Monday, April 4, 2011
Big 12 spring game recap: Baylor
By David Ubben
What we learned:
- Junior quarterback Robert Griffin III completed 21-of-26 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was a short pass that Tevin Reese turned into a 45-yard score and the second was a 50-yard strike to Kendall Wright.
- Running back Jarred Salubi led all rushers with 40 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
- Terrance Williams led all receivers with nine catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
- Eight receivers caught at least four passes, and 17 players caught passes.
- An estimated crowd of 3,500 came to the game at Baylor's Highers Athletic Complex.
- The game was televised locally.
They said it:
- If it wasn't already clear, Saturday's spring game further illustrated it: Baylor is way, way deep at receiver. They've got a lot of guys who can make plays for Griffin, and a quarterback in RG3 who can utilize them well. Last season, the Bears had five players with at least 40 receptions. "All those guys could be a star somewhere else, but we're lucky to have them on our campus," Griffin said. "I'll spread the ball around like I did last year. When they get their chance to make plays, they'll make them, and that will make us that much better." I liked how Darius Jones looked during my visit to campus, and he's been making plays in scrimmages as well. He had just two catches last season, but had five on Saturday. I'd expect him to be a nice addition to Griffin's targets this year as a sophomore.
- Griffin: He's still pretty good.
- The talk of the spring has been the defense, and though it had a nice day in the previous scrimmage, it's tough to be too encouraged by letting three quarterbacks combine for 587 yards and four touchdowns on 56-of-72 passing. Baylor has an efficient offense that looks for easy completions, but that completion percentage is way, way too high for the defense. Baylor can keep winning 6-7 games if the defense keeps playing like that and the offense remains constant. But to make any real noise in the Big 12, defenses have to be able to stop the pass. The Bears' passing offense will be one of the toughest they see all next season, so that's something to consider. But if you're letting opponents complete 77 percent of their passes, that offense is going to be sitting on the sideline much more often than coach Art Briles would like to see.It's a work in progress, yes. There's still time to get better. To be fair, the defense did get five sacks and made six tackles for loss, keeping the offense off the board for six consecutive possessions at one point in the first half. But if the season started today, their bad days would outnumber the good. The good news is the season doesn't start today. Summer workouts and fall preseason camp will be huge for Phil Bennett's defense, which will be the biggest factor in determining whether Baylor builds off its seven-win campaign from last season.
- I don't see the running back rotation shifting much. If I was guessing, I'd expect Salubi and Terrance Ganaway to share the carries pretty evenly with a little dash of Glasco Martin for 3-4 touches a game.
"We're looking for a guy that's never been 'it' in the game of tag."
-- Briles earlier in the week, on trying to replace running back Jay Finley. No doubt a strong candidate for the quote of the spring, perhaps in all of college football.
More Big 12 spring game recaps: