LB Joe Pawelek has averaged 11.0 tackles per game in four Big 12 contests, tied with FS Jordan Lake for second in the conference.
Oct. 22, 2007
BAYLOR (3-5, 0-4) at
SATURDAY, OCT. 27, 2007 2:35 P.M. CDT
SNYDER FAMILY STADIUM (50,000)
BAYLOR: Guy Morriss (TCU, 1973)
Record at Baylor: 18-36 (5th season)
Career Record: 27-50 (7th season)
Career Record: 11-9 (2nd season)
Record vs. Baylor: 0-1
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, Oct. 27, traveling to
The Bears (3-5, 0-4) have dropped four straight following a 31-10 loss to No. 19 Texas at home last Saturday.
The Wildcats (4-3, 2-2) dropped a 41-39 decision at
This is the seventh meeting between Baylor and
Baylor has scored seven touchdowns against
The Bears' four offensive touchdowns were a Darrell Bush TD run in 1999, a Greg Cicero touchdown pass in 2000, and two Shawn Bell touchdown passes last season. Baylor has scored only one first-half offensive touchdown against
Neutral Site: Never Met
Since Start of Big 12:
Baylor has faced
Baylor has scored four offensive touchdowns and three special teams touchdowns in six all-time meetings. Two of those offensive touchdowns came in last year's Baylor win.
The 2003 meeting featured a 98-yard kickoff return by Robert Quiroga, the fourth-longest in Baylor history.
2005 BAYLOR 17,
SEPT. 30, 2006 FLOYD CASEY STADIUM
Baylor's defense held a Big 12 opponent out of the end zone for the first time ever as the Bears recorded their first-ever win over Kansas State. The Wildcats out-gained the Bears 341-312 on 10 more plays, but two key turnovers thwarted
On its second possession of the game,
Those were K-State's only two ventures into the Baylor red zone.
Zeigler finished with eight catches for 73 yards, while
Game time for Baylor's Nov. 3 game against Texas Tech has been scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT at Floyd Casey Stadium; the game will not be televised. The game is part of Homecoming festivities on the Baylor campus.
Texas Tech has won 11 consecutive meetings; Baylor's last victory in the series was a 9-7 triumph over the 24th-ranked Red Raiders at Floyd Casey Stadium in 1994.
Baylor is 3-7 all-time when 3-5, including a 3-5 mark when following a loss; this is the first time Baylor has ever been 3-5 with a four-game losing streak.
Baylor has lost eight straight Big 12 games since its 36-35 comeback victory over
Baylor is 200-197-21 all-time in October, including a 6-16 mark under head coach Guy Morriss.
Baylor is 44-52-4 all-time on the fourth Saturday of October, including a 6-8-1 mark on Oct. 27.
Baylor is 3-0 this season when scoring first and when leading at halftime; the Bears are 0-5 this season both when the opponent scores first and when trailing at halftime.
Baylor has forced at least one turnover in 27 of the last 31 games, including 18 games with at least two turnovers forced in that time.
Baylor's defense has held the opposing offense without a first-quarter touchdown in 20 of the last 30 games, including 14 first-quarter shutouts in that time.
Baylor has been flagged 44 times for 348 yards through this season's first eight games. Last year, the Bears were penalized 59 times for 593 yards through the first seven games.
Baylor's defense has logged 20 quarterback sacks through eight games this season after recording only 11 sacks in 12 games last year.
One year after losing 32 seniors, including 24 fifth-year players, Baylor's 2007 roster features 71 underclassmen -- 45 of whom are either true (25) or redshirt (20) freshmen -- and just 17 seniors.
BAYLOR vs. BIG 12 NORTH
Most of Baylor's success in the Big 12 Conference has come against teams from the North Division. The Bears are 8-27 against teams from the North with only three victories (Texas, 1997; Texas A&M, 2004; Oklahoma State, 2005) against teams from the South.
Five of Baylor's eight victories against Big 12 North teams have come under head coach Guy Morriss. Those eight wins are as follows:
TURNOVERS COSTLY FOR BEARS
Baylor has committed 24 turnovers through eight games (3.0 per game), and the Bears' opponents have turned those into 79 points (30.6 percent of total points allowed). Meanwhile, Baylor has forced 15 turnovers (1.9 per game) and turned those into 44 points (27.0 percent of total points scored).
In Big 12 Conference play, Baylor has committed 15 turnovers in four games (3.8 per game); the Bears' opponents have scored 62 points off those turnovers (37.3 percent of total points allowed). However, Baylor has not been as successful at capitalizing on its opponents turnovers in Big 12 play. The Bears have forced only six turnovers in four league games (1.5 per game) and scored just 17 points off those turnovers (32.1 percent of total points scored).
BEARS IN MIDST OF TOUGH STRETCH
Saturday's game against
BAYLOR SPREADS THE WEALTH IN PASSING GAME
Through eight games, 16 different players have recorded at least one reception this season. That total is tied for fifth nationally, tied for second among Big 12 Conference schools.
Baylor's 16 players with at least one reception this season are: Brandon Whitaker (36 receptions), Justin Akers (35), David Gettis (24), Brad Taylor (23), Krys Buerck (20), Ernest Smith (15), Justin Fenty (15), Jay Finley (13), Thomas White (12), Mikail Baker (six), Eddy Newton (three), Kyle Mitchell (three), Luke La Mar (two), Joe Bennett (one), Keegan Vann (one) and Jacoby Jones (one).
Furthermore, nine different Baylor players have at least one touchdown reception this season: Akers (four), Buerck (two), Taylor (two), Whitaker (two), White (two), Finley (one), Jones (one), Smith (one) and Vann (one). That total is tied for third nationally and ranks first in the Big 12. Troy (13 players) leads the nation, while
PAWELEK CONTINUES TO ANCHOR BEARS' DEFENSE
LB Joe Pawelek, a Freshman All-America selection in 2006, has continued his stellar play at middle linebacker as a sophomore in 2007. Through eight games, Pawelek has averaged 9.0 tackles per game to rank seventh in the Big 12 Conference and tie for 61st nationally. He has averaged 11.0 tackles per game in Baylor's four Big 12 contests, tying teammate
Pawelek has 72 tackles on the season, including 27 solo efforts and 6.5 stops behind the line. He has 2.0 sacks, one interception, one pass break up, one quarterback hurry, a fumble forced and a fumble recovery. Pawelek is 14 tackles shy of his total (86) from last season when he was a first-team Freshman All-America selection.
FS Jordan Lake ranks sixth in the Big 12 and is tied for 53rd nationally with 9.3 tackles per game. A sophomore from
Lake, who was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following the Bears' 34-21 victory at
GETTIS CATCHES FIRE
Sparked by a career-long, 69-yard reception early in the fourth quarter three weeks ago at Texas A&M, WR David Gettis suddenly has become a key part of Baylor's attack. Gettis followed his 88-yard performace at Texas A&M with an even better game against
Gettis' contributions have not been limited to his work as a receiver. He has produced 319 yards on 13 kickoff returns over the last three games for an average of 24.5 yards per return. Gettis had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown two weeks ago at
Over the last three games, Gettis has averaged 169.7 all purpose yards per game. Against
INSIDE RECEIVERS FEAST
Inside and and slot receivers have accounted for 38.1 percent of Baylor's receptions this season (80 of 210), 39.3 percent of Baylor's receiving yards (895 of 2,279) and 37.5 percent of Baylor's touchdown receptions (6 of 16).
IR Justin Akers ranks second on the team in receptions (35) and first in yards (398), while IR Brad Taylor is fourth in receptions (23) and yards (286). Akers leads the team with four touchdown receptions, while
WHITAKER RECEIVES ATTENTION FROM BACKFIELD
RB Brandon Whitaker leads Baylor with 36 receptions this season, already eclipsing his career high for catches in a season (30, established in each of the past two seasons). Whitaker has led the Bears in receptions twice this season but also has gone reception-less in two games. After not catching a pass against Texas A&M, Whitaker tallied 11 receptions against
Whitaker established career highs in receptions and yards receivng (166) against
Whitaker also broke Baylor's career receptions mark for a non-receiver in the
OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY VASTLY IMPROVED
After giving up 36 sacks in 12 games last season, Baylor's offensive line has shown vast improvement in 2007. The Bears' quarterbacks have been sacked only nine times in eight games.
Baylor's offensive line did not allow a sack against Texas A&M nor against Colorado, marking the first time the Bears' did not allow a sack in consecutive games since a three-game run late in the 1995 season (at Miami, at SMU, Rice). The Texas A&M game was the first time a Baylor quarterback was not sacked since the 2004
From 1998 through 2006, Baylor quarterbacks were sacked 328 times in 113 games (2.9 per game), allowing at least 25 sacks each season and a high of 52 sacks in a 12-game 2002 schedule. This season, the Bears are allowing only 1.1 sacks per game. More impressively, the Bears' quarterbacks were sacked once every 11.3 pass attempts from 1998 through 2006; this season, they have been sacked once every 45.1 pass attempts.
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 six first-quarter scores and only two first-quarter touchdowns through the first eight games. Baylor held TCU,
In 30 games since the 2005 season opener at SMU, Baylor has held the opponent without a first-quarter offensive touchdown 20 times with 14 first-quarter shutouts. Texas Tech last season and
NOTES FROM THE
Baylor's second-quarter touchdown was its first score against
Baylor quarterbacks eclipsed the 200-completion plateau for the season during the game, marking just the sixth time in school history that Baylor has completed at least 200 passes in a season.
Baylor was held to its lowest rushing total (eight yards) since last year's
Baylor's 56 total pass attempts is tied for second all-time behind the Bears' 60 attempts against
QB Michael Machen made his first career start at Baylor; he had registered one play prior to the game (fake punt at Texas A&M).
Machen became the first Bear to pass for at least 200 yards in his first career start since Aaron Karas passed for 331 yards against
RB Brandon Whitaker moved into a tie for seventh place on Baylor's career receptions list (98).
DE Leon Freeman tied his career career high with five tackles; he also had career highs with three tackles for loss and two sacks.
QB John David Weed made his first career appearance at Baylor in the fourth quarter.
LB Joe Pawelek's third-quarter interception was his first since last season's
IR Justin Akers had a career-high nine receptions, tied for the 16th-best single-game total in school history.
CB Alton Widemon tied his career high with six tackles.
BEARS HAVE 20/20 VISION
In five seasons under head coach Guy Morriss, Baylor has established a bit of a vicenary rule on the scoreboard. The Bears are 16-12 when scoring at least 20 points and 2-24 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 8-33 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 three seasons it has reversed that trend. The Bears' defense has forced 71 turnovers (40 interceptions, 31 fumble recoveries) since the start of the 2005 season to rank third in the Big 12 and tied for 14th nationally among Division I-A teams in that span. Baylor has come up with at least one turnover in 27 of 31 games since the start of the 2005 season, including 18 games with two or more.
Baylor forced 34 turnovers over 23 games in Guy Morriss' first two seasons, compared to the 71 it has totaled over the last 31 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 15 81
Purdue 27 32 15 74
14. Baylor 29 27 15 71
Louisiana-Monroe 26 34 11 71
UTEP 24 25 19 68
Baylor has recorded 15 non-offensive scores in 54 games under head coach Guy Morriss, notching at least one such score in each of Morriss' five 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
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
BAYLOR AMONG NATION'S BEST COLLEGES
Other Big 12 schools ranked were:
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.
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
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.
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.
COACHING STAFF FEATURES FOUR NEW FACES
In the off-season, Baylor's coaching staff underwent a makeover as four new faces were added, and the dean of the Bears' staff, Larry Hoefer, was promoted to defensive coordinator.
After spending the past three seasons as running backs coach at the
Cornell Jackson, who coached running backs at the
Hoefer, the only remaining member of Morriss' original staff, was named the Bears' defensive coordinator in late February when Bill Bradley was hired as secondary coach of the NFL's San Diego Chargers.
Lee Hays returns for his second season as Baylor's offensive coordinator and will also tutor the Baylor signal callers in 2007, while Gary Kinne (linebackers) and Don Wnek (defensive line) are back for their second and third seasons, respectively, in the Baylor program.
The 2007 Baylor coaching staff boasts more than 160 years of experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. Six members of Baylor's staff played NCAA Division I football and four played professional football.
BAYLOR CONTINUES TO IMPROVE UNDER MORRISS
Introduced as Baylor's 24th head football coach on Dec. 11, 2002, Guy Morriss inherited a proud program that had fallen on hard times and produced just 13 victories in the six seasons (1997-2002) prior to his arrival. He and his staff have already posted more wins both overall (18) and in Big 12 play (seven) in five years than the Bears registered in the seven previous years (17 overall/four Big 12) before Morriss' Central Texas arrival.
Morriss has directed Baylor to seven of its 11 all-time Big 12 Conference victories and its only two conference road wins, while improving the Bears' league win total in each of the last three seasons. He owns a 18-36 record in five seasons at Baylor and is 27-50 in seven seasons as a head coach overall.
OVER THE AIR
Bear football games can be heard live on the Baylor/ISP Sports Radio Network. The network includes nine affiliates across