What a game, what a game. It was a beautiful day in Waco and at McLane last Saturday. The game was a huge step forward for Coach Dave Aranda and this team. Watched it from the stands and just rewatched the DVR and I have 3 observations from the game and how they will translate to the upcoming OSU game. I certainly won’t attempt a deep dive like the best football analyst I know, Travis Roeder, has already done that in his previous excellent ODB article . That would be like a t-baller out hitting Babe Ruth. On to the 3 observations and what I believe.
- I believe in our offense and you should too. We just faced the best defense in the Big 12 (and one of the best in the country) and pushed them around for 2 1⁄3 quarters. The last 1 2⁄3 quarters were ugly as the ISU defense definitely stepped up, but we certainly didn’t make it hard for them as we kept stubbing our toe and killing momentum on key drives. When we were shoving the ball down ISU’s throat on our first drive of the 3rd quarter and Bohannon turned it over on a fumble, I had flashbacks of Hasty against OU in 2019. Thankfully this time we had a different outcome. That’s the kind resilience, perseverance, overcoming, determination, whatever you want to call it, that a winning team has. Some have suggested that we went too conservative in our play calling and maybe (probably) we did. I’d be shocked if that were repeated this week. How will this translate regarding the OSU game? Winning as we did will give us confidence that we can move the ball against OSU, who btw is no slouch on D. But, I like our O Line matchup against the OSU D Line. Grimes will draw up the right game plan and I expect our O to execute it for 4 quarters this week.
- I believe in our defense and you should too. Yes the D gave up yards and points, but overall they played a solid game. Perfect, great or good? No. But, it was solid. Obviously the D was gassed the second half and for good reason. ISU had possession of the ball almost a full quarter more than BU in time of possession. This will wear down any D, I don’t care who you are. One reason is that our special team scores were quick strikes which basically gave ISU 2 for 1 possessions. This also skews the total yardage. Add in that we lost Bernard early, and believe me that makes a difference, and you can understand the overall outcome. The main difference was not being able to get our D off the field. Take nothing away from ISU as they are pretty good on the offensive side of the ball and getting better each game. Hall returned to form against us and they utilized their tight ends perfectly. They have a team that has the the ability to knock off OU, UT, and TCU. How will this translate regarding the OSU game? Our time of possession should be more even this week, giving the D the rest needed to ratchet it up during crunch time. Then again, bend but don’t break works as well. Our D now knows how to face adversity and step up when needed. Expect the same fight this week as we face another good offensive team.
- I believe in Gerry Bohannon and you should too. Gerry was close to perfect the first half and a beauty to watch as he was patient, went through his progressions, showed off his arm strength and accuracy, and methodically led our team to a big lead. The second half, not so much. But was the 2nd half more Gerry choking, key adjustments made by ISU, conservative play calling, or mental mistakes on our side. I’d say ISU definitely stepped up and took away some things we had been doing well, mixed with a little conservatism on the play calling side and mental mistakes. Gerry’s QBR for the game was better than the “amazing” (sarcasm intended) Brock Purdy. Not a bad day when you do what you need to do and knock off the #14 team in the country. In the second half I would have liked to have seen a few deep shots along with Gerry using his legs when he had no where to throw. A couple of times he had green grass in front of him and might have extended some drives if he ran, yet he kept his eyes downfield and threw the ball. I have no doubt that this will be pointed out to him. How will this translate regarding the OSU game? OSU seems to be vulnerable to the passing game and I think Gerry could have a big day through the air. I’ll go further to say that Gerry will be the difference in this game.
Am I ready to call a Baylor victory for this game? This is one of the games I picked us to lose in the preseason prediction and I’m not there yet to say we will win, but between now and my OSU Game Prediction tweet on Friday this could change. Right now I see 2 evenly matched teams and another close game. If we don’t cut down on key turnovers and penalties, OSU wins. If we keep it clean and play our game, we win. I’ll keep thinking about it and let you know on Friday.