Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Big opportunity awaits Baylor receivers
By David Ubben
Baylor's Robert Griffin III is among the league's top passers in almost every statistical category, but he's not doing it by throwing passes to himself. Top target Kendall Wright entered the season as one of the Big 12's best receivers, but throughout a dreamy 2010 season, the Bears have discovered a handful of others.
Five Baylor receivers are among the top 27 in the league in receptions, more than any other team. All five have at least 27 catches.
Kendall Wright has caught at least five passes in seven of Baylor's nine games this season.
"They’ve been very effective," said Bears coach Art Briles. "They’ve been a really good threat for us. They get the ball in their hand and they make plays. That’s the most important thing, they’ve been very productive."
Wright got off to a slow start with just five catches for 9 yards and no touchdowns in two of Baylor's first three games combined. Since, he's caught 41 passes for 585 yards and five touchdowns in five games.
"I got back working on the basics and not trying to do too much and just playing football," Wright said.
Among the four other than Wright, 6-foot-3, 220-pound Josh Gordon is the yardage leader, with 587 yards and seven touchdowns, good for seventh in the Big 12.
"It’s really hard to stop him because he’s so big and his play has changed a lot. He gives us a big deep threat," Wright said.
Freshman Tevin Reese (33 rec., 300 yards), sophomore Terrance Williams (28 rec., 330 yards, 4 TD) and sophomore Lanear Sampson (27 rec., 266 yards) have all been major contributors.
"If teams try to double me or key in on me, we do have other people, other receivers on our team that can make plays," Wright said. "If they double them, then I’m still here."
Any number of them could be headed for a big game on Saturday against No. 17 Oklahoma State, which has given up more yards through the air than all but seven teams in college football. Earlier this season against Nebraska, the Cowboys gave up 323 yards and five touchdowns to Taylor Martinez, who hasn't thrown for more than 150 yards or more than one touchdown in any other game this season.
"We have a huge opportunity as long as we come out and play with the kind of intensity we’ve been playing with and fight with the belief we have in each other," Wright said. "It’ll pay off like it’s been doing."