Oct. 29, 2007
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BAYLOR (3-6, 0-5) vs. TEXAS TECH (6-3, 2-3)
SATURDAY, NOV. 3, 2007 2:00 P.M. CDT
FLOYD CASEY STADIUM (50,000)
BAYLOR: Guy Morriss (TCU, 1973)
Record at Baylor: 18-37 (5th season)
Career Record: 27-51 (7th season)
Record vs. Texas Tech: 0-4
TEXAS TECH: Mike Leach (Brigham Young, 1983)
Record at Texas Tech: 62-36 (8th season)
Career Record: 62-36 (8th season)
Record vs. Baylor: 7-0
BAYLOR/ISP RADIO NETWORK
John Morris, play-by-play
J.J. Joe, color analyst
Ricky Thompson, sideline
Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 161
BAYLOR HOSTS TEXAS TECH FOR HOMECOMING
Baylor returns to action Saturday, Nov. 3, hosting Texas Tech for a Big 12 Conference South Division game. Kickoff between the Bears and the Red Raiders is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT at Floyd Casey Stadium. Baylor is 0-2 against Big 12 South opponents this season, while Texas Tech is 1-1. The game is part of Homecoming festivities on the Baylor campus.
The Bears (3-6, 0-5) have dropped five straight following a 51-13 loss at Kansas State last Saturday. Baylor is 2-2 at home this season, defeating Rice and Texas State and losing to Colorado and Texas.
The Red Raiders (6-3, 2-3) have dropped two consecutive games, following a 31-26 loss to Colorado at home last Saturday; the Raiders lost at Missouri the previous week. Texas Tech is unranked in this week's national polls. The Red Raiders are 2-2 on the road this season, defeating SMU and Rice and losing at Oklahoma State and at Missouri.
BAYLOR-TEXAS TECH SERIES
This is the 66th meeting between Baylor and Texas Tech. The all-time series is knotted 32-32-1, but the Red Raiders have won the last 11 meetings. Baylor's last victory over Tech was a 9-7 win at home in 1995 when the Red Raiders were ranked 24th nationally. The Red Raiders were 28-0 winners at Floyd Casey Stadium in their last visit (2005). The series dates back to Nov. 2, 1929, a 34-0 Baylor victory in Waco. The teams have met every season since 1956.
SERIES NOTES: Tech's current 11-game series winning streak matches the longest by either team in the series; Baylor also enjoyed an 11-game winning streak from 1947 to 1960. ... Baylor scored 21 fourth-quarter points in its 42-28 victory in 1968. It was the most points a Baylor team had ever scored in the fourth quarter, a mark which has been matched four times since. ... In 1980, the Bears held the Red Raiders to minus-36 yards rushing on 47 attempts, the second-best defensive performance by a Baylor squad and the school modern record (since 1950). ... In 2003, Maurice Lane registered 23 tackles against Tech, tied for the fifth-best single-game performance in school history and the most since Mike Singletary had 23 stops against the Raiders in 1979. ... Two of the six longest kick returns in Baylor history have come against Texas Tech. Robert Quiroga tied the school record with a 100-yard kickoff return in 2003, and Bill Coleman's 91-yard punt return in 1942 remains tied for third in school history. ... Of Baylor's 28 all-time 300-yard passing games, four came against Tech: 377 in 1986 (fourth), 347 in 1989 (seventh), 315 in 1983 (tied-16th) and 304 in 1998 (26th). ... When Bob Trout snagged 10 receptions for 119 yards against Tech in 1951, he became the first Bear to reach double figures in catches in a single game. ... Greg Hawthorne's 80-yard run in 1977 remains tied for the second-longest rush in school history. ... Gary Blair rushed for 199 yards on 30 carries against the Raiders in 1976, the third-best single-game total at Baylor. ... Trent Shelton's 71-yard TD run at Texas Tech in 2004 tied for the 14th-longest in school history.
Overall: Tied 32-32-1
Waco: Baylor leads 18-11-0
Lubbock: Texas Tech leads 21-14-1
Neutral Site: never met
Since Start of Big 12: Texas Tech leads 11-0
Most Points Scored, Baylor: 45 (1986)
Most Points Scored, Texas Tech: 63 (2001)
Most Points Scored, both teams: 82 (2001, TTU 63-19)
Largest Margin of Victory, Baylor: 34-0 (1929)
Largest Margin of Victory, Texas: 62-11 (2002)
TEXAS TECH 55, BAYLOR 21
NOV. 4, 2006 JONES AT&T STADIUM LUBBOCK, TEXAS
Texas Tech outscored Baylor 48-7 in the game's final 38 minutes, overcoming an early 14-7 deficit for a 55-21 victory over the Bears at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Graham Harrell torched the Baylor secondary for 483 yards and four touchdowns on 35-of-52 passing. Three of his touchdown strikes went to Joel Filani, who finished with 212 yards on eight receptions.
As a team, Texas Tech tallied 682 yards of total offense. Meanwhile, Baylor managed just 217 yards, its lowest single-game output in more than a year.
Tech marched 80 yards on 10 plays on the game's first possession; the Raiders capped the drive with a 20-yard Harrell-to-Edward Britton touchdown pass.
Baylor answered with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter. Blake Szymanski, who made his first career start in place of the injured Shawn Bell, connected with Trent Shelton for a 56-yard touchdown strike.
A James Todd interception set up Baylor's next score as he picked off a Harrell pass at the Tech 28 and returned it to the Red Raiders' 3. One play later, Szymanski dropped back to pass and then sprinted into the end zone off right tackle.
However, that was the only lead the Bears would enjoy as Tech scored the next five touchdowns to take a commanding 42-14 lead by midway through the third quarter.
Baylor finally snapped the Tech 35-0 run on another Szymanski 3-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter.
Szymanski finished the game 16-of-30 for 197 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also had 25 yards rushing on 22 rushes, six of which were sacks.
Thomas White led the Bears in receiving with five snags for 46 yards. Joe Pawelek led Baylor defensively with nine tackles, including one sack.
OKLAHOMA GAME TIME SET
Game time for Baylor's Nov. 10 game at fifth-ranked Oklahoma has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CST at Memorial Stadium; the game will be televised nationally on FSN.
Oklahoma has won all 16 previous meetings, including a 36-10 decision at Floyd Casey Stadium last season. Baylor is 0-7 all-time at Norman; however, the Bears pushed the Sooners to two overtimes in their last visit (2005).
Baylor is 3-4 all-time when 3-6, including a 2-4 mark when following a loss; this is the first time Baylor has ever been 3-6 with a five-game losing streak. Baylor also faced Texas Tech with a 3-6 record in 2003; the Red Raiders won the game 62-14.
Baylor has lost nine straight Big 12 games since its 36-35 comeback victory over Kansas (Oct. 22, 2006).
Baylor is 161-222-20 all-time in November, including a 1-12 mark under head coach Guy Morriss.
Baylor is 29-58-5 all-time on the first Saturday of November, including a 4-6-1 mark on Nov. 3.
Baylor is 3-0 this season when scoring first and when leading at halftime; the Bears are 0-6 this season both when the opponent scores first and when trailing at halftime.
Baylor has forced at least one turnover in 28 of the last 32 games, including 19 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 31 games, including 14 first-quarter shutouts in that time.
Baylor has been flagged 53 times for 457 yards through this season's first nine games. Last year, the Bears were penalized 64 times for 634 yards through the first nine games.
Baylor's defense has logged 21 quarterback sacks through nine 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 is one of nine Division I-A schools with at least 40 underclassmen on roster.
BAYLOR HOMECOMING HISTORY
Baylor plays its 75th Homecoming game Saturday. The Bears are 34-36-4 all-time in Homecoming games after snapping an eight-game losing streak in such games with a 36-35 victory over Kansas last season. The Bears' first Homecoming game was in 1930, a 14-0 loss to Texas.
Baylor, which first recognized Homecoming in 1909, is among five universities that were the first to hold homecoing festivities -- Illinois, Northern Illinois, Indiana and Michigan being the others.
This is the fourth time Baylor has played Texas Tech as its Homecoming opponent. Texas Tech has been Baylor's Homecoming opponent in each of the Red Raiders' last three visits to Floyd Casey Stadium. Baylor has faced TCU (31 meetings) the most on Homecoming, followed by Texas A&M (20), Arkansas (eight), Texas Tech (four), Iowa State (two), Kansas State (two), Texas (two), and six other teams once.
1956 BEARS HONORED
Baylor's 1956 squad will be honored during Homecoming festivities in association with Saturday's game against Texas Tech. The 1956 squad, which won the 1957 Sugar Bowl, celebrates its 50th reunion this weekend.
The Bears posted a 9-2 record during the 1956 season, one of the best in program history to date. Baylor started the season with four consecutive wins, out-scoring its opponents 62-13 in those four games. The Bears climbed to No. 8 in the Associated Press Top 25 before a 19-13 loss to seventh-ranked Texas A&M. The following week, the Bears were upset 7-6 at TCU and fell out of the national rankings. However, Baylor won its final four regular season games, starting with a 10-7 victory over Texas; the Bears out-scored their opponents 108-27 in those four games and finished the regular season ranked 11th nationally.
Baylor defeated Southeastern Conference champion and second-ranked Tennessee 13-7 in the Sugar Bowl. It was Baylor's second of four all-time appearances in one of the "Big Four" bowl games (Cotton, Orange, Rose, Sugar). Tennessee entered the game 10-0, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Johnny Majors at halfback. The Volunteers had been ranked in the top 10 nationally all season and spent one week at No. 1. However, it was Majors' fumbled punt return that set the stage for Baylor's fourth-quarter, game-winning touchdown; Reuben Saage recovered the fumble, and Buddy Humphrey scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Baylor's victory ensured Oklahoma its second consecutive national title; Oklahoma was ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season, but the 10-0 Sooners opted to not play in a bowl game.
BELL NAMED BOBBY JONES AWARD WINNER
Shawn Bell will be honored during halftime ceremonies of Baylor's Homecoming game Saturday against Texas Tech. Bell will be presented the Bobby Jones Award, given annually to the MVP of Baylor's Homecoming game from the previous season.
One of the most productive quarterbacks in Baylor history, Bell guided the Bears' improbable 36-35 comeback victory over Kansas in the 2006 Homecoming game. With Baylor trailing 35-17 with 10:38 remaining in the game, Bell led the Bears to three touchdowns as the Bears tied the largest fourth-quarter comeback in school history. Bell finished the game 33-of-55 for 394 yards and five touchdowns, establishing school records for completions, yards and touchdowns (all of which have since been eclipsed). He was most spectacular in the Bears' final three drives: 13-of-17 for 222 yards and touchdown passes to Trent Shelton, Paul Mosley and Dominique Zeigler.
TURNOVERS COSTLY FOR BEARS
Baylor has committed 31 turnovers through nine games (3.4 per game), and the Bears' opponents have turned those into 95 points (30.7 percent of total points allowed) for an average of 3.1 points per turnover. Meanwhile, Baylor has forced 17 turnovers (1.9 per game) and turned those into 51 points (29.0 percent of total points scored) for an average of 3.0 points per turnover.
In Big 12 Conference play, Baylor has committed 22 turnovers in five games (4.4 per game); the Bears' opponents have scored 78 points off those turnovers (35.9 percent of total points allowed) for an average of 3.5 points per turnover. Interestingly, a higher percentage of Baylor's points in Big 12 play have come from the opponents' turnovers. The Bears have forced eight turnovers in five league games (1.6 per game) and scored 24 points off those turnovers (36.4 percent of total points scored) for an average of 3.0 points per turnover.
BEARS IN MIDST OF TOUGH STRETCH
Saturday's game against Texas Tech is Baylor's second consecutive game against an unranked opponent. However, the Red Raiders are the Bears' fourth consecutive opponent and sixth this year ranked at some point during the season. In fact, six of Baylor's eight Big 12 opponents have been ranked nationally in either the Associated Press Top 25 or the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Only Colorado and Oklahoma State have not been ranked nationally this season; however, both are among teams also receiving votes in this week's polls.
DEFENSIVE STARTERS A FAMILIAR BUNCH
Baylor has used only 13 players as starters on defense this season: Josh Bell, Trey Bryant, Dwain Crawford, Geoff Nelson, Jason Lamb, Jordan Lake, Nick Moore, Joe Pawelek, Vincent Rhodes, Brandon Stiggers, Damien Taylor, Alton Widemon and Jeremy Williams. In fact, Baylor has started the same player in all nine games this season at nine of the 11 defensive positions. Williams started the season's first two games at strong safety before giving way to Stiggers for the seven games since. Nelson has started every game at right end, save the game at Buffalo when Taylor got the start.
Six Baylor defensive players have started at least 10 consecutive games, dating back to last season. Moore leads the way with 19 consecutive starts, followed by Pawelek (18), Rhodes (17), Lamb (15), Widemon (12) and Crawford (10). Nelson had a 15-game streak snapped when he did not start at Buffalo, but he has started 20 of the last 21 games. Moore, Nelson and Widemon are seniors, while Crawford, Lamb and Rhodes are juniors and Pawelek is a sophomore.
BAYLOR SPREADS THE WEALTH IN PASSING GAME
Through nine games, 16 different players have recorded at least one reception this season. That total is tied for fifth nationally and tied for second among Big 12 Conference schools. Troy and TCU lead nationally, both having 18 players who have caught a pass this season. Colorado leads the Big12 with 17 receivers, tied with Southern California for third nationally. Baylor joins Boise State and Texas Tech in a fifth-place tie nationally.
Baylor's 16 players with at least one reception this season are: Brandon Whitaker (37 receptions), Justin Akers (36), Brad Taylor (27), David Gettis (25), Krys Buerck (23), Ernest Smith (17), Thomas White (16), Justin Fenty (15), Jay Finley (15), Mikail Baker (six), Jacoby Jones (three), Kyle Mitchell (three), Eddy Newton (three), Luke La Mar (two), Joe Bennett (one) and Keegan Vann (one).
Furthermore, nine different Baylor players have at least one touchdown reception this season: Akers (four), White (four), Buerck (two), Taylor (two), Whitaker (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 Hawai'i (10) ranks second.
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 nine games, Pawelek has averaged 9.3 tackles per game to rank sixth in the Big 12 Conference and 49th nationally. He has averaged 11.2 tackles per game in Baylor's five Big 12 contests, third in the league.
Pawelek has 84 tackles on the season, including 36 solo efforts and 7.5 stops behind the line. He has 2.0 sacks, one interception, two passes broken up, one quarterback hurry, a fumble forced and a fumble recovery. Pawelek is two tackles shy of his total (86) from last season when he was a first-team Freshman All-America selection.
LAKE MAKES NAME FOR HIMSELF
FS Jordan Lake is tied for fourth in the Big 12 and is tied for 40th nationally with 9.7 tackles per game. A sophomore from Houston's Memorial High School, Lake leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally in tackles among defensive backs.
Lake, who was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week following the Bears' 34-21 victory at Buffalo, has 87 tackles on the season, including 50 solo stops and 1.0 tackle for loss. Along with two interceptions and five passes broken up, Lake has forced two fumbles and recovered two others.
GETTIS NEARS ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE LIST
WR David Gettis enters the Texas Tech game with 957 all-purpose yards this season, gaining 356 yards on 25 receptions and 601 yards on 25 kickoff returns. Gettis had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Oct. 13 at Kansas, the eighth-longest in school history and Baylor's first since the 2005 season.
Over the last four games, Gettis has averaged 170.5 all-purpose yards per game. Against Colorado, Gettis established a career high with 225 all-purpose yards. That was the best single-game total by a Baylor player in the Guy Morriss era and the best by any Bear since Jerod Douglas' school-record, 257-yard performance at Oklahoma in 1997.
Gettis needs 228 all-purpose yards in Baylor's final three games to crack the Bears' all-time top-10 list. Currently, Reggie Newhouse (2002) and Willie Andrews (2004) are tied for 10th with 1,184 yards.
WHITAKER RECEIVES ATTENTION FROM BACKFIELD
RB Brandon Whitaker leads Baylor with 37 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, he tallied 11 receptions against Colorado and averaged 7.7 receptions per game over a three-game span.
Whitaker established career highs in receptions and yards receivng (166) against Colorado, both Baylor single-game records for a non-receiver. He previously held the single-game receptions record for a non-receiver with nine catches at Washington State last season. Whitaker's receptions total tied for fifth in school history and was one shy of the overall school record. Meanwhile, his yardage total tied for eighth all-time at Baylor.
Whitaker also broke Baylor's career receptions mark for a non-receiver in the Colorado game. His third catch of the game was the 78th of his career, breaking the previous mark held by FB Jeffrey Murray (1986-89). Whitaker now has 98 career catches for 653 yards. He currently is tied with Kalief Muhammad (1993-96) for seventh on Baylor's overall career receptions list.
Entering the Texas Tech game, Whitaker needs one catch to become the seventh player in school history with at least 100 career receptions. He also needs 62 yards rushing to become the 28th 1,000-yard rusher in school history. One of five Bears with at least two touchdown receptions this season, Whitaker ranks third on the squad with 296 yards receiving.
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 14 times in nine 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 North Texas game, snapping 35-game streak.
Kansas recorded a sack of Baylor's Ryan Roberts midway through the third quarter, snapping a streak of 114 consecutive pass plays without allowing a sack for Baylor's offensive line. The Bears allowed only one sack against Texas in 57 total pass plays.
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 1.6 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 31.9 pass attempts.
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 2-25 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 8-34 when allowing 20 or more points in that time.
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 Oklahoma (offensive and defensive touchdown).
That success has carried over to the 2007 season as the Bears have allowed only eight first-quarter scores and only three first-quarter touchdowns through the first nine games. Baylor held TCU, Texas State and Buffalo scoreless in the opening period.
In 31 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, Colorado this season and Kansas State last weekend are the only opponents 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 41 games. The Bears have held the opponent without a first-quarter offensive touchdown 24 times and scoreless 16 times in those 41 games.
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 73 turnovers (41 interceptions, 32 fumble recoveries) since the start of the 2005 season to rank third in the Big 12 and tied for 15th nationally among Division I-A teams in that span. Baylor has come up with at least one turnover in 28 of 32 games since the start of the 2005 season, including 19 games with two or more.
Baylor forced 34 turnovers over 23 games (1.5 per game) in Guy Morriss' first two seasons, compared to the 73 it has totaled over the last 32 outings (2.3 per game). 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
2. South Florida 30 25 25 80
3. Boston College 18 37 23 78
Purdue 27 32 19 78
5. Louisiana Tech 31 29 17 77
Texas 27 32 18 77
Western Michigan 25 34 18 77
West Virginia 31 24 22 77
9. Oregon State 26 28 22 76
10. Miami (Ohio) 35 22 18 75
Michigan 23 26 26 75
Southern Mississippi 34 25 16 75
Southern California 38 22 15 75
14. Oklahoma 23 32 19 74
15. BAYLOR 29 27 17 73
Louisville 28 25 20 73
Louisiana-Monroe 26 34 13 73
Oregon 32 22 19 73
19. Boise State 26 31 14 71
Hawai'i 21 29 21 71
Missouri 24 28 19 71
22. Nevada 23 37 10 70
23. Florida 31 29 9 69
Idaho 22 25 22 69
24. UTEP 24 25 19 68
Georgia 29 30 8 68
Baylor has recorded 15 non-offensive scores in 55 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. Colorado -- Jamaal Harper 7-yard fumble return (forced by Derrick Cash)
2003 at Kansas -- James Todd blocked punt recovery in end zone (blocked by Michael Boyd)
2003 at Kansas State -- Robert Quiroga 98-yard kickoff return
2003 vs. Texas Tech -- Robert Quiroga 100-yard kickoff return
2003 vs. Oklahoma State -- Willie Andrews 30-yard fumble return (forced by John Garrett)
2004 vs. Texas State -- Justin Crooks 9-yard fumble return (forced by Montez Murphy)
2004 vs. North Texas -- Braelon Davis blocked punt recovery in end zone (blocked by Davis)
2004 vs. Iowa State -- Braelon Davis defensive PAT (interception return)
2005 vs. Samford -- Jamaal Harper 29-yard fumble return (forced by Colin Allred)
2005 vs. Samford -- Shaun Rochon 85-yard punt return
2005 at Oklahoma -- Shaun Rochon 98-yard kickoff return
2005 vs. Oklahoma State -- Colin Allred 25-yard interception return
2006 vs. Oklahoma -- Braelon Davis 56-yard fumble return (forced by Davis)
2007 at Kansas -- David Gettis 97-yard kickoff return
NOTES FROM THE KANSAS STATE GAME
Baylor committed four first-half turnovers for the first time since last season's Oklahoma State game and for only the third time in Morriss' tenure (2003 at North Texas).
Baylor committed seven turnovers (three interceptions, four fumbles) for the first time since the final game of the 2000 season against Oklahoma State (three interceptions, four fumbles).
Baylor allowed a season-high five sacks; the Bears' quarterbacks had been sacked only nine times in the season's first eight games.
Baylor was penalized nine times for 103 yards, a season high in yardage.
Jordy Nelson's 92-yard punt return for a touchdown in the game's final minutes tied for the longest punt return ever against Baylor.
CB Antareis Bryan's first-quarter interception was the first of his career.
WR Thomas White's 52-yard, second-quarter touchdown reception was the longest reception of his career.
White recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game. It was Baylor's second 100-yard receiving game this season (Brandon Whitaker, 166 vs. Colorado) and the first by a non-back since last season's Texas A&M game (Dominique Zeigler, 180.
White's second career multiple-touchdown game; he also had two touchdown receptions against Northwestern State last season.
QB Blake Szymanski moved into second place on Baylor's single-season touchdown passes list; he now has 17 on the season, two shy of Shawn Bell's school record from last season.
Szymanski became the fifth player in school history to pass for at least 2,000 yards in a season; Szymanski now has 2,147 yards passing this season, fifth all-time at Baylor.
Szymanski's fifth 200-yard passing game of the season.
DE Jason Lamb tied his career high with seven tackles.
Second straight double-digit tackle game for FS Jordan Lake, fourth this season.
Third straight double-digit tackle game for LB Joe Pawelek, fourth this season and fifth of his career.
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 Kansas State, 17-3, and bowl-eligible Kansas, 36-35.
Over Morriss' four seasons in Waco, his teams have tackled the nation's 55th- (2003), sixth- (2004), 28th- (2005) and 49th- (2006) most-difficult schedules according to the NCAA.
BAYLOR AMONG NATION'S BEST COLLEGES
Baylor University ranks as the nation's 75th-best institute for higher learning, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2008 "America's Best Colleges" edition. Baylor is ranked third among Big 12 Conference schools, trailing only Texas (44th) and Texas A&M (62nd). Last year, Baylor was the fourth-ranked Big 12 school but leap-frogged Colorado (79th) in this year's rankings.
Other Big 12 schools ranked were: Iowa State (t-85th), Kansas (t-85th), Missouri (t-91st), Nebraska (t-91st), Oklahoma (108th) and Kansas State (124th). Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were considered "third tier" schools and were, therefore, not ranked numerically.
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 Nebraska, Texas and Texas Tech among the 32 institutions who received honorable mention recognition with a graduation rate of 70 to 90 percent. Baylor also was recognized in the AFCA's 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006 surveys.
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 Alexandria's Dr Pepper Bottling Co. He also was a dedicated supporter of Baylor athletics and in particular its football program, until his death in 2003. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, who still resides in Alexandria.
The focal point of the Highers Athletics Complex will be the 96,300-square-foot Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, which will be built on University Parks Drive adjacent to Baylor's Mayborn Museum Complex and the university's other athletic facilities that are part of the Julie and Jim Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex on the Brazos River.
A Baylor University graduate and generous Baylor supporter, Bob R. Simpson is a co-founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of XTO Energy Inc. of Fort Worth. His leadership at XTO has been recognized by numerous publications, including Barron's ("30 most respected CEO's in the world," March 27, 2006), Oil & Gas Explorer ("Executive of the Year," March 2006), Institutional Investor ("Best CEOs," January 2006), BusinessWeek ("The BusinessWeek Top 50 Performers," April 2006) and Forbes ("2,000 Leading Companies in the World," April 17, 2006).
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 Academic Center will include functions that are currently housed at Floyd Casey Stadium, such as a main athletics training room, equipment room, football team locker room, coaches' locker room and weight room. Floor two will hold administrative offices, the football office and meeting rooms, as well as an academic center which will benefit all Baylor student-athletes.
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 I-AA Southeast Missouri State.
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 University of Arizona, Kasey Dunn is Baylor's new assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach. Former University of Houston All-America wide receiver Jason Phillips will coach the Bears' inside receivers and serve as recruiting coordinator after helping his alma mater to three bowl games in four seasons. Morriss also hired former University of Houston safeties coach Clay Jennings, a graduate of Waco's La Vega High School, as Baylor's cornerbacks coach.
Cornell Jackson, who coached running backs at the University of New Mexico the past two years and has 20 years of collegiate coaching experience, is the Bears' new running backs coach.
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 18-37 record in five seasons at Baylor and is 27-51 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 Texas, including flagship stations ESPN KRZI-AM (1660) in Waco. All Baylor games are broadcast by the "Voice of the Bears" John Morris, a veteran broadcaster with 21 years' experience in the Baylor broadcast booth and in his 13th season as the signature voice of Baylor Athletics. Former Baylor football standouts J.J. Joe (color analyst) and Ricky Thompson (sideline reporter) complete the broadcast team.
BAYLOR/ISP SPORTS FOOTBALL RADIO NETWORK
Abilene KYYW-AM 1470
Amarillo KIXZ-AM 940
Big Spring KBST-AM 1490
Houston KKHT-FM 100.7
Dallas/Fort Worth WBAP-AM 820
Jacksonville KXAL-FM 100.3
Lubbock KJAK-FM 92.7
Lufkin KYBI-FM 101.9
Waco (Flagship) KRZI-AM 1660 ESPN
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 Central Texas and other outlets. The program, co-hosted by John Morris and Lori Scott Fogleman, airs on KCEN-TV Channel 6 (Sunday, 11 p.m. CT), Fox Sports Southwest (Wednesday, 1 p.m. CT), College Sports Television (Friday, 4 p.m. CT) and the College Channel (Waco cable 18).
UP NEXT ...
Baylor returns to action Saturday, Nov. 10, traveling to Norman, Okla., for a Big 12 Conference South Division game at Oklahoma. Kickoff between the Bears and the Sooners is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CST at Memorial Stadium on the Oklahoma campus. This is Baylor's final road game of the 2007 season. The game will be televised nationally on FSN.
Oklahoma has won each of the 16 previous meetings, including a 36-10 decision at Floyd Casey Stadium last season. Baylor is 0-7 all-time at Norman; however, the Bears pushed the Sooners to two overtimes in their last visit (2005).