PioneerSkies: Through two non-conference games, RJ Sneed has three receptions for twenty-four yards. Granted, his new team is dealing with injuries at the QB position. How do you think a receiver like him would impact Baylor’s 2022 WR unit?
Branden MacKinnon: I sort of get why RJ left, but I cant help but think even if he didnt have a direct on field production impact it would have been great for an inexperienced group to have him in the WR room.
BNT: Maybe. The experience would have helped, but there’s a reason why he transferred. Who knows?
Your_Bailey_Bear: In Provo, was the plan always to run 52 times, or did the coaches improvise because of something the saw during the game?
pbpope: 48 rushing attempts, actually. The 52 number includes 4 sacks, which are tracked as rushes to my eternal consternation.I was actually looking at this for the podcast... the run-pass splits before the first TD drive vs. the TD drive through the rest of the game are virtually flipped. 36-64 run-pass in the first half before the TD drive, then 66-34 run-pass the rest of the game. I think that the lack of drives in the second half (4 total) and the fact that one of them featured 6 rushing plays and 0 passes impacts how people view the rushing game.
Cody Orr: I doubt it was the plan given it’s not how they started the game. Aranda said in his press conference that the passing game wasn’t working so they adjusted.
BNT: Not the plan even though we wanted to establish the run. Give BYU credit as they forced us out of our game plan.
Did the loss of Baldwin change our game plan that significantly?
Cody Orr: I can’t imagine it not having an impact. Baldwin stretches the defense vertically on passing plays and horizontally on jet sweeps. Without those threats, it makes it easier for LBs and DBs to cheat up.
pbpope: I’d say so... plus the fact that Jordan Nabors was out last week after picking up a knock in practice meant that we didn’t have a player that fits that skill set.
BNT: It did make a difference and Baldwin is our “take the top off the defense” playmaker. Hal Presley has the ability and needs to step it up.
PioneerSkies: Which team had the most embarrassing loss this past weekend: Notre Dame, A&M, Nebraska, Texas, WVU, Baylor, or my Denver Broncos?
Cody Orr: Either A&M (because of the pre-season expectations) or Nebraska (because it surprised no one)
deppsrightsteps: As a Baylor and Bronco fan myself this was a very bad weekend. I’m going with Denver. Trust Russ please! Hackett my goodness smh.
Jenna Patteson: A&M for sure. Texas kept it way closer than anybody thought they would, and Nebraska losing close games isn’t even surprising at this point, it’s just a funny and sad reality. Also LOL Kansas won #RockChalk
Branden MacKinnon: It has to be Notre Dame. App State is a very legit opponent and Notre Dame is supposed to be a top 5 college football brand. Also the Marshall players doing the Lucky the Leprechaun boxing in the end zone was an all time flex. I would say Denver but I feel like in the NFL like the worst team still has some of the best football players in the world on their roster.
BNT: Certainly not A&M at home, ranked #6, with all the 4-5 stars in the world against App St!
PioneerSkies: Which is better news for MBB: LJ Cryer being fully healthy or Robert Wright III’s commitment?
Jenna Patteson: I think Cryer being fully healthy is such a big break. There were multiple times last season when we needed another scorer in the game, and having him fully cleared at this point is great. Excited to hopefully have him at full health all season, dude is a walking bucket.
Branden MacKinnon: Can I cop out and say tie? LJ’s health is going to be huge this year (maybe next as well….sheesh) and like Jenna said there were so many games where we just needed another offensive spark. The guard depth was a serious issue and LJ would’ve been the first guard off the bench.
Wright’s commitment is HUGE news for the long term health of the program. This is showing that Baylor’s recruiting success wasn’t a flash in the pan after the national championship run. The coaching staff is putting together top 20 classes year after year.
BNT: I like looking at the future, but being an instant gratification type of Bear I’m going with LJ. We need Mr. 3 pointer to be and stay healthy this season to get to another final 4.
I’m so ready to see many of these this season
Looking at the Big 12 standings, Kansas appears to be in first place....in football. Is this a hallucination or has hell in fact frozen over??Is this a hallucination or has hell in fact frozen over??
BNT: Holy moley!
aintathangbutachickenwing: Will Hal Presley be able to step up and dominate this season?
BNT: I’m a huge fan of Presley. I think he will get better each game and become dominate as we get into Big 12 play. He certainly has what it takes.
Your_Bailey_Bear: What does this defense need to do to generate turnovers and sacks w/o HBK, Bernard and the other seniors from last season?
BNT: No need to panic as it took us a few games for our D to gel last season. I think the DL and LB’s played well last game. In fact the BYU OC said it was the toughest front he’s ever faced. We happened to play against a smart, mistake free, future NFL QB last game. The turnovers and sacks will come.
BrentBear: Could you talk to Josh White about moving from LB to RB? That sure worked out last year and we obviously need some help.
bufb2007: Who emerges as a the go to running back? And what has happens to McWilliams?
pbpope: Taye is under evaluation, I believe. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I think it’s concussion related. He’s currently our best pass-blocking RB. I’m a little disappointed with his performance other than that, thus far. He seems a little bit indecisive, stutter-stepping and moving laterally instead of hitting the hole with conviction.
BNT: If Taye is cleared, he’ll still be our go to back as he not only blocks, but is an above average receiver. Sqwirl is still our most dynamic and biggest threat running the ball.
Chilimac: Why did we not attempt more passes? Or: Whose problem was it the QB or the receivers?
pbpope: The issue wasn’t more pass attempts. Before the 1st TD drive, Baylor attempted 8 rushes and 13 passes (3 “passes” were sacks). Once they skewed run, they started moving the football.That said, it felt like the moment got to Shapen in the early going. He had a tendency to prematurely leave the pocket, then struggled holding onto the football. Once the offense established a rhythm, he calmed down some. Without access to the All-22 footage, it’s hard to say whether Shapen’s hesitance in the pocket was more him being rattled/letting the crowd get to him or the inability of the WRs to create any separation.I think that last drive where Baylor only ran the football is looming large in people’s minds when thinking about play-calling & rushing. The problem is, running the football was the right call there, with 5:30 left in the game. And they were somewhat successful. But that one drive aside, the attempts weren’t nearly as heavily slanted towards the run as people think.
PioneerSkies: To what extent should we be concerned about each the following: pass defense, offensive line play, the WR unit, penalties, playcalling, and kicking? And why?
Which of these can/will be fixed and how?
BNT: Mildly. We’ve seen this before last season and corrections were made. I am more than certain that the staff is all over it. Aranda has already referenced Mateos knowing what he needs to do to correct the line play from last game and is addressing it in position drills. WR is more of a lack of experience. They learned a great deal this game and Baker is all over it. I’m sure the same could be said regarding every position coach. Penalties? That one drives me crazy and only the players being more disciplined can solve that one. I hope it gets fixed. Kicking game? This issue was with the snaps, not Hankins. It is being addressed.
5StarCouchQB: What are realistic expectations for this secondary? They looked lost in the first two games.
BNT: I don’t think they looked bad, remember they were facing a 1st Rd draft pick. They just didn’t look good. They will need to step it up in conference play and talking to one of the DB coaches I think they will.
I am by no means a football expert, but these lines do not look too 5/10 in the country. Is it a case where I have no idea what I’m watching, or are they not meeting expectations right now?
pbpope: It’s not about where they start, but about where they finish. The DL looked way worse last year at the start of the season than they were at the end. Give them time... we’ll see if the coaches develop them further and they progress to reach their potential.
Cody Orr: Offensive line is missing arguably their best player in Keith at RT, and Galvin had an uncharacteristically average game last week. I expect better going forward.
BNT: Agree with Peter and Cody. Both groups are gelling and this weekend will solidify them...just in time for conference play.
If Bohanan started the BYU game do we win?
Cody Orr: Shapen hit some throws that Bohanon likely couldn’t, but Bohanon would have likely scrambled and picked up some yards. He also may have thrown some game-breaking INTs.
Jenna Patteson: If Gerry was playing, I think the score would’ve been the same. What Shapen lacks in running Gerry lacks in passing, so I think it still would’ve come down to special teams/defense getting another stop.
aintathangbutachickenwing: We have a lot of tough road games this season, so how what happened with the vertical passing game against BYU, and what can Baylor do to fix it?
pbpope: The deep ball is the one issue I have with the play calling from Saturday, TBH. Zero attempts beyond 20 yards is not a recipe for softening the front. Shapen didn’t display the composure to hit the shots early, even if they called them, but after he settled down I don’t know why they didn’t even attempt. Perhaps the loss of Monaray and Jordan Nabors impacted that.
BNT: What Peter said. We have to take some shots downfield to at least make the D think about it.
Post your comments or other questions below and Sic ‘em!