Each week, we’ll grade Baylor’s position groups from the prior game. Here’s how each group performed in Baylor’s 38-6 loss to Texas.
Cody Orr: Once again, Sawyer Roberston started in place of an injured Blake Shapen. Robertson went 20 of 35 for 203 yards, zero touchdowns, and one interception. His accuracy was significantly better from the last two weeks, especially when looking at his adjusted completion percentage (72%). He also picked up some crucial yards on the ground. Grade: C
Joe Goodman: A big ole meh from me. Not a failure, nothing to write home about. Sawyer did look more comfortable with the offense, but it also felt like he had someone in his face half the time. The accuracy was better, as were the stats, and his one pick I’m not convinced was all his fault. Still, no scoring from the QB position can’t get you a high grade.
Cody Orr: The quartet of Dominic Richardson, Dawson Pendergrass, Richard Reese, and Jordan Nabors gained 52 yards on 18 carries for 2.9 YPC. Efficiency-wise, that’s not great, though a lot of the blame falls on the offensive line. Pendergrass was the only back to have a run of more than seven yards. Our freshman star from last year, Richard Reese, had three carries. Part of the reason is his inability to pass block — PFF gave him a 32.8 pass blocking grade, the third lowest on the team. Pendergrass, who has taken the bulk of Reese’s carries, had an 80.2, third highest on the team. Grade: D
Joe Goodman: Bad. I know the line carries the bulk of the causation behind the paltry YPC here, but the RBs are still a part of the group project that is the running game. That said, I won’t fail them because there was a group effort here, and I’m sure with better play from their line the stats could have been better. But man, not what you expect to see from an offense that has the RVO moniker.
Cody Orr: Let’s start with some positives. Only two false start penalties! And believe it or not, the left side of the line (Alvin Ebosele, Gavin Byers, and Clark Barrington) all had a 75 or higher in PFF’s pass blocking grades. Now for the negatives. Campbell Barrington struggled in pass protection at RT (47 PFF grade), and the team allowed five sacks. For context, so did Alabama? Furthermore, the line as a whole performed horribly in run blocking. They were credited with only 1.68 offensive line yards per carry, and they allowed a stuff rate of 23%. Grade: F
Joe Goodman: This game was absolutely terrible. I don’t have much to say other than there were times that Texas looked like they were starting JJ Watt, Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Donald, and Bruce Smith in their primes. Their D Line is good, we made it look other worldly.
Cody Orr: Welcome back, Monaray Baldwin! The speedster led the team with 81 yards on three receptions, including a long of 55. Ketron Jackson Jr. and Armani Winfield added 55 and 42 yards, respectively, on three receptions each. Four dropped catches, zero touchdowns, and not a lot of stellar route running to give Robertson more opportunities brings this grade down. Grade: C+
Joe Goodman: This group may have played their best game of the season? I’m really not totally sure how I feel about it. It was nice to see Baldwin make some plays, but he had a critical drop on a play where he was all alone. Winfield showing up should make some Baylor fans happy about the future as well. But I can’t really grade this group too highly as they didn’t do anything to actually change the game.
Cody Orr: Three different tight ends got involved in the passing game, led by Jake Roberts with three receptions for 20 yards. Kelsey Johnson added 18 yards on two receptions, and Drake Dabney contributed eight yards on two receptions. Dabney and Johnson really struggled in pass protection, though, earning grades of 36.8 and 25.6 by PFF. Their run blocking grades were only slightly better. Grade: D+
Joe Goodman: I really thought this would be a breakout season for Dabney, but he hasn’t gotten into any rhythm. Maybe he will fare better once Shapen returns. Kelsey Johnson was asked to some extra blocking, and well, I don’t think I’d call it blocking. This is a critical position group in this offense, and I expect to see more by game 4.
Cody Orr: Gabe Hall tipped a pass on to force Quinn Ewers’ first incompletion and was credited with a QB hurry and one tackle. You expect more from your senior RT with NFL aspirations, though. Cooper Lanz, still filling in as an undersized NT, led the group with four tackles. TJ Franklin has zero tackles but two missed tackles. Oh, and Texas averaged 6.1 yards per run play. Grade: F
Joe Goodman: This is the group I expect to inspire the rest of the defense. They have experience, and a couple of physical freaks. We are undersized inside, we know that, but this group should be the fuel to the fire of the defense. They made a play here and there, but like the other side of the ball they were manhandled. It looked like two different levels of team on the field.
Cody Orr: A mixed bag for the linebackers this week. Matt Jones led the team with two sacks and six defensive stops. In coverage, he allowed one reception for five yards. Mike Smith Jr. also had a sack, but he led the team with four missed tackles, including one that went for touchdown. You also have to ding them for Texas’ success running the play. Grade: D+
Joe Goodman: This group had a few flashes, as Cody pointed out above. I won’t ding them as hard because they did make the bulk of the big plays in this game for the defense. It felt very feast or famine, with way too much famine.
Cody Orr: The cornerbacks had an OK game. Yes, Ewers went 18 for 23 for 293 yards, but we’ll talk about that more below. Carl Williams IV forced an incompletion on his lone target. Caden Jenkins led the team with seven tackles per PFF (note: it’s typically a bad sign when your cornerback does this) and had a defensive pass interference penalty in the endzone (note: also bad when your cornerback does this). Reed performed the worst, allowing three receptions on three targets for 54 yards. Grade: C-
Joe Goodman: I really didn’t expect to see the level of play from the corners that we have seen this season. They weren’t good on Saturday, but they were far from the main problem. I think this unit continues to grow, but were outmatched by a better team. Still, they did perform much better than their defensive backfield counterparts.
Cody Orr: This was a very bad day for Devin Lemear, Devyn Bobby, Corey Gordon Jr., and Bryson Jackson. Collectively, they allowed ten receptions on eleven targets for 210 yards and had five missed tackles. All four had a PFF coverage grade in the 40s. Grade: F
Joe Goodman: We brought in a DC that was our old safeties coach in the hopes that we would see improvement. There have been a few bright spots with this group this season, but not against Texas. Woof. It was bad. Texas saw a weakness and exploited it all night long.
Cody Orr: The MVP of the game was clearly Garrison Grimes with two muffed punt recoveries. That’s something we might not see again for decades. Elsewhere, Jack Stone had two returns on three kickoffs for twelve total yards, Palmer Williams had six punts with an average of 44.7 yards, and Isaiah Hankins went two for two on field goals of 22 and 36 yards. Grade: A+
Joe Goodman: A performance that would make Daniel Sepulveda proud. Not something you really want as a fan though. Still, this group was the lone bright spot that didn’t really make any errors and did more than anyone else to give Baylor any kind of shot. They just didn’t get any support. They played hard, like the game mattered, and made plays. Good work all around.
Statistics courtesy of ESPN, Pro Football Focus, and GameOnPaper.com.