For the first time in a long time, Baylor’s ability to overcome strong adversity will be tested.
Before Saturday’s game, Baylor had not lost by more than one possession since Oct. 29, 2011 at Oklahoma State, when the Bears were defeated 59-24. It was after that game that Baylor went on a nine game win streak, which held steady until their loss at West Virginia two weeks ago.
Baylor is looking to show the same stamina as they try to recover from a similar 49-21 loss against TCU before traveling to Austin to take on the Longhorns.
“I know yesterday we had good meetings,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said. “Our players, I know, are very determined, very embarrassed. They want to get back on the field and prove how they can play. We, as coaches, are the same way.”
The team had a good day and a half to mull over their weekend performance, and Briles said he is looking forward to seeing how his players respond to this situation.
Baylor junior safety and linebacker, Sam Holl, said as a team, the Bears cannot afford to look back at what happened Saturday. The focus has to be on the next matchup on the schedule each week.
“We’re just excited for this week,” Holl said. “We’re going to put that one behind us and we’re just going to get ready, work hard, and get better this week to be prepared for Texas.”
A loss, like the one suffered against TCU, is often followed with blame, whether it be on the offense, defense, coaching staff, or just a lack of preparation for the opposing team.
Briles admits the turnover-laden offensive dropped the ball (no pun intended) on many plays Saturday.
“We played well enough defensively in the first half to give ourselves a chance to win the football game, without question,” Briles said. “[Offensively], you just can’t turn the ball over. You have to work together. We didn’t work together and that’s the part that’s frustrating.”
Today, senior quarterback Nick Florence was ready to take responsibility for his four-interception game.
“I have to be smart with the football and understand where we are on the field, and just take what I can get and kick a field goal and get three points out of it,” Florence said.
At some points in the game, Florence said he got a little antsy trying to make big plays. However, he refuses to let it have an emotional effect on him. He is determined to learn from the unfortunate situation and said he must continue to play with confidence.
“I think we only have one option,” Florence said. “And that’s to respond well. We’ve got to clear Saturday night, and we’ve got to put it behind us, and we’ve got to move forward.”
The Bears recovery efforts come in the week leading up to their face-off with the Longhorns, who were also handed a nasty loss last week by Oklahoma in the classic Red River Rivalry.
This weeks’ game may be the deciding factor in the momentum each team carries the rest of the season. Hopefully, Baylor will return with aggression, play smart football, and come out on the winning side of that battle.
Because honestly, at this point, it’s pretty much a do or die situation. -- Savannah Pullin