Baylor opened Big 12 Conference play Saturday against Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Red Raiders, coming off a near upset of TCU, were looking for a better result in their second top 5 match up in as many weeks. Instead, the Bears dealt the Raiders a decisive defeat with the final score of 63-35. The Bears are now 4-0 on the season and hold a 37-36-1 all-time record against Texas Tech.
What to take away from Baylor’s performance
- WR Corey Coleman is a touchdown scoring machine. Coleman had 7 catches for 110 yards and 3 TDs against Texas Tech, which brings his season TD total to 11 in just four games and ties his TD total from last season. In addition, his 570 yards receiving already have him over the halfway point to last year’s 1,119 receiving yards. The downfield threat that Coleman provides the Bears was something that Texas Tech planned for, was prepared for, and still couldn’t stop. The question for Big 12 defenses going forward is how to slow down Coleman’s production and still cover the Bears other top receivers, Jay Lee and K.D. Cannon.
- Baylor’s LB’s came up big for Baylor. At the point in the 4th Quarter when Texas Tech pulled its starters, they had 90 yards rushing on 18 plays and a fourth of those yards came on QB Patrick Mahomes 25-yard TD run to start of the third quarter. Throughout the game the Baylor defense shut down Tech’s run game and made the Red Raiders one dimensional and much of the credit for this goes to LBs Grant Campbell and Taylor Young. Young and Campbell finished 2nd and 3rd for the Bears on total tackles with 9 and 8 tackles respectively. In addition, Young led the team in tackles for loss with 2. Travon Blanchard playing the hybrid nickel-back position, which is part linebacker part safety, finished 5th in total tackles with 4, including 1 tackle for loss, as well as 2 pass breakups, a forced fumble, and an interception. If, the Baylor linebackers, aided by great defensive line play, can continue to stop the run effectively, Baylor will be hard to beat this season.
- RB Shock Linwood and the Baylor running attack had the Texas Tech defense on their heels. The first Baylor drive consisted of three plays, a 1-yard pass, a 5-yard pass, and a 79-yard run by Linwood. On the play, the offensive line opened a huge hole for Linwood, who would go untouched down the field for the touchdown. The play represented a career long for Linwood, and was the start of an impressive performance by the junior running back, who also set a career high for rushing in a game with 221 yards and 2 TDs. If Baylor can maintain this level of production for the running game, it will put even more pressure on opposing defenses that already have a trio of Baylor receivers to worry about.
Next up for the Baylor Bears is a road trip to Lawrence, Kansas to face off against the Kansas Jayhawks in what might be the football equivalent of kicking puppies, while also stealing candy from a nearby baby. Kansas is 0-4 on the season and is coming into the game off a 38-13 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones.