The Baylor Bears showed out in a big way against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, providing a 26-7 throttling en route to their first in-conference win of the season.
The Bears began the game with their foot on the accelerator. Matt Rhule’s squad seemed motivated to bounce back from last week’s disappointing loss to Duke – and bounce back they did. Rattling off 23 unanswered points in the first half of play, the Bears showed intensity on both sides of the ball.
Baylor QB Charlie Brewer’s looked the part of one of the top signal callers in the Big 12 during Saturday’s victory. After a poor showing against Duke the week prior, Brewer produced elite numbers against the Jayhawks, throwing 3 touchdowns to go with his 221 yards in the air. The sophomore QB seems to be maturing each week, a good sign for a Baylor team who has been riddled with inconsistency at the quarterback position. A lot of this growth comes alongside the growth of the Offensive line.
Take a look at this play from Baylor’s contest vs. Duke:
This whole play is a disaster. The offensive line is confused from the very start, allowing DE Chris Rumph II (#96) a direct line the QB. When the pocket quickly shrinks, Brewer panics. He doesn’t keep his eyes up and tries to step up into a now collapsed pocket. Once again, there’s not too much he could do here, other than roll out to his right or try to throw the ball away. The Offensive line, and Brewer’s subsequent panic, led to a costly third down sack that in turn led to a botched kick attempt.
Now take a look at Brewer’s first TD pass against Kansas on Saturday:
Across the board, we see massive improvement. The Offensive line isn’t confused by the pass rush, so the communication remains intact. Brewer searches the field and fails to immediately find a receiver – but this, time he doesn’t panic. He calmly rolls out to the right side, keeping his eyes downfield. Kansas has done their homework on Brewer’s tendency to scramble, so they have a linebacker spying Brewer here to make sure he doesn’t beat the Jayhawks with his feet.
Last week, Brewer may have given up on the play and tried to take off running at this point, which would have played right into Kansas’ game plan. But here, we don’t see that. Instead, Brewer keeps his eyes up and continues to scan down the field while rolling out to his right. This gives his receivers even more time to get open. At the last possible second, he fires off a bullet to the corner of the end zone, where WR Chris Platt snags the ball for a 22-yard TD.
So What? Why does one Touchdown Matter?
For a lot of reasons, actually.
The Bear’s Offensive line is, and will persist being, a weak point for this team. The communication is mediocre at best, and the lack of discipline leads to lots of penalties (141 yards worth of penalties, to be exact). That is a fact that we have to understand.
But Charlie Brewer has grown up.
Brewer is beginning to learn how to deal with less time by extending plays with his feet. He is keeping his poise, which leads to less impulsive decisions and fewer turnovers. He makes up for others’ mistakes with maturity. He is always in control.
Brewer is evolving as a player – and he isn’t done yet.