Baylor Football 2014 Bowl Capsule

Baylor Bears
Big 12


If Art Briles had gotten out of the gate faster when he first became head coach of Baylor, he’d be spoken of in the same breath as Chip Kelly. All he has done recently is put together his third 10-win season in the last four years while once again having the preeminent offense in college football. Maybe the Bears don’t move as fast and score as often as those Ducks clubs used to, but it’s pretty close. The Baylor – TCU game from earlier this season is the stuff of legend. It also helped create some of the highest drama throughout this year in terms of the college football playoff and figuring out what the selection committee valued.

2014 Record: 11-1, 8-1
Coach: Art Briles
Coach Bowl Record: 2-5

Big Wins: 10/11 TCU (61-58), 11/8 at Oklahoma (48-14)
Bad Losses: 10/18 at West Virginia (27-41)

The 2014 campaign was a down season for quarterback Bryce Petty insofar as it wasn’t as good as his 2013. Of course, he was still better than 90 percent of all college quarterbacks in the country. Injuries got to him this year though, which makes it fortunate that Seth Russell was able to step in so nicely in Petty’s stead. It helped to have four different 500-yard, five-touchdown receivers to throw to in Corey Coleman, KD Cannon, Antwan Goodley, and Jay Lee. And then there’s Shock Linwood. Many wondered if the Baylor offense would take a step back once Lache Seastrunk left for the NFL after the 2013 season. Instead, Linwood simply stepped up and performed as well as Seastrunk ever did. He was perhaps the main reason Baylor barely budged from its 2013 yearly offensive rankings of first overall, first in scoring, fifth in passing and 13th in rushing. By generating a ton of possessions, limiting turnovers, converting well on third and fourth down, and even displaying some excellent rush defense, the Bears were a much more well-rounded team than people give them credit for.

Yet whenever Baylor gets mentioned, the TCU game must be brought up, because even though the Bears poured in 61 points for the win, the Horned Frogs managed 58 of their own by the second possession of the fourth quarter. Holding Oklahoma to 14 points on the road is special. Giving up 41 to West Virginia two games prior and 46 to Texas Tech two games later is inexplicable. Baylor on the defensive side is simply unreliable, especially defending the pass. The high number of penalties committed doesn’t help matters, and neither does a weak red zone defense. It all adds up to Baylor being seen as a shootout team. The 61-58 win was not necessarily the norm this season, yet it became the story, both positively and negatively.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Shock Linwood, RB, 1,226 yards
Passing: Bryce Petty, QB, 3,305 yards
Receiving: Corey Coleman, WR, 969 yards
Tackles: Bryce Hager, LB, 101
Sacks: Shawn Oakman, DE, 10.0
Interceptions: Xavien Howard, CB, 4; Orion Stewart, S, 4

2014 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 240.9 (18th in nation, 2nd in conference
Passing Offense: 340.2 (6, 2)
Total Offense: 581.1 (1, 1)
Scoring Offense: 49.8 (1, 1)
Rushing Defense: 108.1 (10, 1)
Pass Defense: 256.4 (100, 7)
Total Defense: 364.5 (39, 3)
Scoring Defense: 23.9 (39, 5)
Turnover Margin: 1.09 (5, 2)
Sacks: 2.91 (22, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 1.55 (27, 3)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2013    Fiesta Bowl    UCF (42-52)
2012    Holiday Bowl    UCLA (49-26)
2011    Alamo Bowl    Washington (67-56)
2010    Texas Bowl    Illinois (14-38)
1994    Alamo Bowl    Washington State (3-10)
1992    John Hancock Bowl    Arizona (20-15)
1991    Copper Bowl    Indiana (0-24)

*all team stats through 12/1


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