Sept. 17, 2007
BAYLOR (2-1) at
SATURDAY, SEPT. 22, 2007 5:00 P.M. CDT
UB STADIUM (29,013)
BAYLOR: Guy Morriss (TCU, 1973)
Record at Baylor: 17-32 (5th season)
Career Record: 26-46 (7th season)
Career Record: 3-12 (2nd season)
Record vs. Baylor: 0-0
BAYLOR/ISP RADIO NETWORK
John Morris, play-by-play
J.J. Joe, color analyst
Ricky Thompson, sideline
Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 161
BAYLOR TRAVELS TO
Baylor returns to action Saturday, Sept. 22, traveling to the
The Bears (2-1) are coming off a 34-27 victory over
This is the first-ever meeting between Baylor and
BAYLOR vs. MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Baylor is 1-0 all-time against teams currently playing in the Mid-American Conference. The Bears defeated
BEARS HISTORICALLY SUCCESSFUL IN SEPTEMBER
Baylor is 119-61-2 all-time in September, including an 11-6 mark under head coach Guy Morriss. The Bears have posted an above-.500 record in three of Morriss' first four seasons.
The Bears have played at least one game within the year's ninth month each season since 1933. Baylor's first September game was a 17-5 loss to
Baylor has played at least three September games and gone winless only twice, going 0-3 in 1978 and going 0-4 in 1999. Interestingly, the Bears' two September ties came in consecutive weeks during the 1975 season -- a 10-10 draw at home against
BAYLOR-TEXAS A&M GAME SELECTED FOR NATIONAL BROADCAST
Baylor's 2007 Big 12 Conference opener Sept. 29 at Texas A&M has been selected for national broadcast on the Versus Network. Kickoff between the Bears and the Aggies is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. CDT at Kyle Field in
This marks Baylor's first-ever appearance on the Versus Network (formerly the Outdoor Life Network). The Versus Network is available in
Baylor is 37-68-2 all-time in televised games, including a 2-15 mark during head coach Guy Morriss' tenure. This is the first time the Baylor-Texas A&M game has been televised since 2005, a 16-13 Aggies' victory in overtime.
Baylor is 19-13-5 all-time when 2-1; however, the Bears have lost three straight such games.
Baylor is 11-6-3 all-time when 2-1 following a win and 2-3 all-time when 2-1 with a two-game winning streak.
Baylor is 119-61-2 all-time in September, including an 11-6 mark under head coach Guy Morriss.
Baylor is 46-23-1 all-time on the fourth Saturday of September, including a 7-3 mark on Sept. 22.
Baylor has forced at least one turnover in 23 of the last 26 games, including 15 games with at least two turnovers forced in that time.
Baylor's defense has held the opposing offense without a first-quarter touchdown in 16 of the last 25 games, including 13 first-quarter shutouts in that time.
Baylor has out-scored its opponents 35-7 in the first quarter through three games this season.
Baylor has scored 76 points in its last two games, its most in a two-game span since scoring 76 against SMU (28) and Samford (48) to open the 2005 season.
Baylor ranks eighth nationally and second in the Big 12 Conference with 355.0 passing yards per game.
Baylor has been flagged 16 times for 129 yards through this season's first three games. Last year, the Bears were penalized 27 times for 260 yards through the first three games.
Baylor's defense has logged nine quarterback sacks through the first three games of the 2007 season after recording only 11 sacks in 12 games last year.
QB Blake Szymanski has thrown for at least 200 yards in four consecutive games, tying Don Trull for the second-longest streak all-time at Baylor.
TRIPS EAST OF THE
Saturday marks Baylor's third trip east of the
However, Baylor has routinely traveled east through the years. The Bears are 25-40-2 all-time in games played east of the
Baylor's first game east of the
The Bears lost their first eight games east of the
Including bowl games, Baylor has played 14 games east of the Mississippi River in
Baylor assistant coach Don Wnek and
WHITAKER EYES RECEPTIONS MARK
RB Brandon Whitaker enters the
Whitaker also needs six receptions to tie Jeffrey Murray's school record for career receptions by a non-receiver.
SZYMANSKI ALREADY NEARING SEASON TOUCHDOWNS LIST
With 11 touchdown passes through the season's first three games, QB Blake Szymanski already is nearing Baylor's all-time, single-season touchdown passes list. Szymanski's next scoring toss would put him in a tie with Don Trull (1963), Neal Jeffrey (1973), Cody Carlson (1983) and Shawn Bell (2005) for seventh place on Baylor's all-time list.
Szymanski already has established a Baylor record for touchdown passes by a sophomore. His next scoring pass would tie Carlson's 1983 school mark for touchdown passes by an underclassman.
Through the season's first three games, Szymanski is on pace for 328 completions, 4,156 passing yards and 44 touchdown passes, all of which would shatter Baylor's single-season records.
INSIDE RECEIVERS FEAST
Inside and slot receivers have accounted for 42.5 percent of Baylor's receptions this season (37 of 87), 45.3 percent of Baylor's receiving yards (482 of 1065) and 36.4 percent of Baylor's touchdown receptions (4 of 11).
Baylor's top two receivers in all three categories are inside receivers. Brad Taylor leads the team in receptions (13) and yards (210), while Justin Akers ranks second in both receptions (11) and yards (147). Taylor and Akers are tied for the team lead in touchdowns (2). SR Justin Fenty is tied for third on the team in receptions (9) and fifth in yards (99). IR Kyle Mitchell also has three catches for 19 yards, and Eddy Newton has one reception for seven yards.
SZYMANSKI TURNS IN ANOTHER HIGH-POWERED HALF
QB Blake Szymanski passed for 246 yards in the first half of Saturday's game against
Szymanski joined Neal Jeffrey as the only players in Baylor history to pass for at least 230 yards in a half twice. Jeffrey did so once in each half. Szymanski has seen most of his first-half success in the first quarter, completing 27 of 40 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns in the opening quarter over the last two games.
Here is a list of the eight performances in Baylor history where a quarterback logged at least 230 yards passing in a half:
DATE PLAYER OPPONENT LOCATION FIRST SECOND TOTAL
Sept. 8, 2007 Blake Szymanski Rice
Oct. 27, 1984 Tom Muecke TCU
Oct. 22, 2006 Shawn
Nov. 3, 1973 Neal Jeffrey TCU
Sept. 15, 2007 Blake Szymanski
Oct. 5, 2002 Aaron Karas
Nov. 19, 1966 Terry Southall SMU
Oct. 13, 1973 Neal Jeffrey
FIRST-QUARTER DEFENSIVE SUCCESS CONTINUES
Baylor's defense allowed just 57 first-quarter points in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points per game allowed in the opening period. Two of the seven first-quarter touchdowns allowed by the Bears last season were scores by the opponent's defense, meaning Baylor's defense allowed only 3.6 first-quarter points per game. The Bears' defense allowed only six first-quarter touchdowns (two of which were followed by missed extra points) and one field goal. No team scored more than one offensive touchdown, only two scored more than once -- Texas Tech (offensive touchdown and field goal) and
That success has carried over to the 2007 season as the Bears have allowed only one first-quarter score through the first three games. Baylor held TCU and
In 25 games since the 2005 season opener at SMU, Baylor has held the opponent without a first-quarter offensive touchdown 16 times with 13 first-quarter shutouts. Texas Tech last season is the only opponent to record more than one first-quarter offensive score during that time. Baylor has not allowed multiple first-quarter offensive touchdowns since UAB scored three first-quarter touchdowns in the 2004 season opener, a span of 36 games. The Bears have held the opponent without a first-quarter offensive touchdown 20 times and scoreless 15 times in those 36 games.
NOTES FROM THE
Baylor improved to 13-0 all-time against Football Championship Subdivision (former Divsion I-AA) opponents.
Baylor's passing yardage total (412) was the second-best, single-game total in school history, trailing only last week's 423-yard performance against Rice.
QB Blake Szymanski became the first player in Baylor history to record five-plus touchdown passes twice, doing so in consecutive weeks.
Szymanski joined Shawn Bell (2004 vs. Texas A&M, 2005 vs.
Szymanski is the fourth Baylor quarterback to record multiple 300-yard passing games in the same season.
FB Keegan Vann's first-quarter touchdown reception was the first touchdown of his career.
WR Krys Buerck made his first career start.
Buerck's second-quarter touchdown reception was the first touchdown of his career.
Buerck established career highs with seven receptions and 85 yards receiving.
Buerck's fourth-quarter kickoff return was the first of his career.
RB Jay Finley's fourth-quarter touchdown reception was the first touchdown of his career.
WR Brad Taylor established a career high of 85 yards receiving.
ROV Dwain Crawford established a career high with 11 total tackles.
FS Jordan Lake established a career high with 10 total tackles.
WR David Gettis' return of the game's opening kickoff was the first of his career.
WR Earl Patin's second-quarter kickoff return was the first of his career.
BEARS HAVE 20/20 VISION
In four-plus seasons under head coach Guy Morriss, Baylor has established a bit of a vicenary rule on the scoreboard. The Bears are 15-11 when scoring at least 20 points and 2-21 when scoring less than 20 points since the start of the 2003 season. Likewise, the Bears are 10-3 when holding the opponent to fewer than 20 points and 7-29 when allowing 20 or more points in that time.
BAYLOR TURNS OVER A NEW LEAF
Baylor ranked 113th nationally in turnover margin and forced just nine opponent miscues over the 11-game 2004 campaign, but the last two-plus seasons it has reversed that trend. The Bears' defense has forced 60 turnovers (33 interceptions, 27 fumble recoveries) since the start of the 2005 season to rank fourth in the Big 12 and tied for 17th nationally among Division I-A teams in that span. Baylor has come up with at least one turnover in 23 of 26 games since the start of the 2005 season, including 15 games with two or more.
Baylor forced 34 turnovers over 23 games in Guy Morriss' first two seasons, compared to the 60 it has totaled over the last 26 outings. Here's a look at the teams with most turnovers forced over the last three seasons:
TURNOVERS GAINED 2005 2006 2007 TOTAL
1. TCU 40 26 7 73
8. Louisiana-Monroe 26 34 3 63
17. BAYLOR 29 27 4 60
Baylor has recorded 14 non-offensive scores in 48 games under head coach Guy Morriss, notching at least one such score in each of Morriss' four seasons.
2003 vs. UAB -- James Todd blocked punt for safety
2003 vs. Texas Tech -- Robert Quiroga 100-yard kickoff return
2004 vs. North Texas -- Braelon Davis blocked punt recovery in end zone (blocked by
2005 vs. Samford -- Shaun Rochon 85-yard punt return
FORMER WALK-ONS EARN SCHOLARSHIPS
Six senior walk-on members of the Baylor football team were awarded scholarships for the 2007-08 academic year: OG Ricky Hasoon, LB Daniel Lopez, CB Ralph Rodriguez, OL Ted Tanner, SS Zach Jones and FB Keegan Vann.
At the end of spring practice, the Baylor staff also placed junior WR Thomas White on scholarship. Including the seniors receiving scholarships prior to the start of the season, Baylor's 2007 roster features eight walk-ons who have earned scholarships.
Since Morriss' arrival in 2003, 30 Bears have gone from walk-on to scholarship status.
2007 CAPTAINS ANNOUNCED
A three-year letterman and the team's offensive captain, Whitaker will enter his senior season 317 yards shy of becoming the 28th Bear to rush for 1,000 or more career yards. He was Baylor's third-leading receiver in 2006 with 30 receptions for 192 yards and one touchdown.
Baylor's 2007 special teams captain is another senior, Weeks, who joined the program as a walk-on long snapper in 2004 and has gone on to handle those chores for the Bears in 30 of the last 34 games. He was rewarded for his special teams work with a scholarship by the Baylor staff in January 2005.
Pawelek will captain the Bears' defense as a sophomore after earning freshman All-America honors in 2006. He led the Bears in tackles with 86 stops (46 solos), while playing in every game with 10 starts as a rookie en route to 2006 Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors from multiple media outlets.
BAYLOR AMONG NATION'S BEST COLLEGES
Other Big 12 schools ranked were:
AFCA SALUTES BAYLOR FOR GRADUATION RATE
Baylor was one of 34 NCAA Division I-A schools to have its football program honored with the 2007 Academic Achievement Award by the American Football Coaches Association.
In the most-recent AFCA survey, four institutions registered graduation rates of 90 percent or more for their 2001-02 freshman football class, including Northwestern and Notre Dame, which earned top honors from the Touchdown Club of Memphis with their 95 percent marks.
Baylor joined Big 12 schools
2007 SCHEDULE FEATURES EIGHT 2006 BOWL TEAMS
After playing seven of 12 games a year ago against teams that went on to earn bowl invitations, Baylor will face eight 2006 bowl teams this season, including six of its eight Big 12 opponents. But, that's nothing new for coach Guy Morriss' program, as 28 times in his first 46 games (including 25 of 32 Big 12 contests) along the Baylor sideline he's faced an opponent who ended the season in a bowl game.
The Bears' 2007 opponents combined for an 85-67 (.559) record a year ago and eight earned bowl bids -- TCU (Poinsettia champion), Rice (New Orleans), Texas (Alamo champion), Kansas State (Texas), Texas A&M (Holiday), Texas Tech (Insight champion), Oklahoma (Fiesta) and Oklahoma State (Independence champion). Baylor's eight 2007 Big 12 foes went 60-43 (.583) a year ago and recorded all three of the league's bowl wins.
Six of Baylor's eight losses in 2006 came at the hands of eventual bowl-bound teams while it knocked off Texas Bowl participant
Over Morriss' four seasons in
The Bears' 2007 roster includes the sons of six former Baylor football standouts, three of whom were All-Americans during their Baylor careers. True freshmen Matt Singletary, V.J. McElroy and Chris Francis join three other sons of Baylor legacies already in the program--sophomore offensive guard Sam Sledge, redshirt freshman receiver Ben Randle and sophomore running back Tony Anderson, who must sit out the season as a transfer from
Singletary's father, Mike, was a three-time All-American and two-time Davey O'Brien Award winner who is enshrined in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame after standout playing careers at Baylor and with the NFL's Chicago Bears. McElroy's father, Vann, was a two-time All-America defensive back at Baylor who went on to play in two Pro Bowls with the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders. The younger Francis' father, James, earned 1989 All-America and Southwest Conference Player of the Year honors and was a first-round NFL Draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.
David Sledge was an All-Southwest Conference performer for the Bears in 1978. Alfred Anderson, the third-leading rusher in school history, and Ervin Randle, an eight-year NFL veteran with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs, were Baylor teammates in the early 1980s.
FOOTBALL OPERATIONS HEADED TO CAMPUS IN 2008
Ground was broken May 10, 2007, on the Alwin O. and Dorothy Highers Athletics Complex and the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, a $34 million complex that will integrate the Baylor athletics department and football program into the campus environment for the first time since the late 1950s.
The lead gift for the privately funded project and the largest single gift in school history is from the estate of Alwin O. Highers Jr. of Alexandria, La. A native Texan and a 1939 Baylor business graduate, Mr. Highers was well known as the owner of
The focal point of the Highers Athletics Complex will be the 96,300-square-foot Simpson Athletics and
Simpson earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance, with magna cum laude honors, in 1970 and his MBA in 1971.
The first floor of the Simpson Athletics and
The Highers Athletics Complex will include three football practice fields, two with a natural surface and the other with artificial turf. Construction will take approximately 18 months and is expected to be completed by July 2008.
OVER THE AIR
Bear football games can be heard live on the Baylor/ISP Sports Radio Network. The network includes nine affiliates across
BAYLOR/ISP SPORTS FOOTBALL RADIO NETWORK
Dallas/Fort Worth WBAP-AM 820
Baylor's official athletic web site can be found at www.BaylorBears.com. The comprehensive site, which includes releases, photos, biographical sketches and audio broadcasts, is part of the College Sports TV network. CSTV currently hosts sites for more than 100 universities, including four Big 12 schools and the conference office.
BAYLOR GAMES ON THE INTERNET
The radio call from all of Baylor's games can be heard free of charge live on the Internet at www.BaylorBears.com.
INSIDE BAYLOR SPORTS TV SHOW
Inside Baylor Sports, a half-hour look at the world of Baylor athletics, will air weekly throughout
UP NEXT ...
Baylor returns to action Saturday, Sept. 29, traveling to
Texas A&M leads the all-time series 64-30-9; this is the second most-played series in Baylor football history behind only TCU (105 meetings). The last three meetings have been decided by a total of 14 points since the Aggies' 63-point victory in 2003.