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Halftime in Austin: Bears trail Texas 23-21

A wild start gave way to a snoozefest for most of the second quarter, but the Longhorns lead by 2 at the break.

After a stellar first two drives to start the game, the Baylor offense sputtered for the majority of the first half through a combination of penalties, drops, turnovers, and generally poor execution. Seth Russell has yet to establish any consistent rapport with his receivers, although the late TD pass to KD Cannon certainly helps, and despite a relatively strong effort from the defense after a shaky start, the Bears are probably lucky to trail by just 2 at the break.

If Baylor is going to win this game, it’s got work to do on offense immediately. KD Cannon has yet to prove that he can be the primary focus in a game like this, so others need to step up. At the same time, none of the others except Ishmael Zamora have done much to inspire confidence through series of dropped passes. Chris Platt should be the primary beneficiary due to his pure speed, but he’s not consistent enough. Blake Lynch has the size to be a weapon, but he’s got the same problem. Right now, partly because of our WRs and partly because of Seth, we have almost no downfield passing game at all, and Texas has been able to stack the box with 7 or 8 guys to focus on the run. That’s a big problem. So, too, is play-calling that looks, at best, uninspired. Baylor has yet to really use tempo to its advantage, although the penalties probably play a role there, and we’ve had more than one "what????" moment already.

On the other side, D’Onta Foreman has done basically what we expected him to do with 17 carries for 128 yards and 2 TDs already. He’s a beast, and unless we get to him in the backfield, he’s probably getting 6+ yards. Baylor has gotten good pressure on Shane Buechele, whose only real success has come through jump balls, and the secondary is playing relatively well. But unless we can stop Foreman, or Texas decides to keep running Tyrone Swoopes for some reason, AND get the offense going, it may not matter.

Texas gets the ball after the half, so the defense is up next. I hope they’re ready for it. That first drive could be the most important of the season.

Box Score

1st Downs 15 12
3rd down efficiency 4-10 5-10
4th down efficiency 1-2 0-1
Total Yards 308 302
Passing 152 164
Comp-Att 9-19 7-13
Yards per pass 8.0 12.6
Interceptions thrown 1 1
Rushing 156 138
Rushing Attempts 29 31
Yards per rush 5.4 4.5
Penalties 7-32 3-18
Turnovers 1 2
Fumbles lost 0 1
Interceptions thrown 1 1
Possession 14:46 15:14