Baylor Football

Baylor's defense continues to show growth as unit in loss to Texas Tech

November 13, 2017
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Some losses look worse than they are. Baylor’s 38-24 loss to Texas Tech is one of those. It’s the second-straight win for the Red Raiders over Baylor after the Bears had a five-year streak.

But even those five wins of the Art Briles era were major shootouts, letting Tech’s offense score over 30 points without fail. Baylor had the nation’s most exciting offense to makeup (and often was a catalyst) for that defensive shortcoming, of course. But Saturday’s loss since the first time the Cowboys hosted in 2009 that Baylor allowed under 30 points from the offense.

Two of Tech’s touchdowns were special teams and defense-driven- the entirety of the Red Raiders’ margin of victory. An opening kickoff touchdown from TD magnet Keke Coutee and a strip fumble was all that stood between tying the game up 24-24. That takes a major liberty to say the rest of the game would have played out the same way, but all the same, Baylor and Tech’s offense churned out identical tallies.

Holding an offense that’s averaged 39 points per game to just 24 points shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Breaking the game down by the drive, it’s one of Baylor’s more impressive outings, especially in conference play.

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As the chart shows, defensive coordinator Phil Snow’s side of the field was at a season-best allowing Kansas to score three times in 12 drives. Most importantly, those scores were solely field goals.

Nothing can argue with Baylor’s only win as the Bears’ best performance across the board. But the greater point is this loss isn’t as detrimental as it first looks compared to similar losses like Duke and Texas. It was Baylor’s three fumbles lost, an interception, two turnovers on down, and an onside kick mishap that sealed Tech’s victory, setting up the Red Raiders’ season-low nine drives.

Still, they scored on just 44 percent of those quick turnaround series despite being granted good field position. Conversely, Baylor scored on 33 percent of its drives which in turn saw Charlie Brewer toss for over 400 yards on 63 attempts.

It’s difficult to point to just one defender making the difference. But linebacker Jordan Williams stands out. Coming off his career-best performance against Kansas with six tackles and a tackle for loss, he registered his second career sack and first forced a fumble at the goal line. 

Both had the opportunity to be seismic shifts until the offense took over, especially the fumble that ended in a Baylor touchback only to fumble the ball right back inside its own territory.

Freshman defensive tackle James Lynch continues to make the most of his snaps. He grabbed his third sack of the season, taking the lead for the freshman-high in the conference.

Taylor Young climbed into Baylor’s top ten all-time tackles list, adding nine to his resumé while also batting a pass. That play was preceded by two negative runs stuffed by Baylor’s line, leading to just a field goal keeping the game within reach.

In all, Baylor had eight tackles for loss, a 14 percent rate, one of Baylor’s best rates of the season and was three more than Tech allows on average in the conference. That was instrumental allowing Tech to convert just 4-of-10 third-down attempts. It was the Bears offense’s conversion issues that were the most problematic.

A loss is a loss and this is among the most frustrating if only because half of the game went so well. Not to mention, Tech now owns the all-time series lead 38-37-1.

Discussion from...

Baylor's defense continues to show growth as unit in loss to Texas Tech

geewago
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Geez. Makes it sound like all is well. Nearly.
hodedofome
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When you don't have wins all you can do to make yourself feel better is see improvement in parts of the game.
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