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Inside View: ULM Impressions from Floyd Casey Stadium

I've finally come up with a name for this column: Inside View. We've got several different takes on all aspects of the ULM game from the folks that were there.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

My (pbpope) Thoughts From The Case

I arrived later than I'd hoped to for reasons beyond my control. We met my brother at the Academy in Waco on our way into town. Nearly every customer in the store had some piece of Baylor gear on, be it a hat, t-shirt, or something else. I was impressed. The weather was absolutely beautiful - low 80s and sunny. We arrived at the stadium about an hour from kickoff, so I didn't have a large amount of time to check out the scene. From what I did see, though, the turnout at tailgates was solid. For Buffalo, there were lots of tents with three or four people inside each one; but this week people were out in force. I got the chance to meet several ODB'ers, which was fun. I'm looking forward to whenever we actually do the Our Daily Bears Meetup/Tailgate. Look for a post about that coming later in the week.

Fan Turnout

The turnout was great for the last game of the weekend. There were some patches of empty seats on the east side of the stadium, but the crowd was solid. In the first half, third and fourth downs were loud (we still need to figure out how to educate fans to stand and yell on ALL downs of a defensive series). Once again, large swaths of fans on the east side departed the game after halftime and once Lache Seastrunk got his 75 yard touchdown run on the first series of the second half. I'm only slightly disappointed by this, for two reasons. First, the halftime score was 49-7. Midway through the 3rd quarter, there were no starters on offense for EITHER team. The game hit what would be its final score with over half of the 3rd quarter still remaining. That's going to affect attendance. Secondly, it was Family Weekend. I think the only thing that keeps non-alumni parents and their kids in the stadium is if the game is close and suspenseful. If the game had been 24-21 at the start of the 3rd quarter and remained somewhat close, I think more of those people would have stuck around. As it stands, I look for better turnouts and staying power for conference play, regardless of the score.

Most Annoying Moment

After the game, my family and I hit Chipotle before heading back to The Woodlands. As we parked and walked inside, a group of students walked in at the same time. They were met by some friends that were exiting, who asked how the game was. The other students stared blankly at the guy who asked the question. "You didn't go?!" he asked, incredulous. "Yeah, it was ULM, man. Plus it's the nicest day of the year." It took everything I had in me not to say something completely snarky. You, student and friends, are what's wrong with our fanbase. The nicest day of the year is the exact reason why you want to go to a football game.

Fun Moment

I'll discuss the team in more depth in the Grade Report and on the podcast later in the week. My favorite moment from the sidelines came when, after the TD to go up 70-7, the cheerleaders started to do the "BAYLOR... BEARS..." cheer with both sides of the stadium. All of a sudden, Lache Seastrunk jumps up and starts helping the cheerleaders get people to participate. When my section started cheering louder, he applauded us and flashed that big smile of his. I really enjoy seeing the players having a good time on the sidelines.

Thoughts from Stephen T. Hart

I think it goes without saying that if you were at this game; it was a drastic difference from two weeks before. About 30 degrees difference that is. You could scarcely ask for better game-day weather. I’m hopeful that West Virginia in two weeks will be much the same. I made it to the game about two hours prior to kickoff. Normally, I’m out there plenty early tailgating with Fankhauser and others, but this week I got a bit held up (and it had NOTHING to do with FiOS having free OnDemand movies this weekend…). The tailgating atmosphere looked pretty solid, at least, as good as what I’ve come to expect from Baylor fans over the last few seasons. I’m excited to see what the rest of the year turns out. My seats are in the North Endzone so I get the unique opportunity to watch both sides of the stadium fill up. The crowd looked great and was all of the 44,000 that shows on the stat sheet. I also heard CAB compliment the crowd on 1660 during the postgame show. Happy to see the students come out for this one, and hope that the trend continues. Alumni side looked like it filled a little slowly to me, I’m pretty sure Baylor was already up 14-0 before I really felt like everyone had found their seats.

The speed at which this team operates is mind blowing. I make a habit of scrolling through twitter during timeouts. I was still scanning my feed after Tevin Reese’s 47-yd touchdown (to go up 14-0) when Joe Williams intercepted for the pick 6. I’m excited to see how our guys stack up teams with better athletic ability, not to say Wofford, Buffalo and ULM don’t have athletes (certainly when compared to yours truly), but we can all agree that the Big 12 will have better speed out there. Although I doubt anyone can truly match our offensive prowess.

Antwan Goodley has been incredible in his first 3 games. Perhaps I missed his speed last year (I recall him always getting another 5-yds after first hit, not the ability to outrun), but I don’t remember him having it the way he has shown in 2013. Excited to see what he’ll do in conference play. I was a bit worried about whether Lache was going to get any 2nd half play to put up some stats. He had a few carries in the 1st half and one run of 40-50 yards. But his 75-yd TD in the early 3rd truly put his abilities on display. For the most part I was happy with the defense; maybe, "happier than I’ve been in the past," is a better way to put it. We continue to get beat downfield and got lucky on several ULM dropped passes in the 1st half. That being said, the defense made the stops when we needed them to take ULM out of the game. The 2 pick 6’s were nice as well. Turnovers are such a huge part of the game, and I’m glad to see us continuing to make them.

All in all a good weekend, and a great win. Sic ‘em Bears!

Colby Conner's Thoughts

For the first time this year, the weather was absolutely beautiful for the game. Or at least it was for the majority of tailgating. It was one of those mornings where I really missed playing football. Cool, a little bit of a breeze, and even a little bit of mud just to add to it all.

The tailgate scene was better than it was against Buffalo, but still not quite as good as it was against Wofford. All in all though, it was a pretty good showing for those who like to come out early and enjoy the festivities.

This game showed the firepower that the Baylor offense possesses. There was a graphic last week on ESPN showing the scoring drives of Oregon and how many of them were less than two minutes. All of Baylor’s on Saturday were less than a minute and a half. Bryce Petty to Antwan Goodley, Tevin Reese, Corey Fuller, keeping it himself, it is truly awe inspiring. It is to the point, that once Baylor was up by at least 40, there were people around me saying, "hey, let’s just leave after the next touchdown". Baylor had just gotten the ball, and a minute later they were leaving.

The defense has impressed me, the front seven at least. I’m still not entirely sold on the secondary, but they are much better than they were last year. The second half I sat with my parents on the 10-yard line, and for any doubters out there, Shaw Oakman is still a massive human being who towers over both Terrance Lloyd and Chris Mcallister.

There has been discussion about the fans at the games. People agreeing with them, people disagreeing with them about leaving, and I have to say that, for the most part, I air on the side of disagreement. It isn’t even so much the upper classmen, but the Baylor Line should be a lot more supportive than it has been. They need to stay longer than one quarter. Yes, it was parent’s weekend, but for those alumni, were ya’ll really just that excited to get back to Penland? I know I wasn’t. All that being said, there was probably a 15-20 degree difference from the student side to the home side.

Thoughts from Conner Morris

The atmosphere in Waco, Texas is electrifying.

It's an amazing thing to see. Even in the midst of family weekend, the student body and community are bleeding green and gold. The morning of the game, I walked into the Bookstore with my mother to see 200+ fans checking out with their Baylor swag, ready to head to the game. A man walked out with his three children, all four clad in shiny new Nike #25 jerseys. I was raised as an LSU fan (courtesy of the aforementioned mother) and I have witnessed something at Baylor that I never found in the SEC: unbridled, unprecedented confidence and optimism. It is no longer a matter of whether Baylor will win. On Saturdays, the debates are centered on how flashy the win will be.

I ended up near the very front of the Baylor Line before they brought us down the ramp. The more favorable weather definitely helped the energy of the group. I'll leave analysis of attendance to someone who could pay attention to our numbers without being trampled. Anyone who has been through their four years at Baylor knows what running the line feels like. Slipping and sliding down the ramp as flag carriers struggle to old you back and Chambermen lead the crowd in a chorus of "As the Bears Go Marching In" is always fantastic, and high-fiving Lache three games in a row is the closest I've ever gotten to fainting.

Then the Line got crazy loud for the first defensive series, went nuclear during the fourth-down stop, and then felt something like this when the first touchdown happened.

How we all felt

And then when the second one happened. And so on and so forth for ten more touchdowns. Business as usual. 70 points. The sound of the opponent's hopes and dreams melting away as Bryce Petty tramples two defenders in a way that would make Cyril weep. I stepped away for 30 SECONDS to buy a round of waters and someone scored. I forget who. [EDITOR'S NOTE: My wife stepped away to get water and missed two touchdowns. This team scores FAST.]

I'm still not sure what to make of the mass exodus during the third quarter of every game thus far. My mother's raging voice in my head screams, "They're all traitors! Feed them to the bears!" Some part of me understands, though. When a game is effectively over at the end of a quarter, and you have the first year of college nipping at your heels, motivation to stick around and watch the slaughter dwindles. Either way, it was worth it at the end when Coach Briles ran up to the few remaining freshmen and egged us on as he made a motion to throw his hat. Nine of us went to the ground for it. I walked away empty-handed.

One statement sums it up: Years ago, fifty thousand citizens would file into the Colosseum and watch men dressed as soldiers of Rome slaughter hordes of barbarians. It was bloody and unthinkable by modern standards. In 2013, the same thing is happening in Waco, Texas. This is the year, boys, and everyone feels it, even if we don't want to say it yet.

Kate Morrison's Thoughts

It was hotter than the thermometer might have indicated on the ground level of The Case last Saturday, though not nearly as 100-and-death as the previous two games. If this had been a closer game, I think we would have heard a bit more noise from everyone in the stadium. I know I lost my voice in the first quarter, but found myself less inclined to keep yelling as the margin increased.

The Line was a disappointment to me, especially after hearing so many people talking about attending the last week, and while I can't really fault students for leaving in the fourth quarter (because as much as I love Baylor, up-the-middle every time for for understandable reasons is kinda boring), at least stay through the third. Interesting things were still happening in the third quarter, you guys!

Having said all that, though, I'll gladly take point margins of 63. Also, I always have great fun meeting people from the site and Twitter, and an ODB tailgate absolutely needs to happen.

A personal aside: If one finds oneself with a football hurtling towards one's face, trying to catch said football one-handed probably won't work. Holding a cell phone in one's left hand does not usually help, either. All of this is a long-winded way to say I almost caught a football, y'all.