After a tough loss last weekend in Provo, Baylor dominated Texas State to win 42-7. The defense had some moments of bend, but never really let the Bobcats break through. The offense still has work to do, but it was one of the best games we’ve seen running the football early in this season.
Richard Reese was the runaway star today, finishing with 19 carries for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also hauled in one pass for 17 yards. His day was highlighted by a huge 52 yard TD run, and he was by far the most consistent back on the day. Reese, a true freshman, appears to be separating from the pack in what is a crowded running back room. Craig “Sqwirl” Williams had 8 touches for 56 yards and a touchdown, but also lost a fumble. The two of them were the only players with more than 3 carries.
Blake Shapen had a better game than last week, but still looked a little out of sync with the wide receivers, especially early. As the game wore on, the passing looked better, possibly opened up by the success of Richard Reese in the running game. Gavin Holmes and Seth Jones looked better than in the first two games, and Shapen finished with 184 yards on 15-26 passing, and added in 42 yards rushing with a 35 yard touchdown run.
The receiving production was a bit more spread out, with Gavin Holmes leading the group with 3 receptions for 46 yards and a TD. Overall 11 receivers caught balls today, with Josh Fleeks grabbing the longest catch of day for 45 yards. Holmes appears to be starting to become the guy, but would still like to see a little bit more. I think it’s clear that we want to run first and establish that side of the ball to open things up for Shapen and company later in the game. If Richard Reese can continue his production in the run game, there will be plenty of opportunities in the passing game moving forward.
The Baylor defense had a Baylor defense type of game, though more turnovers and sacks wouldn’t be a bad thing. Texas State was held to 268 total yards and only 2.4 yards per rush (compared to Baylor’s 7.9 yards per rush). Only 2 sacks and 1 turnover though. But, the most important stat of the day was 7 points, as the Bears refused to let Texas State break through in the scoring department, stopping 3 fourth down attempts and blocking the lone FG try Texas State had in the game.
Speaking of special teams, not much really to criticize. They had the blocked FG, and coverage was great. The return game was ok, minus the one big blunder by Sqwirl Williams where he bobbled a kick-off, resulting in the offense starting at their own 4 yard line. The offense made up for that though, as they turned it into a 96 yard TD drive. The coverage teams were spot on, only allowing 14 total yards on 2 kick returns and 1 punt return.
A win is a win, and 35 point win is something we will take all day. The offense turned it over 3 times, and had a couple drives they would want back. But, still winning by 35 with 3 turnovers is nothing to get too overly worried about. This is a game that makes you feel a bit better, and that’s exactly what you need as you head into conference play, and a tough road environment against Iowa State in Ames.
Be on the lookout all week for more in depth coverage on this game, and our upcoming game against the Cyclones on Our Daily Bears.