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Week 3 Position Grades for Baylor Football

NCAA Football: Texas State at Baylor Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor bounced back from their loss to BYU with an impressive victory over Texas State. Using the eye test and stats, here’s how Joe and Cody grade each position at the end of week three.



Joe: Shapen looked more comfortable this week, and I think his interception proved that. Don’t be afraid to get into a little trouble now and then, sometimes great results come with risk. He looked a little more decisive as the game went on as well, but the run game was doing well enough that we were never really in a position to truly opening up the passing. I don’t think it was a bad day, but it also wasn’t special. Grade: C+

Cody: QB Blake Shapen had a decent outing against Texas State. His 58% completion percentage and 184 passing yards were below average (for both him and Baylor QBs in general) and he threw his first interception of his career on a glorified arm punt; however, he avoided getting sacked, made an impact on the ground with 42 yards and 1 TD on 3 carries, and had some truly impressive throws that weren’t hauled in for one reason or another (uncalled PI, horrible replay review, CB barely knocking WR out of bounds). Grade: B-

Offensive Line

Joe: Night and day performance from this group compared to the BYU game. Opened some great holes for the backs. Kept the QB upright. Stayed discipline. A perfect day really, they looked much more like the group we came to know last season. Grade: A+

Cody: Baylor’s offensive line was excellent in pass protection, allowing 0 sacks and giving Shapen a clean pocket on 67% of his attempts. They were even better in the run game, earning 3.6 non-garbage time line yards per carry. To top it all off, they committed only one penalty all game. Grade: A+

Running Backs

Joe: Ladies and gentlemen, his name is Richard Reese. Through 3 games this season he is becoming the premier back in what is a crowded RB room. He has great vision and top end speed, and he seems to be picking up the Jeff Grimes scheme quickly. His day earned him Newcomer of the Week honors from the Big 12. Sqwirl had a solid game too, but Reese is really showing out. Grade: A+

Cody: The offensive line did a fantastic job, but the running backs capitalized on their opportunities and had big play after big play. Richard Reese had a 52 yard run, Craig Williams had a 30 yard run, and the groups as a whole averaged 7.9 yards per carry. Toss in 4 touchdowns and 67 receiving yards, and you have a near-perfect outing. Grade: A+

Wide Receivers

Joe: Holmes seems to have an opportunity to become WR1 here, but Seth Jones has a little bit more in him I think. The group overall didn’t have a stellar day, but did have a horrendous call that overturned a great play. The ball was spread out all over the field and I wonder if that was by design. Similar to QB to me, nothing to be upset about, but you’re not bragging about the performance. Grade: C+

Cody: The position group with the biggest question mark coming into the season is still a big question three games in. Gavin Holmes led the way with 3 receptions for 46 yards, but no other receiver had more than 2 catches. Holmes, Seth Jones, Josh Cameron, Javon Gipson, and Hal Presley had 27 YAC (3.0 per reception). At least they didn’t have any drops? Grade: C-

Tight Ends

Joe: No Ben Sims left this group lacking on Saturday. They weren’t much of a factor in the passing game, but they weren’t bad as a part of the run game. There’s not really much to comment on with the tight ends, they didn’t fail, they didn’t do anything to excel. Grade: C

Cody: Without Blake Sims, Baylor’s TE’s had an unusually low number of receptions. Gavin Yates led the group with 10 receiving yards, and Kelsey Johnson and Drake Dabney combined for another 15. Both Dabney and Johnson had over 25 run blocking snaps and earned average grades. Grade: C


Defensive Line

Joe: This is a tough group to grade, Texas State neutralized them with scheme. The entire offense was based on the short and quick passing game. They didn’t have much opportunity to stop the run or have enough time to reach the QB. Like the tight ends, they didn’t disappoint, but they weren’t an overall factor in my view. Grade: C

Cody: Baylor’s six defensive linemen did what they needed to do, but not much more. They had only 1 sack, courtesy of TJ Franklin, and 10 tackles, half courtesy of TJ Franklin. Texas State’s run game did struggle, but their line yards almost equaling their total rushing yards suggests most of the tackling was done further back in the defense. Grade: C+


Joe: It’s not the group of last year, but they did alright on Saturday. This group was also missing Dillon Doyle for the first half, and that affected the play of the defense as a whole. They did ok covering the short game, and they stopped what little running Texas State tried to do. Not bad. Grade: B

Cody: Run defense? Check. Texas State’s 3.5 non-garbage time and non-sack rushing yards per carry is far below their average, and Texas State had only two runs longer than 10 yards. Pass defense? Passable. Per PFF, Al Walcott, Will Williams, Alfonzo Allen, and Matt Jones were targeted 15 times and allowed 13 receptions for 92 yards. Grade: B+

Defensive Backs

Joe: Ashtyn Hawkins went crazy against this group on Saturday, bringing in 13 catches for 114 yards and the Bobcats’ lone touchdown. Other than him, though, there was almost no production from Texas State receivers. You did well against everyone else, but failed against Hawkins, let’s just pick the grade in the middle. Grade: C

Cody: Per PFF, Mark Milton, AJ McCarty, and Snaxx Johnson took most of the snaps at corner, and they allowed 2 receptions for 7 yards. Pretty good! Devin Lemear and Devin Neal took most the snaps at safety, gave up 10 catches on 11 targets, and allowed Texas State’s only TD of the day. Unsurprisingly, Neal had the lowest coverage grade on the team. Not good! Grade: B-

Special Teams

Joe: Another position group that didn’t really get the opportunity to showcase themselves. Power was ok, but only punted 3 times. We had a turnover on a return as well. But, all extra points were made and they didn’t leave any points on the field. Grade: C

Cody: John Mayers replaced Isiah Hawkins on extra points and hit 6 of 6. Isaac Power had 3 punts for 43 yards, but Baylor miffed a chance to down it inside the 5. Sqwirl Williams almost fumbled his only punt return. Grade: C-