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Baylor vs. NW State -- The Morning After -- Highlights, Links, Notes, Tweets

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The Bears won the first game of the post-Briles era last night in convincing fashion, 55-7 over NW State.

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH F
NSU (0-1, 0-0) 0 0 7 0 7
BAYLOR (1-0, 0-0) 24 24 7 0 55

Box ScoreNotesPhoto Gallery USATSI Gallery | BU Quotes 1 Get Acrobat Reader | BU Quotes 2 Get Acrobat Reader | NSU Quotes Get Acrobat Reader

Waco, Texas - Attendance: 44,849

The Big News:

We won!  Outgaining the Demons by 420 yards, the Bears put forth a completely dominant effort, at least in the first half, and ran away from Northwestern State to start the season 1-0.  Seth Russell, in his first game back since that terrible neck injury against Iowa State last year, looked little worse for wear with 4 TDs through the air, Shock Linwood had 97 first-half yards, and the new-look defensive front whipped NW State's offensive line repeatedly.  The fans had fun, the team had fun, and we finally got to enjoy being Baylor Football fans again after one of the worst summers any program has ever experienced.

Since we're still in the first real week of the season and most teams have yet to play (make sure to check the schedule link below for today's games!), I'm going to dispense with rankings and CFB projections right now.  I may do that for a couple more weeks, actually.  Instead, we'll focus on last night's game and then move into the Saturday that will be.

Thoughts on the Game:

  • The combination of Shock Linwood, Terence Williams, and Johnny Jefferson (when he returns from injury) should be every bit as good as we expected.  If the offensive line can be even serviceable against our better defensive opponents, those three guys (with a little J'Mycal Hasty thrown in) should be very difficult for opponents to stop.  I continue to marvel at the progress Shock Linwood has made in his time in the program, from potential inside receiver (where TCU recruited him) to legitimate all-purpose back.  It's incredible.
  • According to the participation report, Baylor played the following true freshmen last night: QB Zach Smith, DT Bravvion Roy, WR Jared Atkinson, WR Denzel Mims, DB Rajah Preciado, DB Grayland Arnold, DB Chris Miller, and DB Raleigh Texada. That's 8 true freshmen in a class where we ended up with 10 or 11, total. 
  • Also according to the box score, Blake Blackmar didn't start last night at either guard.  Instead, we saw Ishmael Wilson and Tanner Thrift.  I'm going to have to re-watch the game (which I plan to do anyway) to confirm, but that's surprising to me, if true.  We'll see.
  • On the defensive line, I was particularly impressed with NT Ira Lewis, who had 3 tackles for loss in the game, LB Clay Johnston (5 tackles, 2 for loss), and, of course, Taylor Young (6 tackles, 3.5 for loss and 1 sack).  The defense on the whole spent a considerable amount of time in the Demon backfield with 15 (!!) credited tackles for loss.  When the first-team defense left the game, They had allowed 14 total yards in the game.  14.  I'll take that every time, regardless of opponent.  I was impressed with the DL's quickness and ability to get off blocks, as well as the LBs flow over the top. 
  • KD Cannon will have better games this season, and it's clear that Baylor views him as The Man in the receiving corps.  He's still working himself back into game shape after missing so much time in camp, and I'm not concerned.  Chris Platt has so much Tevin Reese in him that it's scary.
  • I'll have more later or in the comments.

LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS:

Before I get started with the other links, I want to note that I've seen a number of thinkpieces this morning from various places about how last night's game doesn't equal a complete transformation for Baylor or something similar, as if people needed to be reminded again that winning football games doesn't erase scandal.  I have no idea if those pieces result from the writers wanting to be contrarian/exploitative of the scandal or they honestly think people might forget because of flashy touchdowns.  It's a weird response, though, that I don't really understand, mostly because it's refuting a strawman argument.  You can't find a Baylor fan that thinks last night's game means our work is done and everything is fine again.  You can't find a Baylor fan that thinks winning a game means we've arrived back where we want to be in the college football consciousness.  So why refute that?

Anyway...

No. 23 Football Rolls to 55-7 Victory over Northwestern State - Baylor Official Athletic Site
The Official Athletic Site of the Baylor University - Seth Russell threw four touchdown passes in less than a half and No. 23 Baylor beat FCS opponent Northwestern State 55-7 on Friday night.

Kendal Briles of Baylor pays tribute to father Art with 'CAB' on hands during win over Northwestern State
Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles on Friday paid tribute to his father, Art, by coaching with the initials "CAB" written on his hands. Art Briles was fired by Baylor earlier this year.

College Sports: Why Shock Linwood didn't want to chase Baylor rushing record; how d-line impressed Jim Grobe | SportsDay
Here are the highlights from Baylor's press conferences after defeating Northwestern State 55-7.For five takeaways from tonight's game, click...

Bears band together: Baylor offense explodes in first game under new head coach, 55-7 - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
The architect of Baylor football is gone and the remaining players have been left to defend the program after an ugly sexual assault scandal.

Brice Cherry: For Baylor players, field provided perfect therapy - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
> GAME STORY: Bears band together in first game under new head coach, 55-7

Baylor assistant coach paid tribute during a game to his fired father, Art Briles - SBNation.com
Art Briles’ son is still on the Bears’ staff.

The ‘College GameDay’ Harambe sign tracker - SBNation.com
Someone had to do it.

TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS:

And that's about it this morning. Hope everyone has a great Saturday! See you in the Open Threads!