Oct. 28, 2007
The Baylor football team (3-6/0-5) looks to snap a five-game losing streak when it hosts Texas Tech for Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium. Here are head coach Guy Morriss' thoughts on this team's 51-13 loss at Kansas State and this weekend's game against Texas Tech:
Now that you have digested it all, what are some of your thoughts about yesterday?
Morriss: "Well, we didn't play very well, especially on the offensive side of the ball and special teams. It's the same thing we have been experiencing the last couple weeks, no different."
What's your explanation for the quarterback rotation?
Morriss: "Michael Machen seemed a little nervous. He was the opposite of the game against Texas. He got rattled real early for some reason, and didn't do a good job of taking care of the football. We throw a corner route in the corner of the end zone, and the key to that route is the defensive corner. If he sinks, you don't throw it. We forced the football again. On the backside of a run, there was no option to pull it on this particular run because we designed it that way. We didn't want him trying to run it, and he ran it and fumbled the ball. Then he got really rattled and so we wanted to sit him down for a little bit. We tried John David Weed. He was really jacked too. We had a couple of plays we designed for him, and we couldn't get lined up right. So, we went back to Michael, and it was just more of the same. We were just trying to find somebody to get us on track and spark us a little bit and get us rolling. We could never do that."
Did you have any intention of playing Blake Szymanski?
Morriss: "Not really. We took him just in case we had a disaster and certainly we did. That's how come he got in the game. We were going to try and go with Michael and give John David some reps at the appropriate time. Certainly we didn't plan on putting him in as early as we did. But it's hard to figure that both those guys really got shook. Blake was the next alternative."
Do you think there was too much defensive pressure on the quarterbacks?
Morriss: "Our offensive line didn't play as well as we would have hoped. It was more technical stuff than anything. They ran a lot of three-man line, but we've seen that before and worked on it all week. It shouldn't have been that much of a problem. We couldn't execute well enough to sustain anything."
What did you see in the locker room after a loss like this?
Morriss: "They were disappointed again. I told them that the responsibility was mine. I obviously didn't do a good job of getting them ready this week. And that we were going to try and do a better job this week of getting a better game plan. And we need to do our part as a coaching staff and see if we couldn't have success. We need to find a way to get through to them. That's my responsibility. I'll take the credit for it, and we're going to go back to work and see if we can win a ball game Saturday."
Do you think it was the game plan, or not being able to get the players ready?
Morriss: "I think our game plan was good. Of course, I believe in this offense, and I know what it can do. Obviously we didn't get them ready to play as well as we thought we did."
Do you think any of the players don't have faith in this offense?
Morriss: "Not really. I don't feel that way about our players, no."
Do you think any of the players have given up on the season?
Morriss: "I don't think so, no. I really don't. I think they are disappointed, but I don't think anyone is ready to throw in the towel."
How frustrating is the turnover issue?
Morriss: "It is very frustrating. That's something that we try to go over. Turnovers can make a big difference. Again, we are just trying to keep hammering it into their heads. You know, we do those ball security drills quite a bit. They need to understand the importance of holding onto the football."
What were the positives?
Morriss: "Thomas White is coming around. He caught two touchdowns. There were some plays in there where if we do it right then they are good plays. We just don't do it with enough consistency to put too many drives together, that's all."
How do you feel Blake Szymanski did?
Morriss: "Given the fact that he didn't get a lot of reps last week, he had enough that we felt like we could call on him. The offense didn't change that much during the week. I thought he did pretty good. It's hard to single him out, really. He was getting harassed. We were struggling running the football. We couldn't get anything going really."
How did the defense play?
Morriss: "The defense kept us close enough to win it for the longest time. There were some times when we could have helped ourselves through the course of the ball game. There were about three fairly long drives for touchdowns. We got mashed a little bit in the running game. Early in the game we were trying to establish momentum and get something started. We played a horrific first half offensively and go into the break down by ten, and we know we're coming out and getting the ball back. That was largely due to the efforts of our defensive team. The defense played well."
What are your thoughts on Texas Tech?
Morriss: "We just have to go after them guys. We need to put as much heat on them as we can and knock them out of their rhythm and knock the receivers around, that sort of thing. I haven't seen any film on them, so I can't really comment."
How do you feel personally after taking this loss?
Morriss: "I don't like to lose either. I'm probably going to go home and get a good night's sleep and come back to work. That's where I don't have a choice. That's me. I just got to keep my head down, my rear-end up, and keep plowing."
Baylor Football Sunday Notes: Texas Tech has won 11 straight from Baylor since the Bears' 9-7 victory at Waco in 1995 ... Baylor freshman WR Krys Buerck needs 3 receptions to break the school's single-season freshman reception record (Trent Shelton had 25 catches in 2003) ... Buerck has 23 receptions for 280 yards and 2 TDs on the season ... Sophomore DE Jason Lamb has 5.0 sacks on the year and needs 1 to crack Baylor's single-season top 10 and 4.5 to tie the single-season mark of 10.5 set by Matthew Pearson in 1992 ... Senior RB Brandon Whitaker needs 61 yards to become the school's 28th career 1,000-yard rusher ... Whitaker has registered 330 consecutive touches without losing a fumble since a fourth quarter miscue at Texas A&M in 2003 ... Sophomore QB Blake Szymanski stands No. 2 on Baylor's single-season TD pass list (17)--just 2 shy of tying Shawn Bell's 2006 record, and is No. 2 in pass attempts (338), No. 3 in completions (185) and No. 5 in passing yards (2,147) ... Szymanski's 2,147 passing yards are most-ever by a Baylor sophomore in one season and he's just the fifth Bear to throw for 2,000 yards in a single-season ... Szymanski has passed for 2,836 in his career, good for 12th place on Baylor's all-time list and just 164 yards shy of becoming the 12th Baylor player to reach the 3,000-yard career plateau.