By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Insider
Even after losing All-Americans each of the last two years, Baylor's well of receivers is far from dry.
Freshmen Corey Coleman and Robbie Rhodes showed in Saturday's "Meet the Bears" scrimmage that the future is bright, each hauling in a pass of 35-plus yards in the 45-minute scrimmage that attracted an overflow crowd at the Highers Complex.
"It's fun to get out here and see what they can do," said fourth-year junior quarterback Bryce Petty, who was 11-of-16 for 166 yards in leading the first-team offense to scores on each of his four series. "When you get them out here and see what they can do, it's fun to watch."
Coleman hauled in a 36-yard TD pass from Petty and finished as the game's leading receiver with three catches for 71 yards, while Rhodes had a nifty 48-yard reception from redshirt freshman Seth Russell for one of the second-team offense's few highlights.
"He's not as fast as he's going to be, and that's the exciting part," sixth-year Baylor head coach Art Briles said of Coleman, a redshirt freshman from Richardson, Texas. "Especially the young guys, they've got to learn how to keep their legs under them. You can look at Tevin Reese and Corey today and tell the difference in the speed factor, just because Tevin knows how to take care of himself now. But as Corey learns, he'll be an explosive, dynamic athlete for us."
Petty, following in the footsteps of 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III and single-season passing record-holder Nick Florence, looked sharp in the first scrimmage of the fall camp. In addition to the touchdown pass to Coleman, he had a 40-yarder dropped by sophomore receiver Jay Lee.
"I thought Bryce did exceptionally well," Briles said. "His timing, his rhythm, his mental capacity is really on cue. I'll have to look at the tape, but just from the naked eye, I thought he looked really good."
Filling in for an injured Glasco Martin, redshirt freshman running back Shock Linwood finished off an opening eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard run up the middle. While returning starter Lache Seastrunk was "quick-whistled" on what might have been a 75-yard TD run, Linwood and fellow freshman Devin Chafin led the ground attack with a combined 91 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 totes.
Other than the 48-yard pass to Rhodes and a 19-yard keeper by Russell that beat a blitz, the second-team offense had a tough day against an improving first-team Baylor defense. The second-team offense picked up just one other first down on a short pass from Russell to Cal Spangler, but coughed it up twice on a tipped interception by Joe Williams and a fumble recovery by Beau Blackshear.
"We'll look at the tape and evaluate, but (the defense has) done extremely well all fall camp, so far," Briles said. "Our defense is really playing at a high level right now."
Aaron Jones booted field goals of 42 and 49 yards, while Chafin wrapped up the scoring with a 48-yard TD burst up the middle.
"We're a little sluggish, as we should be after going five out of the last six days and then having a workout before the scrimmage," Briles said. "But I thought assignment detail with the first units, offense and defense, was really on cue. Second team was off a little bit, but that's why they're second team right now. They have to improve, because you have to be a solid two-deep all the way across the board."
Briles was particularly pleased with the crowd that showed up before the team even touched the field and stayed for the autograph session that followed in the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Practice Facility.
"We were out here at 10 a.m., and the stands were full," he said. "That says the excitement level is not just within our little circle as a football team. That really makes our players proud, and it gives us a sense of obligation. We're not just obligated to ourselves and our team, we're obligated to people that believe in us. It's a good thing having people believe, so we appreciate them being out."
After wrapping up its first week of fall camp with the scrimmage, the team will resume workouts at 2:50 p.m. Monday. For updated practice times and whether they're open to the public, please contact the Baylor football office at 254-710-3058.
|| SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS
Shock Linwood 10 rush (Aaron Jones kick)
(Aaron Jones 42 field goal
Corey Coleman 36 pass from Bryce Petty (Aaron Jones kick)
(Aaron Jones 49 field goal
Devin Chafin 48 run (kick failed)
Bryce Petty 11-16-166-1-0; Seth Russell 4-11-62-0-1; Chris Johnson 2-5-18-0-0.
Devin Chafin 6-57 TD;
Shock Linwood 4-34 TD; Seth Russell 5-25; Johnny Jefferson 5-22; Lache Seastrunk 2-19; Bryce Petty 3-7; Silas Nacita 2-7; Antwan Goodley 1-2.
Corey Coleman 3-71 TD; Robbie Rhodes 1-48; Antwan Goodley 2-23; Jay Lee 1-22; Levi Norwood 1-19; Tevin Reese 2-18; Andy Ritter 2-18; Clay Fuller 2-13; Johnny Jefferson 1-9; Cal Spangler 1-4; Gus Penning 1-1.
Kendall Ehrlich 0-6-6; Raaquan Davis 0-5-5; Byron Bonds 3-2-5; Peni Tagive 2-3-5; Aiavion Edwards 3-2-5; Sam Holl 2-2-4; Brody Trahan 2-2-4; Orion Stewart 0-4-4; Travon Blanchard 1-3-4; Beau Blackshear 2-1-3; Anthony Webb 2-1-3; Darius Jones 1-2-3; Ahmad Dixon 1-1-2; Eddie Lackey 1-1-2; Patrick Levels 1-1-2; Prince Kent 1-1-2; Terrance Lloyd 0-1-1; Terrell Burt 1-0-1; Bryce Hager 0-1-1; Demetri Goodson 0-1-1; Terrence Singleton 0-1-1; Xavien Howard 0-1-1; Kiante' Griffin 1-0-1; Suleiman Masumbuko 0-1-1; Alfred Pullom 0-1-1; Tyler Stephenson 0-1-1; Zorrell Ezell 0-1-1.
Beau Blackshear 2; Chris McAllister 1; Bryce Hager 1; Peni Tagive 1; Bryon Bonds 1.
Joe Williams 1.
TACKLES FOR LOSS
Beau Blackshear 2; Chris McAllister 1; Bryce Hager 1; Aiavion Edwards 1; Peni Tagive 1; Byron Bonds 1.
DEFLECTIONS / PASS BREAKUPS
Sam Holl 1; Anthony Webb 1; Raaquan Davis 1; Tyler Stephenson 1
Beau Blackshear 1.
(Aaron Jones 2-2 (made 42, 49).
Spencer Roth 2-90 (54, 36).
|| POST-SCRIMMAGE QUOTES
"We were out here at 10 a.m., and the stands were full. That says the excitement level is not just within our little circle as a football team. It goes beyond that. So that really makes our players proud, and it gives us a sense of obligation. That's what I told them. We're not just obligated to ourselves and our team, we're obligated to people that believe in us. It's good thing having people believe, so we appreciate them being out."
On the scrimmage:
"I thought we battled through it. We're a little sluggish, as we should be, after going five out of the last six days and then having a workout before the scrimmage. But I thought assignment detail with the first units, offense and defense, were really on cue. Second teams were off a little bit, but that's why they're second team right now. They'll have to improve, because you have to be a solid two-deep all the way across the board."
On Bryce Petty:
"I thought Bryce did exceptionally well. He did well yesterday in practice, had a good practice, his timing, his rhythm, his mental capacity is really on cue. I would think that he was pretty good today. I'll have to look at the tape, but just from the naked eye, I thought he looked really good."
On Robbie Rhodes:
"Robbie's dynamic. Robbie's going to be outstanding. I've said all along, he was the best receiver in America coming out last year, and he has not disappointed and he will not disappoint. As he gets more involved, the threat becomes more dangerous for our offense, no question."
On the defensive rush:
"We had some good rushes. Blitzed one time and had a little breakdown, and Seth (Russell) popped it. Other than that, I really thought it was pretty clean. We went 27 plays with the first offense and 24 plays with the first defense and stayed healthy, and that's the main thing."
On the scrimmage:
"I thought that we did really well. As a unit I think that the first team offense and defense did what we were supposed to do. The offense got yards, and the defense got stops. The second team defense stopped us on the third drive, which kind of bugs me a little bit, but all these things we will work on."
On the offensive linemen:
"I love those big guys. They do a lot for me and a lot for our run game. They make it easy for me is what really goes on, starting with Cyril (Richardson) and (Spencer) Drango on the left side. I'd like to see people go up against them. They're really good, and like I said, they make my job easy."
Corey Coleman stepping up:
"He's had a great camp. That's what we need from him. He's got to step up. He's a difference maker and Coach Briles loves those guys. That's why we got him here. It's his time to step up and take those roles, especially on the inside because he can do a lot of things for us."
On being comfortable with the new receivers:
"A lot of the older guys haven't had a lot of work with me either. That's why college is great you move and different people get roles to step up. That's what I'm trying to do and what they're trying to do. It's fun to get out here and see what they can do, because we can all play. That's why it is hard to sit and wait sometimes. When you get them out here and see what they can do it is fun to watch."
On the team at this moment:
"We still have a lot of work to do. Every single day we are taking a step, baby steps. We are still trying to get where we need to be. We aren't going to be satisfied. We are going to continue working. We will tweak and get where we need to be. We're almost there, but we are going to nit-pick every single week. We're never going to be satisfied."
On Bryce Petty:
"Bryce is more calm and collected. He's making better decisions. It's great to see and I'm happy to have him. He takes a lot of pressure off of us. If the run's not there, he can take the ball and run it himself. He's a big quarterback, not a small one."
On the bar being raised for the defense:
"There's definitely a lot more expected out of us from how we started last season to how we finished it. We just want to pick up from where we ended it right there. We really just have that standard set for us that we need to play the way the we did against UCLA."
On what worked during the scrimmage:
"All of our linemen mixed, especially more towards the end. We were moving around and getting in gaps, so we didn't let the offense know where we were going."
On having to hold back the hits:
"It's definitely tough, but you just know you need to pick your man up and hold your gaps. If you do that than everyone else will fit off of you and the defense will work how it should."