Baylor Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Baylor Bears
Big 12


Offense and offense alone cannot win football games in college. A team needs to be able to make stops. West Virginia found this out in their first season as a member of the Big 12. An offensive juggernaut cannot sustain wins throughout a 12 week season. The Baylor Bears, West Virginia’s new conference peers, found out the same thing a year ago, with Robert Griffin III as their quarterback. Unfortunately, those who don’t make positive changes are doomed to repeat themselves. With the departure of RGIII, Baylor’s offense was just as good this season but the team did worse. Offense and offense alone failed yet again for the Baylor Bears.

2012 Record: 7-5, 4-5
Coach: Art Briles
Coach Bowl Record: 1-4

Big Wins: 11/17 Kansas State (52-24), 11/24 at Texas Tech (52-45)
Bad Losses: 10/13 TCU (21-49), 10/27 at Iowa State (21-35)

Last year’s Heisman-winner-led offense finished fifth, second and sixth respectively in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Surprisingly enough, this year’s offense, led by quarterback Nick Florence, finished tied or ahead of last year’s in every one of those categories. Although Florence was no Heisman candidate, he had a heck of a season. His running ability was okay but he was able to eclipse 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns through the air. His very best game might have been against those West Virginia Mountaineers, when he threw for 581 yards and five touchdowns in a losing effort. Florence’s number one option all year was senior wide receiver Terrance Williams. In that aforementioned West Virginia game, Williams tallied a remarkable 17 catches for 314 yards and two scores. These two programs had very similar seasons when looking at the end-of-year totals and records. However, while WVU started off so hot and went ice cold through the end of fall, Baylor was slightly more inconsistent but rallied at the end of the year to gain their bowl eligibility. Like the Mountaineers though, their bowl game berth was gained exclusively on the strength of their passing offense.

Everything else that happened to Baylor this season, namely everything bad, was because of their defense. This is where the parallels to West Virginia continue. Baylor finished outside the top 100 in the nation in total defense and scoring defense. They were also dreadful at pressuring opponents in the backfield, ranking outside the top 100 in sacks and tackles for loss as well. During the Bears’ four game losing streak in the middle of the season, they allowed the following point totals: 70, 49, 56 and 35. While WVU had the (shoddy) excuse of this being their first season in a new conference, Baylor had no excuse for getting so routinely shredded in these ball games. Last year’s team struggled with the same thing but they somehow got worse this season with arguably a better offensive team overall. Everyone is aware of the fire power that exists in the Big 12 conference, in no small part due to West Virginia’s presence. Baylor ranking low nationally in all of these defensive categories would not be the end of the world if they were competing within their own conference. However, that is not the case. Baylor is the very worst team in the Big 12 in total defense, and that is saying something.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Lache Seastrunk, RB, 874 yards
Passing: Nick Florence, QB, 4,121 yards
Receiving: Terrance Williams, WR, 1,764 yards
Tackles: Bryce Hager, LB, 115
Sacks: Chris McAllister, DE, 4.0
Interceptions: Eddie Lackey, LB, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 217.00 (18, 1)
Passing Offense: 358.45 (3, 2)
Total Offense: 575.45 (2, 1)
Scoring Offense: 44.36 (5, 2)
Rushing Defense: 188.36 (88, 9)
Pass Defense: 321.36 (118, 9)
Total Defense: 509.73 (119, 10)
Scoring Defense: 38.55 (116, 9)
Turnover Margin: 0.36 (42, 4)
Sacks: 1.18 (110, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.55 (42, 7)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
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 11/24


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