As usual, yesterday's Meet the Press media event leading up to the ULM game this weekend was chock full of interesting tidbits, some of which didn't make the official write-up of the event, but are included in the video. Troy Baker's imminent return, as alluded to by C Stefan Huber, is one of those things, as it raises the question of what Baylor does on the OL when our starting RT is capable of playing. Desmine Hilliard would seem to be the odd man out, considering Kelvin Palmer (now RT) was originally slotted for the center position with Huber (now C) at RG, but from what I've seen, Hilliard has played well. It probably won't be a tremendous issue since a completely healthy and effective return for Baker is doubtful, at least in the short term, so the coaches will probably rotate liberally, anyway. Still, it will be interesting to see how the coaches handle things once the battle station that is our offensive line becomes fully-operational once again. So far (knock on wood), our depth has held up very well through 2 games.
But I wanted to focus on something else said by Head Coach Art Briles with respect to Bryce Petty. Rather than summarize, I'll post the whole quote:
On current offense compared to offense in years past:
"We've done well, and we've done well through the years. It's hard to say on this year. Bryce threw it 16 times the other day and it's nice that he completed 13 but I want him to be 28 of 32 or 38 of 42. He needs some extension in games, he needs to play, and he needs to make plays when plays need to be made. That's the thing that was impressive the other day about Tevin Reese-when we needed plays early in the game he made plays. But it's too early to judge us as an offense, defense or special teams team."
What I think Briles is saying isn't that Bryce Petty has been in some way disappointing -- far from it, actually. What he's saying is that the blowouts have robbed us of the opportunity through 2 games to really see what Petty can do, simply because the offense as a whole is performing so well that it doesn't make sense to keep him in games. This is something people around ODB have mentioned as an individual concern, and kudos to those people. Briles apparently agrees with you.
Were I to guess, I'd say this means we should probably expect to see more Petty than we have in games past, simply because we can't delay testing him any longer before Big 12 play. Briles and Montgomery need to know what he can and can't do in game action, against defenses other than our own, and this is our last non-conference game. The fact that we shouldn't blow ULM out the same way we did Buffalo (though the spread is almost identical), simply because they're a better team than Buffalo is or was, should help in that regard. But if you're ULM, I'd be prepared for a lot of Petty, since he's basically the only relative unknown on our offense at this point.
For his part, Petty apparently agrees with his coach (as you'd expect):
On ULM's defense:
"They're pretty unconventional. They load guys in the box, so that's more of an opportunity for myself and our receivers to get a little work in. I won't be 13-16 this Saturday. I will have more attempts. It gets guys chances to go down the field a little bit more. Same thing as the defense, we have a little bit of a motivational factor ourselves. We didn't play as hot against them last year. So we are going to come out hot and set the tone early."