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Photo by Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor Baseball

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

November 7, 2022

Baylor Football is going bowling after conquering another challenge on the road, and there's plenty to unpack from their trip as the stakes grow higher. Meanwhile, more sports enter winter hibernation while hoops season prepares for launch. 

Here's a look at The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly from last week in Baylor Athletics. 

The Good

Big Win — For a multitude of reasons, Saturday's victory over Oklahoma was an important one. That's back-to-back wins over mighty OU and the second win ever at their place, both firsts in Aranda's tenure. Also, with the W, Baylor is bowl eligible, remains firmly in the Big 12 title picture, and controls its destiny, but so do TCU and Texas. The K-State visit this weekend will now be an elimination game of sorts, with both teams at 4-2 in conference play. The Wildcats have already lost to the Horns and Horned Frogs, while both remain ahead on the Bears' schedule. But of course, neither one will matter as much if Baylor doesn't handle their business back home this Saturday. 

Going Bowling — As mentioned above, winning number six means a bowl game for the Bears. An accomplishment that's always important and selfishly gives us some more time and at least one extra round with this group. For the program, the benefits are numerous as well. So, given the uncertainty of the remaining three outcomes, to have win number six secured is an excellent relief. 

Sqwirl Williams — After all the ups and downs, no one was more deserving of a breakout-type game than Craig' Sqwirl' Williams, who finished with 192 yards and two touchdowns, plus the dagger dash to ensure victory. With Richard Reese slowed down by sickness and fresh off a heavy workload, the Bears needed someone else to tote the rock, and Williams did that with authority and a silky smooth signature style that proved too much for Oklahoma to handle. His heads-up decision to go down rather than score to close the game was a fitting exclamation point. He's so talented, and his value is immense, and on the field, that was never more evident than Saturday. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

Cameron and Presley — A quiet day for the receiving crew overall, but a terrific showing from Cameron and Presley, in particular, with crucial grabs on third and fourth downs. The duo accounted for 9 of Baylor's 15 completions and 106 of their 132 receiving yards. They also were imperative in moving the chains, Presley earning a critical third-down conversion to help salt the game away. Dallas Baker's group still has a long way to go, but they're growing, and their talent is starting to show more.

John Mayers — A perfect 5/5 on extra points, as expected, but his lone field goal from 49 yards out proved a difference-maker in the final score. That's far from a layup in most previous Baylor seasons. 

Take 8 — The Bears trio of Christian Morgan, Dillon Doyle, and Devin Lemear grabbed three first-half interceptions from Dillon Gabriel, giving the defense eight picks in the last two contests. This stat has been monumental in going 2-0 on the road the previous two weeks. 

Men's and Women's Hoops — Let the games begin! The #5 Men open play today at 11 am against Mississippi Valley State, while the women cap off the Ferrell Center opening night at 7 pm against Lamar. Aijha Blackwell was named to the Naismith Player of the Year watch list, and the women cruised by Southwest Baptist in their exhibition tuneup, 97-40. 

Volleyball — The No. 11 Bears defeated Texas Tech 3-1 in Lubbock and Kansas 3-0 back home to close the week. 

Baylor Baseball — Mitch Thompson and company released their full season schedule, featuring 36 home games. The Bears open play with a weekend home series against Central Michigan, beginning Friday, February 17. 

Men's Golf — The group finished the fall semester with a team win at the 2nd annual Bear Brawl, while senior Luke Dossey earned his first career singles win, tying with former Bear Brandon Hoff for top honors. Golf returns for the spring slate in February. 

Men's Tennis — The team had players competing in two different events to close out the fall season. Finn Bass and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi lost in the doubles semifinals to Ohio State at ITA Fall Nationals Championships in San Diego. Meanwhile, in the Ralston/Neufeld Coaches Challenge at SMU, sophomore Justin Braverman finished with an 8-0 overall record. 

Women's Tennis — The Bears won four doubles and three singles matchups over the weekend at the Big 12 Individual Championships in Stillwater. Like the men's team, they now hibernate until the spring season. 

Softball — The Big 12 schedule was released and will see the Bears open conference play on the road against Oklahoma State on March 24. Kansas will mark the home series opener beginning March 31. They'll also host Oklahoma and Texas this spring. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

The Bad 

Equestrian — The No. 8 Bears lost to No. 1 SMU in Dallas, 13-6. 

Utley Ejection — Upon further review, the punches thrown that got DL Brayden Utley ejected were made on the ball. But it was still a puzzling and confusing situation, especially at the time, without the benefit of reliable camera work or explanations from the broadcast side. 

Cashing In — The defense nabbed three interceptions in the first half, but the offense managed only 10 points off those turnovers despite short fields. It was just enough to muster up a three-point victory but capitalize a bit more, and this game is never in as much question. 

The Ugly

ESPN+ —There's not much, if any, ugly to highlight this week, which is always lovely. The ugliest thing I can recall from the weekend was the broadcast. For one, it's still crazy to me that Baylor-Oklahoma ended up on streaming. But they did, and as a result, the audience watched a less-than-stellar production. Most notably, at times, I could practically smell the beer breath through my TV as the voices of invisible Sooners fans were picked up with astonishing clarity on the crowd mics, as though it was a special alternate fancast. It's excellent news the conference has re-upped with ESPN, and college students get the learning experience, but some of these streaming broadcasts leave a lot to be desired, especially when you're paying a subscription fee to watch them. This streaming space would be an excellent place to focus on improvement in future years. 

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

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