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Halftime in Houston: Baylor 21, Rice 10

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Another slow offensive start and poor tackling by the defense has Rice within striking distance of the Bears at halftime in Houston.

The offense sputtered in the first quarter again and the defense struggled to stop the run in the second, so Baylor finds itself in the familiar position of playing a less-talented team close after the first 30 minutes of the game. A few quick hitters:

  • We should have seen the tackling issues coming considering our lack of depth and the resulting limited contact in practice.  We're awful at tackling, and Rice has taken advantage for big yardage, particularly on the ground.  They had 173 rushing yards in the first half after putting up about 200 in their first two games combined and are averaging 7.5 yards per rush.
  • We also have serious issues in catching the football.  Blake Lynch and Chris Platt are the biggest offenders here.  As I was writing this sentence, Lynch also fumbled a ball and got lucky to get back on top of it.   After I wrote that sentence, Platt dropped a pass over the middle.
  • The right side of our offensive line is a work-in-progress and one of our biggest limiting factors offensively. 
  • I can't decide if Seth Russell has confidence problems, leading to him staring down receivers, or the offense is just very predictable.  But his INT was a direct result of one of those two things.

This game has been both frustrating to watch and very strange, in that Baylor doesn't look anything like how it should look, and Rice obviously thinks they've got a shot. To make things even stranger, Coach Briles is at the game sitting in the stands and there's someone shooting lasers onto the field.  I don't necessarily have a problem with the former, since these are his players being coached by (among others) his son.  The latter is something you saw more about fifteen years ago, when laser pointers were the cat's meow.

1st Downs 16 8
3rd down efficiency 3-8 4-9
4th down efficiency 2-2 0-0
Total Yards 298 191
Passing 165 18
Comp-Att 12-23 5-13
Yards per pass 7.2 1.4
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Rushing 133 173
Rushing Attempts 26 23
Yards per rush 5.1 7.5
Penalties 4-35 1-5
Turnovers 1 1
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Possession 14:46 15:14