April 10, 2010
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WACO, Texas - Even without quarterback Robert Griffin, who's still rehabilitating his knee following surgery in the fall, Baylor showed some offensive potential in Saturday's two-hour Spring Game at the Highers Athletics Complex.
Sophomore quarterback Nick Florence was 20-of-31 for 242 yards and threw TD passes of 66 yards to Terrance Williams and 40 to Josh Gordon as the White team defeated Green, 20-14, before a strong contingent of Baylor fans in the Bears' spring training finale.
"Our deal was that we were going to go 45 plays (maximum) with the first-team offense and defense," said third-year Baylor head coach Art Briles. "What we tried to do was spread the ball around as much as we could for 45 plays. We were just trying to get the ball around to guys that we felt had opportunities to make plays."
Williams didn't get a lot of opportunities, but he made the most of one with a 66-yard TD strike from Florence down the right sideline to finish off a quick-strike, three-play, 78-yard scoring drive.
"I think we were all a little antsy today," said Florence, who was filling in for Griffin in running the first-team offense. "But I think we settled down and got some good things accomplished."
After junior college transfer Isaac Williams closed the gap to 10-7 with a five-yard TD run over the right side for the Green team, Florence engineered an 18-play, 76-yard drive that included three fourth-down conversions. But on the last play of the first half, Florence's pass was just out of the grasp of tight end Jerod Monk as time expired.
Gordon, who finished with two catches for 53 yards, got his opportunity midway through the third quarter when he got behind cornerback Romie Blaylock for a 40-yard TD catch from Florence that extended the White team's lead, 17-7.
"Those guys understand what their role is. The quarterback has to protect the ball," Briles said. "I think (Nick) did a great job with his reads. Those guys are doing what we ask them to do. We're not asking them to win a game. We're just asking them to take care of the ball and put us into a position to make first downs and get points on the board."
Redshirt freshman kicker Aaron Jones booted field goals of 43 and 53 yards and was 2-for-2 on extra points, while redshirt freshman quarterback Brody Trahan hit freshman receiver Tevin Reese for a 40-yard TD pass for the final points of the day early in the fourth quarter.
Williams led all rushers with 71 yards and one TD on 15 carries (4.7-yard average), while junior transfer Evan Hearn from McMurry picked up 31 yards on seven attempts.
Leading tacklers were linebackers Elliot Coffey (7) and Antonio Johnson(4) and safeties Prince Kent (5) and Tim Atchison (4) for the Green; and safety Tyler Pratt (7) and tackle Chris Buford (5) for the White. Junior nose tackle Nicolas Jean-Baptiste had a pair of sacks.
"I hope you guys were looking at (the defense) and saying, `Boy, those guys are strong, fast, mean and tough,''' Briles said, "because that's what those guys need to be. They need to be aggressive and physical with a bad temper. That's what we have to get to, and that's the way we have to play, because in the Big 12 South if you're friendly and nice, you're going to have a long season. We've got to make sure that we have Big 12 South-caliber players from a physical standpoint."
The Bears will report Aug. 1 for the start of fall camp and will open the 2010 season on Sept. 4 at Floyd Casey Stadium with a non-conference game against Sam Houston State University.
White-Aaron Jones 43 FG, 6:36
White-Terrance Williams 66 pass from Nick Florence (Jones PAT), 11:31
Green- Isaac Williams 5 run (Lye PAT), 6:10
White-Josh Gordon 40 pass from Nick Florence (Jones PAT)
White-Aaron Jones 53 FG, 0:01
Green-Tevin Reese 40 pass from Brody Trahan (Lye PAT), 14:45
RUSHING(Att-Yards-TD): Green-Isaac Williams, 15-71-1; Evan Hearn, 7-31-0; Brody Trahan, 4-9-0; Lance Hollandsworth, 1-5-0; Bryce Petty, 2-(-7)-0. White-Terrance Ganaway, 6-14-0; Nick Florence, 4-4-0; Kendall Wright, 1-4-0; Jarred Salubi, 1-2-0.
PASSING (Att-Comp-Yards-INT-TD): Green-Brody Trahan, 20-11-91-0-1; Bryce Petty 14-10-54-1-0. White-Nick Florence 31-20-242-0-2.
RECEIVING (Rec-Yards-TD): Green-Tevin Reese, 1-40-1; Andrew Sumpter, 3-28-0; Travis McClain, 5-24-0; Stacy Williams, 3-21-0; Evan Hearn, 2-16-0; Michael Valdez, 3-10-0; Lucas Allison, 1-9-0; Willie Jefferson, 1-6-0; Thomas Draper, 2-(-7)-0. White-Terrance Williams, 1-66-1; Lanear Sampson, 6-58-0; Josh Gordon, 2-53-1; Kendall Wright, 4-37-0; Jarred Salubi, 2-17-0; Krys Buerck, 3-13-0; Kaeron Johnson, 1-(-3)-0.
TACKLES: Green-Elliot Coffey, 7; Prince Kent, 5; Tim Atchinson, 4; Antonio Johnson, 4; Romie Blaylock, 2; Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, 2; Gary Mason, Jr., 2; Tracy Robertson, 2; Phil Taylor, 2; Chance Casey, 1; Chris Francis, 1; Clifton Odom, 1; Zac Scotton, 1. White- Tyler Pratt, 7; Chris Buford, 5; Rodney Chadwick, 4; Taylor Douthit, 4; Mike Hicks, 4; Chris McAllister, 4; Marcus Veal, 4; Jared Edwards, 3; Terrance Lloyd, 2; Ahmad Jenkins, 2; Shane Ros, 2; Terrance Nathan, 2; Courtney Green, 2; Denerick Demby, 1; Tevin Elliot, 1; LeQuince McCall, 1; Kelvin Palmer, 1.
Head Coach Art Briles
On the energy of the game:
"Energy is about what we expected. We tried not to hype it too much, just for the sake of getting through and getting out of it injury free, which we did, which was the most important thing that we wanted to accomplish today."
On the crowd:
"I thought we had a great crowd. They were really excited. Had a bunch of people here and we just have to continue to give them reasons to keep showing up. It's our job as coaches, players and as a football program to make sure we give everything we have. That is what we are going to do and that is what we have to do to make sure that our program ends up where it is supposed to be."
On the offensive production:
"Our deal was that we were going to go 45 plays max with the first-team offense and defense. What we tried to do was spread the ball around as much as we could for 45 plays. It was not truly a game-like situation where we are grinding hard for first downs. We were just trying to get the ball around to guys that we felt had opportunities to make plays. I think consistency is going to be an issue at any part of the year. It is very hard to maintain consistency throughout any part of the season."
On the defensive speed:
"I hope you guys were looking at them saying `boy, those guys are strong, fast, mean and tough,' because that is what those guys need to be. They need be aggressive and physical with a bad temper. That is what we have to get to and that is the way that we have to play because the Big 12 South, if you are friendly and nice, you are going to have a long season. We've got to make sure that we have Big 12 South caliber players from a physical standpoint."
On the quarterbacks and receivers:
"Those guys understand what their role is. The quarterback has to protect the ball. I don't think Nick (Florence) had a ball that was tipped today. I think he did a great job with his reads. Those guys are doing what we ask them to do. We are not asking them to win a game. We are just asking them to take care of the ball and put us into a position to make first downs and get points on the board."
Sophomore Quarterback Nick Florence
On the young receiving corps:
"They are doing great. (Josh) Gordon did well today. Terrance Williams is not young, but he is doing good. K-Dub (Kendal Wright), I mean they all did a great job today."
On the progress of the team over the spring:
"I think it has been a really productive spring. I think a lot of the young guys have really stepped up and shown what it means to be tough. I think that is one thing we lacked last fall - the young guys being tough. They have come out and Coach Kaz (Kaz Kazadi) has done a great job this off-season. I feel like we really gelled as a team this offseason."
On being the first-team guy this spring:
"It helped a lot. Last fall I was just thrown in the fire, learning everything on the run. Being able to come in the spring knowing a lot more of the offense, I picked up things a lot faster than I did in the fall. It was just good to gel with them. Overall, it was just good for me."
Junior Nose Tackle Nicolas Jean-Baptiste
On the pass rush and his two sacks:
"Basically I was just reading the offensive line in what they had to do. If the guard was coming down at me I knew that I had to get a hand on him and start working my hands really quick. If not, you get blown out and washed down the side."
On stepping up during the spring:
"When Trey (Bryant) left it was like a big hole. I knew I had to step up and start trying to be a leader out there."
On the play of the defense:
"I felt pretty good about the defense today. We have some things to work on like positioning and what not, but I feel like we are getting better and better every day."