At the outset, I want to say that even with the loss, the second half of today's game might have been the best-coached half of Baylor Football we've seen in a long, long time. Down 20-0 and with the emergency QB in the game, Baylor basically ditched the offense that has brought us out of the Dark Ages and is as synonymous with our program as the colors green and gold, and went to a throwback single-wing attack. It was as drastic an adjustment as any team has probably ever made at halftime of a game, and it very nearly won the dang thing.
Eschewing the QB position completely, Baylor threw down a three-headed WildBear monster with Johnny Jefferson, Devin Chafin, and redshirt freshman Terence Williams taking direct snaps and Lynx Hawthorne only coming back in to clean up the messes. It worked to the tune of more than 230 rushing yards and 17-straight points, and it could have had even more had we not fumbled away our chance on the last real drive of the game. It was the kind of coaching and player performance, particularly on the offensive line, that very nearly redeemed what was previously a horrific embarrassment of the game.
On the other side, you have to be pleased with the defensive effort today. Knowing the outcome relied completely on them keeping us in the game, they did just that by limiting Texas to 3 points and a total of 117 offensive yards after the half. Andrew Billings, Jamal Palmer, and Shawn Oakman set the tone in what might be the last game all three play at Baylor, and they were simply marvelous. It's not their fault we turned the ball over three times in our own end of the field and a fourth on what could have been the winning drive.
With this loss, Baylor finishes the 2015 regular season 9-3 having lost 3 of our last 4 games, including 2 at home. We've fallen from tied for first in the Big 12 three weeks ago with the CFB Playoff in our sights to finishing fourth and likely headed to the Russell Athletic Bowl against an as-yet unknown ACC team. Despite those things, which are extremely disappointing considering the expectations we had coming into this year, I am proud of what they've accomplished in the context of what they faced (injuries the likes of which few teams have ever seen, much less overcome to any extent). I'm still very proud to be a Baylor Bear.
It's going to take a lot of time to get over what happened over the last four weeks. Orlando isn't where we wanted to be this bowl season, by any stretch. But it's where we are, or where we will be, and the only thing left to do now is go out and win that game to get a third-straight 10-win season on the books. That's all we can control right now.
|3rd down efficiency||3-14||4-16|
|4th down efficiency||0-1||2-5|
|Yards per pass||7.6||3.6|
|Yards per rush||3.7||6.0|