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Baylor Football

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

September 19, 2022

Back at home following a grueling week, the Bears needed the first half and some change to shake off the Texas State. But after some self-analysis and a deep breath, they ran away in style and hopefully answered some questions. 

And just in time. The non-conference slate is over, and the fun of conference play begins this week in Ames, IA. 

Here’s a look at The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly from the Bears’ 42-7 win over the Bobcats. 

The Good

Bounced Back — It wasn’t always pretty, especially early on, but the Bears got back in the win column and recovered well from the weird travel schedule and loss last week. They undoubtedly showed they could bounce back from an emotional and physical contest. And that’s good because tons of similar hurdles await in Big 12 play. Blake Shapen spread the ball around, with injuries taking out a trio of the offense’s usual playmakers this season. The defense bent but never really broke, and they got a win. So it was a good Saturday in that regard. 

The Richard Reese Show — The true freshman shined on Saturday with three TD runs. That included a 28-yard burst to open the scoring on the opening drive, plus 52-yard and 4-yard TD runs in the early 4th quarter, to crush any remaining small hopes of a miracle for the road team. The coaches did a great job building him up with carries, knowing he’ll eventually burst through, and he did just that on a couple of occasions this weekend. He’s dynamic and brings energy to the run game, similar to his veteran backfield-mate Sqwirl. The two will still need some help from Qualan Jones and Taye McWilliams, but Bellville’s own will play a significant role in plans moving forward. 

Shapen’s Run — Things weren’t perfect in the passing game on Saturday, but Shapen’s game is much more dangerous overall when his feet are also working. His 25-yard TD run on 4th and 1 just before halftime was a game-breaker. I still think they win if it’s only 14-7 at halftime, but I know almost any anxiety melted away when he broke loose and found the end-zone to answer the Bobcats’ only score on the day.  

Volleyball Hot Streak — After losing to Pepperdine on September 1st, coach McGuyre’s team has dropped just one set in nine straight wins. That includes the Bears’ current streak of winning 25 straight sets and their eight straight 3-0 sweeps.

The Bad

Injury Bug — The Bears were down DL Cole Maxwell, TE Ben Sims, WR Monaray Baldwin, and RB Taye McWilliams on Saturday until further notice. That’s not insignificant, especially for this offense, but it helped hasten and force Shapen’s spreading around the ball. Sims, Baldwin, and McWilliams could return soon as this weekend from head injuries, although nothing is guaranteed. Meanwhile, according to Aranda, Maxwell is likely to miss more time, which is a bummer because he’s a valuable piece of the defensive line machine, and this is his senior year. 

Too Many Turnovers — Fortunately, Baylor’s cough-ups didn’t jeopardize the win, but three turnovers will get you beat in Ames this week and in most other Big 12 contests. Last Saturday on the road, there were kicking and penalty woes, this week’s turnovers at home were one of the big bugaboos. Sqwirl also narrowly avoided another costly fumble on a kickoff return. 

The State of Kansas — The Jayhawks are no longer a layup on the schedule for everyone not named Texas. Thankfully, Lance Leipold’s team travels to McLane this season. It’s an even year, meaning the Bears get KU and KSU at home. That seems like good timing, even though the Wildcats suffered an awful loss at home to Tulane and don’t appear as threatening. On the other hand, the Jayhawks continue to play with growing confidence. Jalon Daniels is a budding star, and who knows where they end up over the next few weeks? There are not any gimmes in the Big 12 this year. 

Soccer Woes — Baylor Soccer lost again on Sunday night to bring their record to 2-4-2 as conference play begins on Friday. The 1-0 loss to No. 19 SMU was hard fought but this team just can’t seem to score.

The Ugly

First Half — The first half performance was what you worried about following the BYU loss and travel. Slow, sloppy, and lethargic, applied at different points, but ultimately, the half ended with a beautiful momentum shift as Shapen ran for a 35-yard score on 4th and 1 with under two minutes before the break. The play didn’t erase the bad taste after the usual first two quarters of the game, but it did lessen some of the building angst and stress. 

BYU — So much for that big win over Baylor, and talk about the Playoff, for now. The Cougars earned a measure of revenge but emptied the tanks against the Bears. Oregon flew laps around the Cougars and took a lot of shine off that win and their overall hopes. In turn, that also takes some “shine” off of Baylor’s only loss. 

No Picks — We know Al Walcott would have a couple of interceptions if not for his cast, but this team has laid a big goose egg in the interceptions department so far, which is a little concerning. Fumbles are great, but there’s only been two of those even. This group is still searching for the right formula for takeaways and needs to discover some new ingredients quickly. 

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The Good, The Bad & The Ugly from Baylor's Week of Sports

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