Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Baylor defense building on fast start
By ESPN.com staff
College football only has three teams left who have yet to let their opponent reach the end zone. The defending national champions, Alabama, are one of them.
Another is Arizona.
The other? Baylor.
The Bears gave up over 27 points a game last season. Through convincing wins against Sam Houston State and Buffalo, that number has dropped to 4.5, the fewest in the Big 12 and third-fewest in college football. No Baylor team since 1960 has gotten this far into a season without giving up a touchdown.
"It’s about as good as you can do it," Baylor coach Art Briles said. "We understand it’s still early in the season and it’s not a finished product, but they’re giving us what we’re asking for at this point in the season, and that’s a great effort and great intensity."
Opponents have reached Baylor's red zone just three times in two games, leaving with two field goals. Buffalo got inside Baylor's 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter, but the Bears took over possession after forcing the Bulls into a turnover on downs.
"That’s how you do it," Briles said. "They’ve been very successful at that so far this year."
The Bears will need more of that on Saturday when they travel to TCU for their first road game of the season against the No. 4 Horned Frogs. TCU scored 62 against Tennessee Tech last week and averaged over 38 points a game in 2009, fifth-most nationally.
"We've done well the first two weeks, but we also understand there's 10 more sitting out there," Briles said. "It's going to be a great test for us, and our guys are excited about the challenge."
Part of that challenge will be four-year quarterback starter Andy Dalton, who threw for 2,756 yards and 23 touchdowns a year ago to help the Horned Frogs go 12-1.
"Fame is fleeting," Briles said. "What happened last week has no bearing on what happens this week. We've got to be better, we've got to fight hard and keep playing fast with a good, physical attitude."