Pick yourselves off the mat folks; Baylor is coming to town.
The timing of all of this is… impeccable? Insulting? Terrible?
Regardless, the Horned Frogs have to play a football game Saturday, and it just so happens to be against our most hated rival. I am sure they aren’t enjoying that one bit.
Anyway, honestly, it’s been really hard to think about the Bears, and I am sure many of y’all feel that way. But the players? They care. And they want to win.
Let’s get to a Bowl Game!
— Tre Tomlinson (@TreTomlinson) November 1, 2021
Well, here’s what they are up against.
Baylor’s offense is annoying as hell simply because it just makes so much damn sense. Gerry Bohanon is a limited quarterback, but he’s been better than a game manager for the Bears simply because they continually ask him to do the things he’s good at and try and avoid asking him to do the things he isn’t.
Can you imagine?
He didn’t throw an interception until well into October while completely nearly 65% of his passes for almost 1,800 yards. He has 12 touchdowns through the air and seven more on the ground, and has been sacked just five times all season. Efficient, effective, and better than good enough.
The Bears don’t have a ton of explosive skill players, but they have two damn good running backs in Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner. Ebner is a known quantity, revered for his play on special teams while also averaging over six yards per carry out of the backfield. Smith leads the teams in attempts and yards with 125 for 898 and has scored 11 times. At receiver, senior Tyquan Thornton is having a breakout season with 600 yards on 37 receptions with five scores, and the 6’3” speedster should cause the Frogs’ secondary fits. R.J. Sneed feels like he’s been around forever and is off to another strong campaign in 2021 with nearly 500 yards and two tuddies. No other player has 20 catches for the Bears, but those two playmakers have been more than enough through eight games.
Not enough people are talking about Jalen Pitre. The senior safety is having an outstanding season in a career full of them, and is a total difference maker on that side of the ball. He’s second on the team with 44 tackles, has two interceptions, two sacks, and two passes defensed. The Baylor secondary isn’t elite as a whole, but they have something special in Pitre for sure.
Linebacker Dillon Doyle is the heart of the defense, leading the program with 56 tackles and plays blown up at the line. One time LSU Tiger Siaki Ika has been as good as advertised, doing an excellent job shutting down gaps on the defensive line and leading the team with 3.5 sacks. Terrel Bernard is another quality veteran having a good season, and Dave Aranda has injected both life and talent into this defense and turned them into one of the nastiest in the conference.
The Bears allow less than 20 points per game and 340 per yards; this unit flies around like a bat out of hell and make even efficient offenses look discombobulated. I hate to say it, but they are fun to watch. They win the battles up front and play aggressively and with a chip on their shoulder… kind of like we have been used to seeing for so long in Fort Worth. There’s a reason for that, according to Aranda:
Dave Aranda has always followed Gary Patterson, even finding bootleg videos on his Hotmail account.
— Jack Allen (@JackAllenKXXV) November 1, 2021
That’s just cool as hell, man.
I don’t normally do special teams, but Baylor has a… uhh, special unit.
Ebner is a one man wrecking crew who is capable of breaking one at any moment and seems to save his best returns for when his team needs him most. Watch what he did against Iowa State and see his 24 yard average and one touchdown. Punt and kick teams are solid, too.
I mean, how are we to have any idea what happens Saturday afternoon?
Jerry Kill has made it clear that he has no plans to remake the wheel, and plans to coach “in honor of” GP. Patterson, to his credit, has been hanging around practice and helping with the defense, and I expect the guys will be ready to go Saturday.
But Baylor is good. Really good. And you have to imagine what’s left of the program is hanging on by a thread. Would I be shocked by if TCU rallied for an improbable win? Not one bit. Do I expect it? Can’t go that far.
I think this one is close until about midway through the third quarter when a turnover creates some space and the Bears start to pull away.
Baylor 37, TCU 24.