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Five Questions with Thee Bears

In order to learn a little more about this weekend's opponent, the recently resurgent Baylor Bears, we posed five questions to the writers at Thee Bears.  Their answers follow the jump.  You can check out their site for my answers to their questions.

1.  Baylor ranks eighth in the Big 12 in rushing defense, while K-State is second in the conference in rushing offense.  What's your level of concern as far as stopping the K-State rushing attack?

Defensively, we have concerns all over.  It seems our defensive strategy this year has been to do enough to allow our offense to outscore the opponent.  The defense has had some excellent games against lesser opponents, but the jury is still out on them.  We are very solid in several areas, but you only have to look as far back as the Texas Tech game to see the frustration in the fan base of allowing 8 yards per pass and then the running backs to gash you.  K-State doesn’t have the passing attack to replicate what Tech did, but we haven’t proven we can shut down a legit running game since Teaff was at the helm (see the UCONN game last year and CU's Stewart ran for over 100 last week).  If we can make KState’s QB win the game for them, I like our chances.

2.  With a 40 percent chance of rain, there's a chance it could be a gloomy Saturday in beautiful Waco.  Will the Baylor aerial attack be grounded by bad weather?

Weathermen in Texas are wrong 92% of the time, and right only 24% of the time...  If they are right, I don’t see it having much impact because most of our passes are short and lateral with a mix of huge down the field passes.  We don’t have to go downfield to give a defense fits and our running game is pretty solid so I don’t see this in any way putting a wet blanket on our offensive attack.

3.  For all the talk about Robert Griffin's athleticism, he's really not running the ball all that often, nor is he putting up huge numbers on the ground.  Is the knee still bothering him, or is it just that he's more effective throwing the ball?

I think it’s a combination of a couple of things.  You really don’t want your QB running as much as RGIII did his freshman year.  It creates too many opportunities for injury.  For some rason, RGIII has been knocked from time to time on his passing ability (over 75% completion percentage in conference), which is fine with us.  If teams sleep on that passing ability he eats them alive.  He doesn’t turn the ball over and you’d be surprised if you looked at each of his 5 or 6 career interceptions how many were tipped by the receiver and should have been caught.  Generally, he’s deadly accurate.  Personally, I don’t think he’s as fast as he was his freshman year.  Maybe that’s a side effect of increased size as well as the injury.  He claims he’s faster.  However, he’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t have to run.  Just the threat of him running wild is enough to open up the many other facets of Baylor’s offense.  Finally, I’ll add that the OLine, when not committing penalties, has been solid this year. Defenses just don’t get to RGIII and he has plenty of time to survey the field. 

4.  Give us one name from the Baylor defense we should keep an eye on.

Our Red Shirt Freshman Tevin Elliot.  He is a beast at Defensive End, team sack leader, and 3rd in the Big 12. This guy is going to be fun to watch the next 3 years. 

5.  What's the mood regarding the reported NCAA investigation of the men's basketball program?  Is this a cause for concern, or is it such small potatoes compared to a murdered player and a coach-orchestrated cover-up that it doesn't register with Baylor fans?

As best we can tell, Baylor actually didn’t commit any violations in the texts that Coach Moorefield sent.  They were sent to a player’s coach which is not illegal.  Secondly, the only content of the text leaked to the press can easily be taken out of context and we know how much the media wants to support / help Baylor.  This just seems to be more of the jealousy and envy of the elite program that Coach Drew is creating through his vast national recruiting pipeline.  Amazing, nothing seems to sell like bad mouthing Baylor Men’s Basketball, which I believe is actually helping our recruiting. 

These kids know Coach Drew personally and what he’s all about.  Who wouldn’t want to play for one of the most polarizing teams in America based on a few folks in the media (and typically the New York Times of all places) attempting to slander what Coach Drew has accomplished – the greatest turnaround in NCAA Men’s Basketball history. Everyone hates a winner.  To sum it up, Baylor wins on the court, on the recruiting trail – for national elite level players, graduates ALL their players, and except for the unfortunate incident with Lace Dunn recently, his players are not involved with the law.  The number of programs in America that can claim this type of clean program over a 7 year period (since Drew has been here) probably do not exceed single digits. 

The Scott Drew and Baylor basketball train is rolling and as much as people try and hope and pray they can put this juggernaut of a horse back in the barn, it just ain’t happening (I refer you to the Quincy Miller / Deuce Bello commitments, which were nationally televised on ESPN yesterday, Isaiah Austin #1 big man in the country next year, NBA Lottery Pick Ekpe Udoh, Perry Jones, Stargell Love, Brady Heslip, Bobo Morgan, Nolan Dennis and on and on and on to name a few.  That has all occurred since the media hit pieces started coming out against Coach Drew in 2009).  Keep it up media, you’re really holding us back!