Aug. 31, 2008
After opening the season with a 41-13 loss to 23rd-ranked Wake Forest Thursday night,the Baylor football team now sets its sights on its the Demons of Northwestern State. Kick off is set for 6 p.m., Saturday, at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Here are head coach Art Briles' thoughts on the Bears' loss to Wake Forest and Saturday's game against Northwestern State:
On Robert Griffin playing as a true freshman:
"In football, you play who you feel is the most capable of moving the ball and putting points on the board. Regardless of what the birth certificate says, we feel that Robert [Griffin] is that person. [Enrolling in January] put him on a level playing field with everyone else. That made all of the difference in the world."
On the value of a team effort:
"I think as a team, we played hard. That is what we have to do. We need to be known as a tough and disciplined football team. That is the thing that we are judging right now rather than individual accomplishments. We have to get right as a team before we can worry about individual performances."
On Baylor's offensive production:
"What we are trying to do is win football games-- that is what our goal is. If we can win by scoring defensive touchdowns and with great special teams play, that is what we will do. If we can win by rushing the football, that is what we will do. We have people in place that we feel very good about their abilities to make plays in our system. We will do better. We feel like we will improve in the running game without a doubt."
On the play of the offensive line:
"The offensive line played hard. That is all that we can ask right now. I don't think we allowed ourselves to play at the level that we are capable of playing at. That is the part that upsets me; we made it too easy on our opponent."
On Baylor's post game reaction since Thursday:
"We are all still processing [the Wake Forest game] together as a football family. We will learn how to react and handle [the defeat] together as a team because that is the first time that we have been through anything together. What I normally do is just gauge. I let people be themselves and then respond based upon how they are responding"
On the Baylor's effort against Wake Forest and the stadium atmosphere:
"We played hard the whole game, which is why the tape was encouraging. We played against a proficient football team on the offensive side of the ball. For what they do, they do it well and they have been doing it well for a while. Our defense made stops at some critical times to give us an opportunity to get in the football game. When you are at home, you have to get the crowd involved. We did not allow our crowd to get involved, consequently, it takes away one of the advantages that we have. We have to play well enough early to get the crowd involved in the game where they can intimidate the opponent. To me, along with the miscues, is a factor to the game."
On Northwestern State:
"They are known as being very aggressive defensively. Offensively, they are a little bit of an option team. They are a quarterback run oriented team. They are not afraid to go out and play teams. They took Ole Miss to 38-30 last year, played Baylor two years ago and went up to [Texas] Tech last year. It is not like they are going to come in here and there jaw is going to drop. To them, we are their schedule game, their big game. We have to understand that as a football team. We certainly don't feel like we are in any condition from a mental standpoint to not give a maximum effort when we step on the practice field. Right now, this is the only game that matters to us. We are fighting hard to get a victory--we want food to taste good and music to sound good again, so we need a win."