Thursday, December 29, 2011
There's no D in Baylor or Washington
Washington RB Chris Polk (left) and Baylor QB Robert Griffin, III (right), the Heisman Trophy winner, both have records in their sights in Thursday's Valero Alamo Bowl. Neither team has a good defense.
Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III leads the No. 12 Baylor Bears against the Washington Huskies in Thursday’s Valero Alamo Bowl (ESPN, 9 ET). Let’s take a look at this matchup as Baylor is in consecutive bowl games for the first time since the 1991 and 1992 seasons. The Huskies are trying to win consecutive bowls for the first time since they won bowls following the 1987, ’89-91 seasons.
Expect lots of points to be scored since it’s a matchup of two of the worst defenses in the FBS.
Griffin enters the game with a pass efficiency rating of 192.3, which would shatter the FBS single-season record of 186.0, set by Colt Brennan in 2006.
The Huskies have lost four of their past six games, allowing 38.2 points and 452 yards per game in that stretch. That’s good news for Griffin and the Bears, who pile up big plays in chunks.
Griffin is 26-for-52 with 20 touchdowns and just one interception on throws at least 25 yards downfield. His 20 touchdown passes and eight games with more than one such touchdown pass are both best in the FBS.
Since the start of last season, he’s got 41 touchdown passes that have gained at least 25 yards -- 14 more than any other FBS quarterback -- and his 17 touchdown passes of at least 50 yards are five more than any other FBS quarterback over that span.
Baylor has eight touchdown drives this season of at least 80 yards that lasted one minute or less, most of any team in FBS. In fact, only Oregon had even half as many such drives all season.
Don’t discount Washington’s offense in this one. The Huskies are averaging 31.5 points per game this season -- 36th in the country -- and they are tied for 12th in the FBS in red-zone percentage.
Quarterback Keith Price has been outstanding in that area this season, throwing 22 touchdown passes with a 276.4 pass efficiency rating. Price has thrown at least one touchdown pass in the red zone in every game except one this season.
Stats to watch
• Chris Polk needs 205 yards to become Washington’s all-time leading rusher. Napoleon Kaufman holds the mark with 4,106 career yards.
• Griffin has rushed for 381 of his 644 yards on scrambles this season (59.2 percent), including 19 first downs. He’s also completed 70.5 percent of his pass attempts when opponents blitzed this season with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.