While week 1's 66 point devastation of Wofford was all but a tune-up and hardly a glimmer of measure of how good this Bears team is, #23rd ranked Baylor continues the post RGIII era with yet another scheduled cupcake home to the Buffalo Bulls for week 2. On paper this will be more than just a true test for the Buffalo defense which gets the opportunity after a respectable effort against the Buckeyes to go head to head against one of the quickest and most efficient offenses in the country.
Buffalo's offense didn't look too shabby last week though slowing down the game could give the Bulls more success than simply matching wits against high octane Baylor. That means while mixing it up in the running and passing games more touches could be in store for Branden Oliver, who gained just 73 yards on 26 carries (2.8) last week. Joe Licata (19/32 185 2 TD 1 INT) kept Buffalo around midway through the 3rd quarter and found top target Alex Neutz (9-98 1 TD) for a 10 yard scoring pass that got the Bulls as close as 10. However it made sense if the Buckeyes were a bit lackluster on defense considering Bradley Roby was suspended for the opener after a bar skirmish in Bloomington, Ind. in July. The Buckeyes had 10 new starters on defense and were also without starting tailback and 2012 leading scorer Carlos Hyde (listed as a person of interest in an alleged assault against a female) and his backup, Rod Smith (who sat out due to an unspecified violation of team rules). Head coach Jeff Quinn cannot be accused of starting off the non-conference schedule with softies. Buffalo may need to expand in their passing game if Licata can spread the wealth to WR's Mason Shreck and Devin Campbell. However the defense will have their hands full. LB Khali Mack could be asked to do make more plays like returning a 45 yard INT to the house last week along with 9 tackles and 3 sacks against Ohio St.
Bryce Petty finally got his turn as Baylor’s starting quarterback after three seasons waiting behind Heisman Trophy winner Griffin and record-setting Nick Florence. Petty, a fourth-year junior with 14 career passes before the opener, completed 19 of 24 passes for 312 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions against Wofford. Junior tailback Lache Seastrunk rushed for 111 yards and scored two touchdowns on just 11 carries (10.1) as the Bears finished with 692 total yards, including 281 on the ground last week. While it's no secret that Art Briles loves to take chances especially on 4th down not punting nearly as much as the opposition, this Bears team is just loaded with weapons. Anthony Webb and Shock Linwood are reliable backs in the running game that combined for 130 yards on the ground, along with a receiving core that features Tevin Reese, Antwan Goodley and Corey Coleman who each caught TD passes in Baylor's rout.
Their top 10 defense is no fluke either and should not be sighted short. Under 3rd year defensive coordinator Phil Bennett patience and perseverance paid off led by Jamal Palmer who recovered a couple of fumbles and Chris Mcallister who returned an INT 25 yards to paydirt. Shawn Oakman, Andrew Billings and Taion Sells will push the starters to perform even better, and all Wofford could muster was a Kasey Redfern 22 yard field goal midway through the 3rd quarter that prevented a shutout. Baylor limited 3 QB's to just 8 completions and 60 yards last week while not allowing a TD and limiting the Terriers to less than 3 yards per carry.
While Buffalo is no Wofford they should be able to put up some points in this game simply because well, Baylor takes advantage of quick successful drives and is dominant when it comes to speed and scoring. While the line seems a bit inflated the Bears should have no trouble exposing an undersized front seven and vulnerable secondary while holding a distinct advantage on defense as well. Look for Baylor to get off to a fast start early then cruise with the help of a defense that will preserve a scoring margin going away in the second half. Best of luck however you play!
YTD 1-0 1.000