If you want to be find encouragement in yet another Baylor loss, you might look at the fact that Baylor outgained Texas Tech by nearly 200 yards, converted more than 30 first downs in the game, and, as sad as it sounds, didn’t get blown out despite going down 21-7 in the first half. JaMycal Hasty—and, as a result, the rushing offense on the whole—looked better than at any point in the season thus far; Brewer, despite being involved in three turnovers, continued to mature en route to throwing more than 60 passes for more than 400 yards; and the defense played pretty well in the second half. Denzel Mims crossed the 1,000-yard threshold with 12 catches for 152 yards and 1 TD, and Blake Lynch, everyone’s favorite two-way player, added 7 catches for 77 yards of his own. We even went 11 for 19 on third downs. There’s a lot to like.
But it’s still a loss, and it’s a loss that arguably didn’t have to happen considering we had three separate drives inside the redzone that yielded no points, gave up a kickoff-return TD to open the game, and had a fumble returned for another TD in the fourth quarter. These are the types of things, particularly the four turnovers, that young teams do to lose games and, if combined, represent at least a 20-point swing in a game we lost by 14. I could make the argument for 28 points. We also had multiple drops that could have moved the chains and kept the offense going at critical points. We’re 1-9 on the season precisely because of these types of plays.
I don’t know what else to say at this point. Every week it feels like we see a different facet of what Matt Rhule wants Baylor to be, but it hasn’t come together in any one game yet except for a blowout of Kansas. It’s two steps forward, but it’s also one, and sometimes two, steps back. It’s frustrating, and people are rightfully frustrated.
Still, I can’t help but find myself looking to the future with excitement due to having guys like Brewer, Mims, and Hasty around, not to mention Lovett, Lynch, and countless others. I feel like the potential of this team going forward is evident if only we can put together a halfway-decent offensive line and find a safety or two. Brewer will cut down on the mistakes the more experience he gets. The OL will get better (because it can’t get much worse). The growing pains of the defense should start to even out, especially if we continue to recruit guys like James Lynch and Harrison Hand. We’ll get there; we’re just not there now.