November 5, 2007

Signals from the static: Baylor game

Broken Bearometer: Going into the Baylor contest I was convinced that the game would tell us almost nothing about the overall quality of the Red Raiders and how they will likely fare against Texas and Oklahoma. Now that the game is complete, I feel strongly that I was right. The Bears simply do not have enough juice to test the other teams in the Big 12. Their quarterback situation is a mess; they have no playmakers on offense; they have no playmakers on defense, and they are running on vapor. Tech might as well have played New Mexico State-another spread team-for all this one tells us.

Do Do, Run, Run? Responding to criticism-some of it his own-that Tech ran the ball far too infrequently against Missouri and Colorado, Mike Leach hinted that new starting running back Aaron Crawford would tote the pill but plenty against Baylor. So, did he? Well, if you consider nine carries to be plenty, I suppose so. But to my mind, the answer is no. The Bears, obviously anticipating that the Red Raiders would return to the run, schemed for this eventuality and slammed the Tech running game in the hole early on. And that was enough to dissuade Leach/Harrell from feeding the ball to Crawford the remainder of the first half. Kobey Lewis ultimately notched seven carries, in addition to Crawford's nine, but the majority of those were in garbage time. All and all, this play-calling performance does little to comfort those advocating more running. I could easily see Tech running the ball 10 times against Texas and five against Oklahoma. And that is not the sort of balance needed to gain victory.

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