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Baylor Baseball

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

October 31, 2022
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Baylor Football played spoiler on Texas Tech's big night, and the Big 12 played spoiler by landing a new TV deal ahead of schedule (and the Pac 12). Scott Drew earned more honors while 

Here's a look at The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from the past week in Baylor Athletics. 


The Good

Statement Win — Mutual respect and third-quarter aside, that was as thorough a tail-kicking as anyone could have realistically hoped for heading into Saturday. The Bears' mentality, maturity, and execution led to a brand of successful, complementary football that's mostly evaded them this season. The type of ball that would serve them well in Norman and throughout November. We saw the RVO, stops, turnovers on D, and hidden yardage in special teams. The Bears out-coached, out-planned, and outperformed the home team in a satisfying, significant victory. 

Reese Ran Through Lubbock — The true freshman quickly became a reliable part of the reemerging RVO. Based on Aranda's own words, Reese has the right mentality to avoid success impeding his progress or inflating his ego. He did have a fumble, but his 36 carries for 148 yards and 3 TD on a night, was a memorable performance and proved massive in the Bears' successful efforts controlling the ball and hushing the home crowd on the way to a win.

Take Five Defense — Five interceptions from five players off three different quarterbacks is fantastic. The Bears entered the night with four interceptions combined in their seven other games. The impact was immense and particularly helpful in the lopsided time of possession. Add in six sacks, eight tackles for loss, a pick-six, and multiple deflections, and Ron Roberts' defense was clearly at its best and most disruptive under the lights. 

Big 12 TV Deal — According to the Sports Business-Journal on Sunday, the conference landed its new TV deal with Fox and ESPN after plenty of recent public teasing from Commissioner Brett Yormark. There are still some details to digest and sort through, but given the death notice two summers ago and where the conference was once predicted, staying in the same ballpark, minus OU and Texas, appears to be a significant win. In addition, the league is proving to be one of the more entertaining storylines in the sport right now. The solution to more significant revenue is simply putting some teams into the Playoff and winning some titles. Easier said than done. 

Elsewhere: 

HOF Coach — Scott Drew earned selection into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame's 2023 class, which will be inducted next April in Waco. A tremendous honor for the non-native Texan and undoubtedly one of many more honors to come over time. 

Volleyball — A 2-0 week, defeating OU 3-1 in Norman and West Virginia 3-0 in Waco.

Men's Golf — Kicking off the annual Bear Brawl at Ridgewood Country Club on Monday. The Bears will have two squads amongst the nine-team field. 

Women's Tennis — Finished the Baylor Invite with a 3-1 singles record, thanks to wins from Alina Shcherbinina, Liubov Kostenko, & Daniella Dimitrov, beating opponents from TCU, Washington State, and Houston, respectively. Doubles went 1-1, with the pairing of Kostenko and Shcherbinina earning a victory over Houston's duo. The fall season ends next week in Stillwater with the Big 12 Individual Championships. 

Baseball — The upcoming Big 12 schedule was announced, and Mitch Thompson's first conference series will see the Bears host Kansas State at Baylor Ballpark, March 17-19. 


The Bad 

RB Depth — With Qualan Jones momentarily limited, the entire weight of the rushing game was practically on Richard Reese's shoulders. No Taye, No Sqwirl, not even Monaray Baldwin for a couple of carries. Jones appears to be okay, and Shapen can run a little bit here and there, but depth quickly became a concern on Saturday night, which made their successful navigation of the problem all the more impressive. 

Running Red Lights — Christian Morgan was a little too aggressive, earning himself a couple of 15-yard penalties in a short time frame. They want to walk a delicate balance here because Morgan's aggressiveness and the edge are what they've sorely been lacking at times. Still, it can easily slip into a costly error or even dirty play. I love the swagger he brings, but those penalties were unnecessary and costly. Still, you want him playing green and not slowing up or going soft, afraid of drawing a flag.  

Cross Country — The women finished 6th overall, the men 7th overall at the Big 12 Championships in Lubbock. Ryan Day had the top spot on the men's side, 22nd overall, and Ellie Hodge held the top spot for the women, 24th overall. They'll compete next at the NCAA South Central Regional in a couple of weeks. 

Women's Golf — Finished tied for 8th place in the 20-team Battle at the Beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Sera Hasegawa led the squad with a 1-under 70. 

© Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal
Reese has become not only the workhorse back, but the only fully healthy back to get carries this year

The Ugly 

Drake Dabney injury — It was terrible seeing the junior tight end carted off with a leg injury on Saturday night. By the time you read this, we may know the official extent and damage. Still, based on Aranda's postgame comments, it certainly sounded like an ugly outcome on an otherwise celebratory night. On the bright side, Kelsey Johnson stepped up huge and gave the offense another dynamic when Jeff Grimes called upon him. 

Tech QB Rotation — Joey McGuire is a first-year college head coach, and Zach Kittley a first-year OC in the Big 12, so they're both learning through experience like everyone else. After Saturday, one issue apparent from the outside is their QB room needs some clearer management and direction. The Bears ultimately shut the door on every QB option thrown their way. 

TV vs. OU — As announced this weekend, the Bears will face OU at 2 pm on ESPN+ next Saturday. Yes, you read that correctly; Baylor vs. Oklahoma will be on ESPN+, which doesn't seem right. 

Soccer — The Bears closed the regular season (and season) with a 1-0 loss to Oklahoma State, missing the cut for the Big 12 Tournament. Year one, under the guidance of new head coach Michelle Lenard saw the Bears finish 4-11-2 overall and 2-7 overall in conference play. 

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

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