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ODB Mailbag - Hex Tex/Horns Down Edition: Answered

Baylor football and basketball questions answered.

Your_Bailey_Bear: Are some of Jeff Grimes play calls just big, obvious mistakes, or is it more an execution problem? Or is he just playing 4D chess we can’t understand?

pbpope: The misdirection that his offense brings is frequently the source of the success we see from it... but at times it feels like he can get “too cute” with some of his play calls. Saturday we saw the “Tecmo Bowl play” (double reverse flea flicker) for like the 3rd time this year. Teams know it’s coming.That said, I think frequently it comes down to execution as well. If the entire offense executes, the result is amazing.

BNT: Grimes is a very good OC. But, I do agree with Peter that sometimes he gets too cute. When I saw that double reverse flea flicker last Saturday

Your_Bailey_Bear: What do you think is causing the Bears offense to repeatedly call timeouts before the first play of a drive?


Your_Bailey_Bear: MBB can score with the best, and has a lot of energy. But do they have the athleticism of the 2020 team? If not, will that limit them?

pocketchange: Without Jonathan Tchamwa-Tchatchoua, this team does feel a little light on athleticism, particularly on the defensive side. That’s mostly felt by the lack of defensive pressure it feels like the guards can create, particularly Flagler and Cryer. I’m not sure it’s a limitation, though. Just means this team will have to win differently than the 2020 team. Also, we’re still finding out what kind of contributions Jalen Bridges and Caleb Lohner will make as the athletic wings.

Branden MacKinnon: I think making comparisons to the 2020 team is always going to be tough and likely come up short. That is arguably a top 5 and for sure top 10 college team of all time. This years team is still figuring out things defensively. The offense is clicking but the defense is still rounding into form. Likely the cause of the over being 5-0 in Baylor games.

BNT: I’ll go on record by saying I think that the 2020 team was the best college basketball team in history. So, this years team matching their athleticism is going to be hard. That being said, they are very athletic and have what it takes to get back to the Final Four. It will be interesting to see how true freshman Ojainwuna progresses, Grimes gets back on track, and Lohner continues to grow in confidence. Maybe our athleticism isn’t the same, but it’s a bit deeper than 2020?

DLKey0523: How does Baylor defense prepare for Bijon?

BNT: Like this: Secret practice video of the DL preparing for Bijon this week

PioneerSkies: What in the world is up with Jalen Bridges?

pocketchange: Bridges is still finding his place on offense. He’s not necessarily a guy who will create for himself. When George in particular is having a bad passing/creating game, Bridges will be the one who suffers most directly. I wouldn’t be worried just yet. Now that there’s some film of how teams are trying to shut down the threat Bridges presents, the coaching staff will counter. It’s also worth something that the attention Bridges attracts creates space for his teammates to attack.

Branden MacKinnon: A couple of bad games for Bridges doesn’t eliminate the three solid games he had to start the season. Bridges will be pivotal for the success of the team on both ends of the floor. Truthfully I think if Bridges sells out and is a stopper on defense which I think he can be, the offense will find him too.

BNT: Agree with our ODB basketball guys. I’ll add that the Big 12 better not sleep on Bridges, because he is a guy that can definitely hurt you.

PioneerSkies: Between the loss to Kansas State and the loss to TCU, which one felt worse to you?

Jenna Patteson: Kansas State felt worse because there wasn’t a single good thing in the game. It was a completely uninspired and embarrassing performance. The TCU game was frustrating because we can point at specific things (missed FG, interception, not getting a 1st down, etc.) that would’ve won us the game, but at least we showed up to play football and played a respectable game.

pbpope: “Feels worse” is a tough thing to quantify between two games because they elicited two different emotions from me. K-State produced disappointment, frustration and, in a sense, indignation, as the fanbase and atmosphere was so incredibly hyped up, and the team utterly failed to respond. It was the most disappointed I’ve been in a team’s performance since 2016.TCU was just heartbreaking, full stop. The boys played their hearts out. Key execution issues frustrated the outcome. It’s demoralizing to see similar mistakes made throughout the season, but in truth it was just a heartbreaking loss.

BNT: KSU was miserable because we didn’t show all. TCU was terrible because it was a very exciting game that we should have won comfortably. Which felt worse? KSU. At least we fought against TCU and had them on the ropes even though we couldn’t land the knock out punch.

aintathangbutachickenwing: Does Baylor make a switch at QB if we have same type of performance against UT?

pbpope: No. We had this question last week. Shapen has his issues, but he absolutely flashes at points as well. I have been critical of him, and stand by those criticisms, but there’s just no justification for a QB change at this point in the season.That said, I fully expect to see another QB competition this spring.As an aside, I feel as though it’s possible to be objectively critical of a player’s performance and ability while still remaining supportive and hopeful that the player reaches the potential we believe possible. I see reactions and counter-reactions this all over the place. Be respectful in criticism... and let’s refrain from questioning the fandom of those that are critical... Let’s also refrain from insults towards the players (“That player is trash!” etc.)

BNT: Our coaching staff doesn’t shy away from position competition. So there is a possibility. But, it’s Shapen’s position to lose. Right now he’s our QB 1 and needs our full support.

bufb2007: Could we expect a big step up next year for Shapen?

BNT: He better or he won’t be our QB 1. He has the talent and it will be interesting what another off season does in helping his development. The staff knows what he needs in taking the next step. It’s hard to focus on that during the season where the practice focus is on the opponent and game plan. Having a head start on the others in the QB room certainly helps.

PioneerSkies: BNT & fam, are you sick of answering questions about Shapen and/or him possibly being benched?

pbpope: YES. THANK YOU.


Post your comments or other questions below and Sic’ UT...HORNS DOWN!

From BNT to you and yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!