Blog Entry

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 1:35 pm
 
Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WILL WIN IF: This may be a perfect matchup for Baylor. Not only is the game being played only a few hours away from the school's campus, but the Bears will also be facing a defense that hasn't shown much ability to stop anybody this season. Against the top three scoring offenses in the Pac-12 (Stanford, Oregon and USC) the Huskies allowed an average of 46.33 points a game. Which is music to the ears of a Baylor offense that finished the season averaging 43.5 points per game and has the Heisman Trophy winner handling the ball on every snap. This could be Robert Griffin's final game in a Baylor uniform, and he's going to want to end his college career with a bang. Washington will present him with a great chance to do so. Of course, as is usually the case in Baylor games, if the Bears want to win then the defense is going to have to make some stops.

We know the Bears will score points, but while Washington's offense isn't on the same level as Baylor, it can put points on the board too. So a Baylor defense that has given up 35.7 points per game this season is going to have to play a bit better than that if the Bears want to finish the season with 10 wins.

WASHINGTON WILL WIN IF: The Huskies are going to need to have their best defensive effort of the season to pull this one off, or at the very least, force enough turnovers to keep themselves in the game. Facing a passing attack like Baylor's is not good news for a Washington pass defense that has allowed opponents to complete 62% of their passes at 7.5 yards per attempt. Which means that the best way for Washington to slow RG3 will probably be to get pressure on him, which won't be easy given Griffin's mobility and the fact that the Huskies haven't had a great pass rush this season. Further complicating things is the fact that the Huskies defense has allowed over 4.5 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season as well, so even if Washington can keep Griffin in check, it'll still have to deal with a Terrence Ganaway and a Baylor offense that averages 215 rushing yards a game.

So the best bet for Washington in this one may be to get into a shootout and hope it has the ball last. Scoring points is something that Washington has shown it's capable of this season, with both Keith Price and Chris Polk proving to be hard to stop. The problem is that while the Huskies averaged 35.6 points per game in their first 8 contests, they averaged only 23.25 points a game over their last 4, so it's no surprise that Washington lost 3 of those games. The good news for Washington is that Baylor's defense has a unique ability to make your offense look a lot better than it is.

X-FACTOR: Chris Polk. We've already gone over Washington's run defense, but the truth is Baylor's is probably worse. The Bears allowed nearly 200 yards a game on the ground this season, and gave up 5.18 yards per carry. This is good news for Chris Polk, who rushed for 1,341 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. The best thing Washington can probably do for its defense to slow down Baylor would be to keep Robert Griffin and company off the field as much as possible. The best way to do this will be to utilize Polk and sustain long drives.
Comments

Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 25, 2011 4:08 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Nebraska was a top 15 team last year and, at the time, in the Big 12. UW lost big to Nebraska at the beginning of the season, but beat Nebraska when it mattered in the Holiday Bowl. Tommy Tuberville couldn't stop anything when he was at Auburn either, cuz the SEC is a strong conference. The Big 12 hasn't even had a team worth playing in the national championship the last couple of years...I would hardly put them light years from any other conference in any category. The only conference the Big 12 is better than is the Big East. Polk is a better runner than Baylor's running back, who I can't even name because he is shadowed by RGIII. You should take a look at UW's receivers and tight end...if you miss them at this bowl game, then you will see them in the NFL in a couple of years.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 9:36 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma was the preseason number 1 team.  They lost three games this season all to great passing teams.  UT had a top ten defense nationally when Baylor dismantled them in the last game.  USC and Oregon are good, very good but the Big 12 is light years ahead of other conferences in offense.  Look at Tommy Tuberville, former coach at Auburn and now at Texas Tech, who is known for being a great defensive coach.  He can't even stop Big 12 offenses.

It will be a good game but Washington fans do not understand our offense - huge line, fast receivers (Baylor is probably the second fastest team in the country next to Oregon) and a  punishing running back.  Oh yea, almost forgot RGIII.

Our defense will surprise.  Any defense by either team will surprise but in the end it will take 60 points or 4 turnovers for Washington to win this game. 



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Are you saying that Baylor can't run the ball?  They have had two RBs run more than 1,000 yards the last two years.  Terrance Ganaway was first team Big 12 this year and is a punishing back.  Baylor ranked 18th in the nation in running the ball.

There is no way of stopping Briles.  Even in OSU and A&M losses Baylor moved the ball at will.  Baylor had trouble with turnovers both of those games.  It will be the only way Washington can even stay close.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Oklahoma was better than USC or Oregon? I'm not a fan of either, in fact I really hate the Ducks, but I would not put Oklahoma on the same level as those teams this year. USC arguably finished the season as the 3rd best team in college football. Oregon's only losses came to LSU and USC. Scoring time should have little to do to excuse a bad defense. If the defense was good, then it would make stops to stay off the field as well. Baylor has a good chance to run away with it...but their Baylor's defense is worse so who knows. People thought that UW would get pounded by Nebraska last year and were proved wrong...UW actually made Nebraska look silly.



Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: December 24, 2011 1:27 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Teams that can run the ball beat teams that can't. If Washington can stop the run and contain and pressure the QB, it will be a good game. RGIII is certainly the real deal, but we'll see how the Bears prepare for the game, and whether or not the Huskies can devise a plan that keeps him from being too comfortable.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 10:01 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

What most journalists and Dawg fans do not understand is why Baylor defense is ranked as poorly as it is.  Baylor's average scoring time is 2:10.  The defense is on the field almost the whole game because of the prolific offense.  Second, Baylor doesn't have much defensive talent but the first half of the year looks much better than the second half.  Why?  Because Baylor lost their two starting CBs early and the replacements were juco players (Morton/Williams).  As of late, they have done a terrific job with multiple interceptions.  By the way, BU beat OU which was better than USC or Oregon.  Third, Phil Bennett is one of the top defensive coordinators in the nation and this is his first year.  The Baylor defense has improved and while I expect Price and Polk to get a lot of yards this defense will bend but not break.  It will be their best defensive effort of the season.  It won't matter anyway was Baylor will run up 60 on Washington's defense.



Since: Dec 24, 2011
Posted on: December 24, 2011 9:20 am
 

Keys to the Game: Alamo Bowl

Ok I've read your comments on this game and here are a few of mine..First, the dawgs lost to USC and Oregon in those last 4 games
and Baylor would have lost, also. against those teams...Next, Baylors defense is worse than the dawgs....The dawgs offense is just as
good as Baylors and that will be shown to everyone. Its going to be a great game.. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!


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