Baylor was mediocre in the 38-10 win over Rice. What are the 5 Things That Matter about the Bear win?
Baylor 38, Rice 10: 5 Things That Matter
It took FOREVER
Baylor won in a blowout. It put up a ton of yards and ended up winning easily, but it take until late in the third quarter to finally be able to breathe easily. For the second straight week, the Bears came up with a lousy first quarter and couldn’t put points on the board. No one’s expecting the 70-point breathtaking outbursts anymore, but SMU and Rice shouldn’t be providing a challenge.
Will kicking be an issue for the Bears?
Probably not. Chris Callahan started out well hitting all four of his attempts after connecting on just 8-of-13 field goals last season, but this was a bit concerning – made worse by a shoving fit he had with a teammate on the sideline after a whiff. He missed from 37 and 47 yards out, and while it’s not a huge deal in a game like this, he’s going to be needed more this year with the offense nowhere nearly as explosive as it was under the Art Briles era.
Take it with a grain of salt because …
It was Northwestern State, SMU, and now Rice, but Baylor’s pass defense is among the statistical best in the country. Rice doesn’t have the ability to come back or push when it got down, but the Bears had a little bit to do with that, holding the Owls to just 31 passing yards on 9-of-27 passes. The decent plays dried up in the second half, and again, while the competition hasn’t been any good, at least the Bears have made sure the bad teams couldn’t do anything.
KD Cannon is heating up
Everyone knew he’d be the next great Baylor receiver with Corey Coleman gone, and it’s happening coming off a ten-catch, 93-yard, one score day against SMU. However, he wasn’t all that explosive with too many midrange plays, but against Rice it all came together against the Owls averaging close to 24 yards per pop with nine catches for 213 yards and two scores.
What Does This All REALLY Mean?
There’s no more hiding behind a miserable non-conference schedule – now we get to see what Baylor really is with Oklahoma State up next. Fortunately, if the Bears can get by the Cowboys, they get Iowa State and Kansas before having to go to Texas in late October. They’ll be 6-0 if they beat OSU, even if they’re not looking that great so far.
Rice has been awful with no passing game and little offense in three straight blowout losses, but North Texas should be a cure for that next week. At least it had better be. QB Tyler Stehling had some good moments to start the year, but he couldn’t hit anything after in the second half.