(5-0, 2-0) 7/6
(2-3, 1-1) NR/RV
Players of the Game:
RB Shock Linwood -- 28 carries for 148 yards and 1 TD (2, really)
LB Bryce Hager -- 8 tackles, 1.5 for loss, 2 QB hurries
LB Aiavion Edwards -- 7 tackles, 1 QB hurry
DE Shawn Oakman -- 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
S Orion Stewart -- 7 tackles, 2 INTs
DT Beau Blackshear -- 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery, blocked FG
P Spencer Roth -- 1 fake punt for 19 yards
Play of the Game:
Yeah, a fake punt was the play of the game. That's just the kind of game it was.
First, ESPN's College GameDay is not coming to Waco for Baylor vs. TCU, despite all my crazy wing-based offers to the participants last night on Twitter. This isn't exactly a surprise, since they are headed to what will almost definitely be a matchup of Top 5 teams in Starkville with Auburn and Mississippi State, but it is disappointing. The hope was that ESPN might have had their fill of SEC territory having spent the last two weeks at those venues. It was never a good hope.
Second, this game will not go on any of our offensive highlight films at the end of the season for obvious reasons. The passing offense, long our strength, never got on track at all. Between Bryce Petty simply missing open receivers and those receivers dropping passes when he didn't, it wasn't a good day. The saving grace was that our OL, so much a question in run blocking before yesterday, finally wore down a depleted Texas front and Shock Linwood was able to take full advantage as the game progressed.
The real story of the game for Baylor, strangely enough, came on defense and special teams. The former was simply dominant again, holding Texas to 4.5 yards per play, creating three turnovers, and pitching what probably should have been a shutout had the officials not inexplicably flagged Xavien Howard for pass interference late in the game. My big thoughts there are that I thought we should have blitzed even more than we did, and I didn't like any of the situations where we decided to rush only three. Instead of a tremendous liability, special teams turned into a huge strength, creating our first scoring opportunity through a masterful fake punt (gifed above) and consistently flipping field position that came to matter more than anyone ever expected.
We talked this game and Petty's performance to death in the post-game last night, so I won't harp on it. Long story short: I didn't see anything from his game that worries me tremendously going forward, since we've seen him do all the things he didn't yesterday. I don't think he's injured or hiding some kind of ailment. I think he was just off, be it because of Texas' stout pass defense, the best pass rush he's faced all year, adrenaline, a poor game plan, or some combination of all of the above. I am encouraged, if anything, by the fact that we won a defensive slugfest on the road by 21 points when the offense looked pretty terrible for most of the game. That's not something we would have been capable of a few years ago, by any stretch.
One other thing worth mentioning: injuries. We don't yet have any additional information, but it appears that RB Devin Chafin reinjured his ankle in garbage time and DE Jamal Palmer is having an MRI after suffering some kind of leg injury.
Mark Seymour's Top 10
Good gosh. 5 of the AP Top 8 lost this week, the first time that's ever happened. That includes #2 Oregon, #3 Alabama, #4 Oklahoma, #6 Texas A&M, and #8 UCLA. My guess is that at least one, maybe two, of the teams that beat them will jump us when the rankings are released later today, so don't be surprised to see Baylor at #5 in the AP or Coaches Polls. Here's my Top 10:
1. Auburn Tigers
2. Mississippi State Bulldogs
3. Baylor Bears
4. Florida State Seminoles
5. Ole Miss Rebels
6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
7. Oklahoma Sooners
8. Alabama Crimson Tide
9. TCU Horned Frogs
10. Michigan State Spartans
I know I have TCU below a team they just beat, but that game was at TCU and perhaps not an absolute reflection of where the two teams are at this moment. Feel free to disagree with that or any other part of my rankings. In reality, a tier system probably works best.
LINKS OF NOTE ON A SUNDAY MORNING:
College Football Playoff threat watch, Week 6: FSU, featuring the SEC West - SBNation.com
If the season ended right now, half of college football's four-team field might be from one state. And not a state anybody would've expected.
What happened Saturday, Oct. 4 in college football: Scores and 3 things to know - SBNation.com
One state is playing the best combined top-level football it's ever played, the top-25 rankings are in absolute flames, and the Heisman race got a vigorous shuffling. Full FBS final scores at the bottom.
Updated 2014 bowl projections: BCS rematch for College Football Playoff - SBNation.com
The 2014 season's mayhem weekend struck, leaving every set of predictions in tiny bits. Let's reassemble, first by guessing who in the world escapes the treacherous SEC West.
Defense, special teams bail out Baylor on ‘Upset Saturday’ - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
AUSTIN — When Baylor took its futuristic passing attack down I-35 to play Texas, nobody thought a 1950s-style slugfest would break out.
Baylor's Art Briles bests Texas' Charlie Strong in first chess match - Big 12 Blog - ESPN
The first meeting between offensive-minded Art Briles and defensive-minded Charlie Strong goes to Baylor.
Baylor takes over in second half, thumps UT 28-7 - Sports Update
AUSTIN – In the only populated corner of a mostly empty Royal-Memorial Stadium, an insult completed its transformation into a boast.
NCAA College Football Recap - Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns - Oct 04, 2014 - CBSSports.com
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Bryce Petty and No. 7 Baylor's top-rated offense were misfiring and the quick-strike touchdowns were nowhere to be found against Texas.
Instant analysis: Baylor Bears 28, Texas Longhorns 7 - ESPN
The usually flashy Baylor Bears did just enough to defeat Texas.
Baylor proof a new day dawning on state's college football horizon - Houston Chronicle
Considering Texas A&M has finished with the state's highest-rated recruiting class in each of the two years Kevin Sumlin has had a full season to impress high school athletes, the not-so-humble brag has some merit. Baylor (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) hasn't played the toughest schedule, but the Bears have won 20 of their last 22 games, with both losses coming to teams ranked in the top 15. Baylor has the best record in Texas since 2011 (34-10), has finished with the state's best ranking in two of the last three seasons and is the only school in the state with a major conference title in recent years.
Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 6 - ESPN
A look at the star players in the Big 12 during Week 6 action.
TWEETS THAT I WANT YOU TO SEE:
After all the great games from this past weekend. My new top 4 for this week are: 1. Auburn 2. FSU 3. Mississippi St 4. Baylor— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) October 5, 2014
5 of the top 8 teams in the country lost this week. Know who didn't? @BUFootball!— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) October 5, 2014
If Baylor loses Jamal Palmer for any length of time, expect to see Javonte Magee move out to DE full-time or KJ Smith in a starting role.— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) October 5, 2014
Baylor is playing for bowl eligibility next Saturday. Remember when that was a huge thing?— TeamFreakyLeg!!! (@Oakman_Rules) October 5, 2014
Not a lot on the Twitters, incidentally. Have a great Sunday, everyone!