Friday, October 20, 2006

Time to End the Homecoming Game Blues

Let me first say that TDF had a great post below this one. Very accurate. My favorite line is this one:

But let's be honest here, for Baylor, "beatable" means "not a sure loss."
I think that pretty much sums up the feelings of most Baylor fans. And it might be pretty close to the truth, but I think all 5 remaining games are going to be close enough to be toss-ups. We have a much better shot than "not a sure loss" in each of them. Our road matchups are a crumbling Tech team (that will still be favored against us) and an up-and-down OSU team. At home, we have Kansas, who I think we should beat, A&M who we've played very closely and are giving up nearly 300 yards per game passing in conference, and OU who is suffering some injury and off-the-field problems.

But let's focus on Kansas, since we play them tomorrow.

Kansas kinda reminds me of our 2003 team. We had Rashad Armstrong in the backfield (1k yard rusher), but a questionable line, a questionable QB, and a spotty defense. But are we their Colorado?

I really don't see it. They are on the road and it's not just a trip to Manhatten or Lincoln, it's all the way down in Texas. They are 0-3 and their losses are getting worse, and they are the type of losses to kinda addle your brain. Overtime dogfight lost in the first OT period 39-32, after a big comeback. Leading 18-13 and then a minute later losing the game 21-18. Leading 17-0, and then getting blown out in the second half on the way to a 42-32 loss.

These are the types of losses that start to convince you that you are meant to lose games. You aren't supposed to win the game. They are the types of wins that have you sitting around waiting for something (anything!) to happen that hurts your team, and then you throw in the towel because "here we go again".

I know. I'm a Baylor fan.

The good news for us Baylor fans is that our team has overcome that mentality and so we can take advantage of it happening to Kansas. If we can hold them scoreless in the first quarter (half!?) and get a good lead on them, they will likely start to fold themselves. They've done it over and over again.

And Cornish, their best offensive weapon, isn't 100%. That means we don't have to key on the run as much as we would have, and that means our secondary can focus on making Meier's life even worse than his 11 interceptions already this year have made it. Our defense has shown it can be a pretty good run defense when it wants to. It's held excellent rushing teams to less than 2.5 yards per carry and low rushing totals.

But here's the major concern: Our Baylor teams of the last few years play to the level of their competition.

We come into a game with an idea of how it's going to go, and we play to that level. Against WSU we played a tough game that we should have won (IT WAS A FUMBLE!), but the next week we didn't play nearly as well, with nearly the intensity ("It was only Army...") and we got beat. Are we a better team than Army? No question, but only if we play to OUR potential and not to our conception of what their team's abilities are.

Baylor needs to show the killer instinct that has made the good and great teams what they are. We need to play to our potential, not our opponents. We need to come out and play hard for four quarters.

When Morriss first got here, he talked about throwing a blanket over the scoreboard and playing every possession like the score was 0-0. We need to do that again for a different reason. We aren't getting blown out any more, but WE should be delivering some blowouts. And if not blowouts, at least secure 14-20 point wins.

We can do that if we focus and play our brand of football. And I hope that's what I see tomorrow.

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