Baylor Bears 2012

2011 Baylor Statistics

(Big 12) The Bears play on an artificial field (Prestige System) at Floyd Casey Stadium (seats 50,000)

  • Art Briles is in his 5th year as head coach at Baylor.
  • 2011 Baylor won its first bowl game in 19 years, beating Washington 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl (yes, as that basketball score indicates, there was no defense on the field that day).  The significance of this fact is further exemplified by the fact that in 2010 when Baylor finished just 7-6, it was their first winning season since 1995.  A 2011 season that ended with a 10-3 record and Baylor’s first ever Heisman trophy winner in Robert Griffin III left fans overjoyed.
  • In 2011 Robert Griffin III led the #2 offense in the nation, but Baylor’s all-time leading passer is gone this year to the Washington Redskins as the 2nd overall pick of April’s NFL draft.  In 2009 Griffin tore his ACL in week 3 and his backup was Nick Florence, who performed well under the circumstances and had a 62% completion rate.  Florence is a senior this year and will be the starter, but if anyone is irreplaceable, it would be RG3.  It doesn’t help that last year’s top receiver (Kendall Wright) is also gone.

    QB Nick Florence

  • Baylor also has to replace its top running back. Terrance Ganaway may have only gone in the 6th round of the NFL Draft (which still means he made it to the NFL), but he leaves a gap of over 1500 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns for Baylor to fill.  In addition, the offensive line is not as experienced as it was last year.
  • To sum it up, the offense only returns six starters and they lose their top passer, top rusher and top receiver from their stealth offense that averaged 587 yards of total offense in 2011 and over 45 points per game.
  • Luckily the defense returns 8 starters, because they are going to need to use that experience to improve.  Based on the bowl game score, it’s clear that Baylor’s defense was a huge weakness last year, ranked 116th in the nation.
  • Phil Bennett became the defensive coordinator in 2011 and switched the unit to a 4-2-5.  That means there are 4 down linemen, 2 linebackers and 5 defensive backs.  The 5th and additional defensive back is the nickleback.  The players moved around to figure out who fit where in the new system and last year was certainly an adjustment year.  However, with one year of experience with the system and so many starters returning, this defense has nowhere to go but up.  And the fact that the majority of recruits this year were on the defensive side of the ball shows where the focus of this team is.
  • This team has had major problem areas in the past.  In 2008 they narrowed it down to the passing offense and passing defense.  In 2009 it was the rushing and scoring offense.  In 2010 it really was just the passing defense.   But in 2011 it was absolutely everything on the defense (passing, rushing, total, scoring, and passing efficiency defense). In 2012 it needs to be nothing if Baylor is going to have a winning season this year.