lane as how we arrived at this point sitting on 10 wins and playing in the Big 12 Championship for the 2nd time in 3 years. Before the season began, on Sept 3rd to be exact, I dropped an article giving my season review and bold prediction. If you’d like to read the full article click BNT’s Upcoming Season Review and Bold Prediction . If you’re like me and too lazy to click on the link and read the whole thing, let me pull some key nuggets from the article to jog your memory.
Most pundits, and even Baylor fans, have us finishing on the low side with 4 wins and on the high side 8 wins. I think we’ll do much better than the high side and here are the reasons why:
Baylor’s D is going to be as good or better than the 2019 Bears. Why? As much as I loved Brayvion, Iku is going to be more disruptive. He will force other teams to occupy him leaving lanes for our NFL bound duo of Pitre and Benard, to fly to the ball. Throw in Doyle and Ashton and I’m not sure you’ll find a better foursome in the Big 12. This will also give us one on one blocking against a very talented group of DE’s that should see a significant increase in QB sacks and hurries. With a mature group of DB’s, led by Texada, we should also see a significant increase in interceptions and turnovers in general. This inside info came from my next door neighbor who is one of Baylor’s defensive coaches. The D will be hard to score on.
Baylor’s O is going to be better than 2019. I’m a believer in Grimes and his Wide Zone offensive scheme. Our O Line, who most worry about, will be better than the below average line we had in 2019 and from what I hear has taken to the new offensive scheme. Ebener will be amazing, Sqwirl electrifying, and Smith will down right punish people. The running game, along with Gerry’s legs, will open up the passing game for our seasoned and talented receiving group. Look for a nice jump from our O
The X-Factor. Bohanon being named QB1 2 weeks ago was huge. He has all the legs, arm, and smarts to execute Grimes offense. Gerry will be a threat every time he touches the ball. I think he will settle in quickly and give us both the athleticism and leadership needed to keep the offense on track.
Motivation. OU and UT announcing their upcoming abandonment of the Big 12 isn’t the main factor in the Bears motivation, but it isn’t a small one either. The Big 12 will be tough, but we will be discounted and sneak up on teams. Our physical brand and confidence will grow each week. This season is going to be fun
Then I finished the article with my bold prediction for the season.
We will be playing OU in the Big 12 Championship.
This is going to be a fun season and nice insight into our future with Aranda.
I was spot on with the loss to OSU as I didn’t think our O would be in full form, and missed it on the TCU game prediction.
However being a good Baptist (kinda), redemption came when I changed the OU prediction from an L to a W the day before the game. Um, ignore the score prediction.
BNT's Keys To OU Game and Bold Prediction:— BNT (@BearNTex) November 12, 2021
1) D front will be disciplined and harass Williams
2) Smith will get his
3) Gerry will step up
4) Special Teams will give us an edge
The win will get me back on track for the 10-2 preseason record prediction
With the tremendous and unexpected success that we’ve had so far this season, what can we expect for the upcoming game against OSU this Saturday?
- Our Offense will be a handful for them. This is a very different team than OSU faced in the 5th game of the season. We have game matured, grown in confidence, and know that we can compete with anyone. OSU packed the box against us and dared us to throw the first time around. I truly hope they do that again Saturday, because whichever QB starts for us (I’ll let you know who I think that will be in my mailbag article on Thursday) will take advantage of it. We have a robust play book now and QB’s with strong arms that will stretch that ‘poke secondary. OSU is vulnerable not only in the secondary, but we can pick up yards on the ground as well. Particularly in the second half. OU had 189 yds on the ground and I think we can do that and more.
- Our Defense will be back to form. Flu bug hit us hard on D and with the loss of Walcott for targeting in the 1st Q, we had 3 starters out in the secondary. It was obvious as we had some huge blown assignments, yet we hung in tough for the win. That’s what great teams do. Look for our defense to be the same brick wall we have grown to know and love over the season. There is no way OSU will get close to 219 yds rushing as they did the first time around. Warren had 125 yds that game, and while he’s a good back we’ve faced better since then and totally shut them down. On top of that our 4 man pressure is much improved and we know how to harass mobile QB’s like Sanders. The extra motivation is that we have a mature group of seniors who were part of the loss in 2019 and will have everyone locked in and focused.
- Our Coaches are the X Factor. I have great respect for Gundy and what he has accomplished in Stillwater. No doubt he is a good coach. But, Aranda is quickly moving to the top tier of the coaching world in only his second season as a HC. Going into the game our game plan will be better than OSU’s and our halftime adjustment will be spot on. One thing that Aranda has proven, is that he is a humble, hungry learner. Trust me when I say that is a good thing.
BNT’s Bold Prediction - BU for the win!
With the win and a few things happening in our favor, but outside of our control, we might have a shot at the playoffs. More realistically would be a Sugar Bowl bid where we could likely face ‘bama. That would be a dream match up and one we could possibly win. Regardless, it’s been an amazing ride so far.
This is absolutely a great time to be a Bear, but it’s going to continue to be fun for a long time to come. I’ll drop the score for the game on Friday with my regular Keys to the Game and Bold Prediction tweet @BearNTex
p.s. UT and OU are still NOT in the Big 12 Championship and UT still isn’t ranked