What You Need To Know About The Baylor Defense
– Defensive coordinator Phil Snow knows what he’s doing. Any now he’s got the returning experience and the improved depth to improve a D that finished 111th in the nation and couldn’t stop a passing game.
It starts with a defensive front that was solid last year, and should be one of the team’s brights spots. Ira Lewis and James Lynch return to combine forces on the nose, and Texas A&M transfer James Lockhart adds even more to a line that got into the backfield on a regular basis.
– Even with a decent pass rush – to go along with a whole lot of tackles for loss – the secondary had a problem. The Bears get three starters back in the secondary, but they all have to be far, far better – and they will be.
Verkedric Vaughns is a good safety to work around, and the deep group of corners are about to make a big turn. Baylor threw four underclassmen on the outside against the Big 12 passing games, and it got ugly at times. This year, expect the production to come.
– The one big part missing from the D is leading tackler Taylor Young from the linebacking corps. There isn’t a ton of bulk, but there’s speed and athleticism. Like the secondary, a slew of underclassmen played big roles in the linebacking corps, and now the hope is for the payoff to come. Jordan Williams and Jalen Pitre can move on the outside, and Clay Johnston is a rising star who should lead the team in stops.
Biggest Key To The Baylor Defense
Stop a decent passing game. It’s the Big 12. Either you have a defense that’s able to come up with an occasional stop or two, or you have an offense that can keep up the pace. Baylor had neither.
Again, there’s experience returning after a rough run, but the interceptions have to be there after picking off a mere three passes and getting hit for 25 touchdown throws. Worst of all, the Bears allowed quarterbacks to hit 70% or more of their passes six times, getting bombed on for big play after big play.