Tuesday, September 6, 2011
An inside look at Baylor's win over TCU
By David Ubben
Baylor invited cameras from CBS College Sports into its fall camp, and those cameras followed the Bears through its Week 1 game, which also happened to be the weekend's most thrilling game, won 50-48 by the Bears in dramatic fashion.
If you didn't get to see the show, here's a bit of what you missed, plus some observations from yours truly, who was in Waco on Friday night:
- First off, here's the entirety of our coverage from the game, if you missed any of it.
- The Bears' confidence was pretty obvious as cameras caught some candid moments before the game. Robert Griffin III and coach Art Briles said this was a more confident team than a season ago, a team more sure of its ability. It's hard to tangibly represent that, but body language is a good indicator. Baylor was a team that looked like it knew it was going to win. That was true in the practices leading up to game week as well as all the activities leading up to kickoff. "The first game of the season is always exciting, because from week to week, you have other games that you're focused on," linebacker Elliot Coffey said. "So, the first game of the season, you've had eight months, nine months where really, your single focus has been that game, and we're three days away from it, and it's kind of like, you know what? It's real now. It's here."
- Unbelievable coincidence revealed by defensive coordinator Phil Bennett: Both he and Briles were born on December 3, 1955.
- Part of Briles' pregame speech to the team: "Come out of the gates playing, alright? Deliver the first blow. Mean. Aggressive. Tough. But with passion and with intelligence. Play hard. Play with passion. This is our family."
- Kaz Kazadi, the Baylor strength coach, is one of the most intense coaches you'll see in the game. I've been to a handful of practices at Baylor and that's obvious. It didn't change on the sidelines during the game.
- Before the final, game-winning drive, cameras got a glimpse of Griffin offering a few words to his offensive line. "Don't ever relax. Don't ever relax, alright?" he said, slapping high fives with them as he walked by.
- The Baylor sideline after Aaron Jones' game-winning kick? You can imagine what it was like. For as much talk lately of TV markets and revenue sharing, that's what this game is about. Working hard and accomplishing something meaningful to a whole lot of people with a group of guys you've been through everything with. Those eight months that Coffey was talking about? All the buildup and tension from the anticipation of waiting finally was released on those sidelines after the kick and once Mike Hicks' interception sealed the game. "One of the biggest wins in years!" exclaimed Baylor radio broadcaster John Morris.
- In the locker room after the game, cameras got a pretty hysterical shot of Briles taking his shirt off and being picked up by a few of his players while he flexed his biceps. I didn't make that up. And you thought Briles' personality was compelling with the media...
- Coffey after the celebration: "I've never seen Coach Briles like that before. I've never seen Coach Briles' arms before," he said of Briles, clearly a longsleeve turtleneck enthusiast. "He went all out, shirt off, so I was kind of blown away. I didn't really know how to perceive it, but I figured we did something right to see Coach Briles like that."
- Said Griffin of the comeback: "Like coach said. They stole our bike, and we wanted it back. We got the bike back."