Aug. 22, 2009
By JERRY HILL
Baylor Bear Insider
One thing's for sure about the 2009 Baylor football team - there are a lot of players that can catch the ball.
In Saturday's 125-play controlled scrimmage, held on the blistering turf at Floyd Casey Stadium, the quarterbacks threw to 18 different receivers. And that didn't even include freshman quarterback Brody Trahan catching his own pass on a ball batted back by a defensive lineman.
"From an offensive standpoint, we tried to spread the ball around and get it in some people's hands to see how they'd respond in this atmosphere," head coach Art Briles said following Saturday's scrimmage.
"We have to be a machine, a methodical football team. So that when we step on the field, we should be productive if everybody takes care of their business. And as long as we keep playing well up front, we will have a chance to be successful, both sides of the ball."
That was actually the case on Saturday. While sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin was 16-of-20 for 157 yards, engineering two touchdown drives and two others that ended in field goals, the No. 1 defense threw a shutout. The only other points came on a 44-yard field goal by walk-on kicker Dary Stone, which was set up by Trahan's 27-yard pass to freshman walk-on receiver Lucas Allison.
"Defensively, we just need to play fast and pursue to the ball," Briles said, "because you have to be a gang-tackling defense if you're going to be a great defense. We have nine starters back, so they ought to be good. They ought to understand, and they ought to know how to play and get things done. What they have to do over there is rise up, accept the challenge and take it to them."
Sophomore kicker Ben Parks struggled, missing four of six kicks, but he opened the scoring with a 53-yard field goal and capped it with a 36-yarder.
On the first touchdown drive of the day, Griffin led an eight-play, 70-yard march that included a fourth-down conversion, a 30-yard catch and run by Kendall Wright and a nifty 12-yard catch over the middle by redshirt freshman running back Jarred Salubi.
Salubi, splitting time in the backfield with juniors Jay Finley and Terrance Ganaway, finished with 35 yards on just four carries and added two catches for a net of 10 yards.
"He's going to get some more (opportunities)," Briles said of Salubi. "He's talented, he fits our schemes well, and he plays with a lot of passion. That equates to him getting on the field."
Griffin capped the scoring drive with a 13-yard TD pass to freshman Willie Jefferson, who hauled it in with one hand over the coverage of sophomore cornerback Romie Blaylock.
Overcoming one of redshirt freshman defensive end Gary Mason's three sacks, Griffin threw to tight end Justin Akers for 16 yards and Terrance Williams for 25 on a drive that ended with a one-yard TD run by Ganaway.
"It's always hard when you go against yourselves," Briles said. "What I know we'll see in two weeks from today (in the Sept. 5 season opener at Wake Forest) is a little more energized effort on both sides of the ball, because the environment will be totally different than what we've been in up to this point. But as long as (the defense keeps) playing hard up front and rally to the football, we'll have a chance to be good."
Senior backup Blake Szymanski was 12-of-17 for 89 yards as the top two quarterbacks combined to complete 28 of 37 passes for 246 yards and one TD with no interceptions. Wright led all receivers with four catches for 35 yards, followed by Terrance Williams with three receptions for 38 yards, and Jefferson, Akers and Krys Buerck with two each.
Linebackers Earl Patin (seven), Elliot Coffey and Chris Francis (six each) and junior strong safety Byron Landor (six) led the team in tackles. Sophomore defensive end Zac Scotton tied Mason with three sacks, while junior defensive tackle Phil Taylor had four stops and a sack.
With classes beginning Monday, the Bears will continue preparation for the Wake Forest game with workouts the rest of the week at the Highers Athletic Complex. Until further notice, all practices and scrimmages are closed to the public and media.
Ben Parks 53 FG
Dary Stone 44 FG
Willie Jefferson 13 pass from Robert Griffin (Ben Parks kick)
Terrance Ganaway 1 run (Ben Parks kick)
Ben Parks 36 FG
Robert Griffin 16-20 157 TD, Blake Szymanski 12-17 89, Brody Trahan 5-10 54, Nick Florence 5-10 4.
Jarred Salubi 4-35, Jay Finley 5-35, Glasco Martin 6-10, Evan Hearn 1-10, Brody Trahan 5-6, Caleb McEachern 2-9, Terrance Ganaway 5-8, Blake Szymanski 3-8, Robert Griffin 11-3, Nick Florence, 3-(-8).
Kendall Wright 4-43, Terrance Williams 3-38, Krys Buerck 2-35, Willie Jefferson 2-32 TD, Justin Akers 2-28, Lucas Allison 1-27, Jerod Monk 4-24, David Gettis, 3-16, Travis McClain 2-16, Darius Jones 3-12, Jarred Salubi 2-10, Josh Gordon 1-10, Lanear Sampson 2-7, Glasco Martin 1-3, Michael Valdez 2-2, Andrew Sumpter 1-0, Evan Hearn 1-0, Logan Allison 1-(-1).
Ben Parks 2-6 (long 53)
Dary Stone 1-3 (long 44)
Earl Patin 7, Elliot Coffey 6, Chris Francis 6, Byron Landor 6, Gary Mason, Jr. 5, Tim Atchison 4, Mikail Baker 4, Chance Casey 4, Phil Taylor 4, Antonio Johnson 3, Antonio Jones 3, Jordan Lake 3, Clifton Odom 3, Zac Scotton 3, Denerick Demby 2, Jared Edwards 2, Jameon Hardeman 2, Logan Lanier 2, Anthony Moore 2, Reggie Rice 2, Jeremy Sanders 2, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste 1, Romie Blaylock 1, Antareis Bryan 1, Trey Bryant 1, Mike Hicks 1, Ahmad Jenkins 1, Jenner Jones 1, Terrance Lloyd 1, Kevin Park 1, Tracy Robertson 1, Matt Singletary 1.
Gary Mason, Jr. 3, Zac Scotton 3, Trey Bryant 1, Jared Edwards 1, Phil Taylor 1.
Derek Epperson 5-50.6 avg (long 60).