My (pbpope) Thoughts
I'm going to keep my comments fairly brief this week, limiting them to just a couple of aspects to the atmosphere and other items.
The tailgating atmosphere was fantastic. It was the busiest, most electric atmosphere that I've ever felt when tailgating at The Case. The only time it's ever been close was for a game with a team that resides 90 miles down the Brazos from us that we don't really need to mention, and that atmosphere was probably 50-50 Baylor and fans of that other team. This crowd was overwhelmingly Baylor. I heard from more than one tailgater that they were surprised by the WVU turnout for tailgating, but that number was actually far fewer than those people observed. The crowd was great and The Case was packed to the gills.* It was fun to meet Mark Seymour and several other ODBears in person (Mark's too good to add his impressions to this post SARCASM FONT). The crowd was electric. While it wasn't as loud as the K-State game last year, there was an excitement in the brisk fall air that didn't have anything to do with the temperature or wind. People stayed standing throughout the first quarter, shouted on defensive downs other than 3rd down, and generally were much more excited. It was great to see, and I anticipate that if the Bears win at K-State next weekend, Homecoming will be bonkers.
*I experienced firsthand why we need a new stadium on Saturday. Upon entering The Case, the concourse on the west side of the stadium was completely packed with people trying to get to their seats. The concourses are extremely narrow at The Case and traffic to the ramps into the stadium was slowed to a near standstill.
Finally, let's talk uniforms. AMAZING. Truly. They looked sharp on the television, but they were positively radiant in person. If you hadn't seen the preview, you wouldn't realize that there was actually an interlocking BU on the side of the helmet. I absolutely loved the entire look. My favorite element of the uniform, though, was the fact that the nameplates were near-black on the black uniforms. This gave the impression that the name on the front of the uniform is far more important than the name on the back - an attitude that this team seems to exude. I loved this uniform combination and can't wait to see what they trot out next.
Colby Conner's Perspective Follow @colbyconner
It was definitely a change of pace weather wise for the game this week. Instead of trying to do anything to stay cool, the weather cooperated very nicely this week. It even a little cold when the wind picked up; so much so that I had to break the green pants for this game with my gold shirt. I was very Baylor.
Tailgating was good, but you’ll hear about that a lot more from me in the next day or two. More importantly, let’s get to those helmets. Those things were awe-inspiring. You almost could not tell that there was an interlocking BU on the helmet at all due to how reflective they were. They whole uniform in general definitely lived up to the hype.
I loved seeing Baylor jump out early on West Virginia. Antwan Goodley is slowly evolving into my favorite player on this team. I like all of them, but just the fact that he is as big and fast as he is while playing receiver is awesome. He will run through you, past, around you, and put you on your ass with a block downfield to spring a teammate for a touchdown. He was featured in the Ask a Bear series Baylor Football has been doing and said he would rather run over a defender than try to go around him. I don’t know a lot of receivers that would agree with that.
Baylor, again, was dominant. It sucks that West Virginia had to end up with 42 points under their name on the scoreboard. 73-42 doesn’t seem as impressive for some reason even though it’s still a 31 point dismantling. Just to nit pick, I still see bad habits in our defensive backs, but much less than last year. I also worry about Aaron Jones if he has to make a clutch kick. Aside from that, Baylor was very impressive offensively. When it gets to the point where people just expect our offense to score a touchdown every two minutes, that’s pretty incredible.
Lastly, the crowd needs to stay longer, the majority at least. Students in particular. I went and sat with Peter Pope during the 4th quarter of the game. Partially because I wanted to finally meet him, and partially because all of the students around me left. Great meeting you by the way, Peter. Hopefully more people start to stay to the end.
Stephen Hart's View Follow @stephenhart87
What another beautiful weekend for football. I arrived around 4, and I must say, parking at Floyd Casey this year is driving me nuts.* After parking, Mrs. Hart and I made our way over to the tailgating area and were a bit unsure about what the pregame atmosphere would be like. It seemed pretty sparse at first. The team arrived about 15 minutes later and I was blown away by the crowd for March of the Bears. It seems everyone was arriving about the same time as us. For those of you not standing close to the front, Judge Starr personally hugged each player. What a guy. The tailgating crowd quickly picked up and it seemed a great time was had by all.
I made my way into the stadium a bit earlier than usual this week. I guess I couldn’t wait to see the bling. Oh my, did it impress. I’ll admit now, in retrospect, I was a bit apprehensive. The pictures of the gold helmet looked amazing, but there’s no way to know how it’d look from the stands. They looked amazing in person. As I mentioned last time, I sit in the North Endzone, so I get to watch both sides fill in. The bulk of the crowd was in place by kick-off, but it took a while for everyone to get seated. Official attendance was a little over 45k, and it certainly looked it. I’d like to see our crowds do a better job of staying, at the very least, through the 3rd quarter.
I haven’t re-watched any of the game yet, so some of my comments may reference the wrong person, or the wrong drive. So bear with me.
There are only so many ways to say, "this is the fastest, most amazing offense in the nation." Goodley continues to impress with his abilities. I believe it was Goodley that had a catch down the sideline on a 3rd and 10 (that would’ve been our first 3 and out of the season), that was simply amazing. He had several other great receptions. Petty seemed to underthrow a bit against ULM, but I didn’t really see that this week. His ability to throw the long ball so precisely is something that we’ve come to expect from someone under CAB’s tutelage. Reese’s, I’m bobbling the football and I’m going to drop it just kidding I’m going to catch it and fall into the endzone, looked incredible from my vantage point. I’ve often thought about my own abilities to do things while running at full speed. Reese’s perception to track and go get a ball astounds me. I have trouble getting a cup of water in my mouth while jogging.
To think I haven’t even mentioned any of our Backs yet. Lache was Lache. Dude is a beast. I was really glad to see Glasco getting some hard carries. Our first (or second?) TD drive he continually got the ball and was pounded it in 2-3 yards at a time. That tells me the coaches feel he’s back to 100% and ready to take continual hits and stay in. Shock and Devin both looked great as well. They’re developing into great Backs.
And now, the defense. It scares me how much KJ Morton and Joe Williams get beat. This is a serious weakness in our D. It’s been the common theme from Buffalo, ULM, and now WVU. Not really sure how we shore that up, because it seems that’s not really any other good personnel there. Other than that, the defense looked solid, only looking at the 1st half of course. The 2nd half was frustrating, but better for 2nd string guys to learn those kinds of lessons now; as opposed to later down the road when they’re actually needed to produce. I didn’t see it, but I’m assuming Levi Norwood got reamed after that dropped punt return. Hopefully that was a one-time occurrence.
That’s all for me this week. Looking forward to see how the Bears do in Manhatten. Sic’em!
*I purchased one of those season-long, public parking passes. I pulled up to lot E, and was turned away by the attendants. Despite me pointing to several vacant spaces, I was told to turn around and go to that far back corner lot. Truth-be-told I went to turn around and instead just pulled into one of more than a dozen visible empty spaces. Seriously Baylor, if you want them to tailgate with their friends, don’t turn away early arrivers from empty spaces.