If you missed the first half of this one, kick yourself, because you missed some fireworks. SMU gave us two more interesting quarters of football than we thought we’d get. In the end it was the blowout everyone expected, but final score doesn’t do the Mustangs justice.
Things started off as expected when Baylor sliced through the SMU defense to put six on the board in just four quick plays, but then the unexpected. SMU answered back in one play. A 46-yard bomb from QB Matt Davis to Courtland Sutton. Two things were made clear in a hurry: the Mustangs weren’t afraid of the Bears, and this isn’t the SMU team of last year.
Six of the first seven drives of the game resulted in touchdowns as the two traded blows. After forcing SMU to punt, it looked like Baylor was going to take control as expected, but then someone pulled the plug on the offense. The Bears totaled just one yard of offense in the second quarter, and couldn’t put SMU away.
The Mustangs missed an opportunity to tie the game at the end of the first half, but it wouldn’t matter. In the third quarter talent and depth took over, and Baylor put the game away in a hurry.
|3rd Down Eff||4-10||7-15|
|4th Down Eff||2-3||1-2|
|Pass Comp %||17-32||16-24|
|Yds Per Pass||12.8||6.1|
|Yds Per Rush||8.1||3.8|
KEY POINT IN THE GAME
Baylor’s high-flying offense went MIA for a quarter and a half of football, and the longer it continued, the better SMU felt about their chances. A 22-yard touchdown pass halfway through the third from Seth Russell to Jay Lee was the spark the Bears needed, and the Bears never looked back.
— Chris Ross (@ChrisRossSports) September 5, 2015
Positives For Baylor
The Offense – Despite a second quarter to forget the Baylor offense picked up where they left off last year. They amassed 722 yards in just three quarters. Let that sink in.
Seth Russell – One of Baylor’s few question marks this year was QB. Bryce Petty is no longer there. All offseason we’ve heard that Russell is legit, and he lived up to the hype.
Watch how the other Baylor WRs just jog in place on KD Cannon TD. Basically 1 man route; Briles tells them … https://t.co/03pz4KZM0r
— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 4, 2015
Negatives For Baylor
Defense – SMU came out in the first half and did whatever they wanted to do. After the opening touchdown bomb, the Mustangs ran it down the Bears’ throat. Eventually talent and depth won out for Baylor, but not before SMU picked up 203 yards on the ground and 166 through the air.
Tackling – One question has been answered (QB), but another arose. Tackling, or the lack thereof, was single-handedly the biggest reason for the Bears’ poor defensive effort in the first half. If they want to run the gauntlet unscathed, that has to get corrected in a hurry.
What The Win Means
Given how the first half went, it means avoiding near disaster. The good news is the Bears won handily in the end, and come Monday, no one is going to remember the Bears’ first half defensive woes. The second half was also the best half of football we’ve seen from a Big 12 team so far this weekend. It will be interesting to see if any pundits flip Baylor above TCU to win the conference.
Bears Player Of The Game
Seth Russell – Russell looked every bit of a veteran QB out there. He threw for 376 yards on 15 completions with 5 touchdowns. That’s over 25 yards a catch, and 33% of them were for six.
Emptying The Notebook
Coach Kliff Kingsbury is way too into the Baylor game.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY TAILOR IS ON VACATION?!? pic.twitter.com/uRjRLhSdNe
— Frogs O' War (@FrogsOWar) September 5, 2015
Mack Brown was fantastic as a commentary guy. Although he’s a little heavy on the clichés and he kept explaining how everyone wants to score on drives… Ya, we get how football works.
Baylor has score 28 points OR MORE in the 1st quarter in six of the last 27 games. That’s incredible.