After Baylor’s loss to TCU, junior nickelback Ahmad Dixon announced that his team did not plan on losing another game.
Well, they did.
And now people are pointing their fingers at the defense in scrutiny.
The problem seemed easily identifiable after the defense gave up 525 total offensive yards to Texas in the team’s 56-50 loss last week.
“I guess we’re just not focused, or some of us just aren’t engaged at that point,” sophomore linebacker Bryce Hager said. “They’ll run a play and we’ll stop it perfectly and then next thing you know, one of us is out of position and it just happens. We just have to stay focused for the whole game.”
Dixon shared the same opinion that many of the younger guys on the field often have trouble focusing after a big play. Dixon said rather than moving on to the next play, they dwell in the moment of the previous one. According to Dixon, the guys need to learn how to make that transition from one play to the next and realize that there will be plenty more big plays to come.
When Baylor head coach Art Briles was asked about the focus of the players on his defense, he seemed to be unaware there was an issue.
“It’s a little surprising to me that a player would say that focus was not maintained during the game,” Briles said. “I certainly don’t see that as a problem. If you step on the field you better be focused or it might be the last time you ever step out there.”
As the Bears travel to Iowa in preparation for their game against Iowa State tomorrow, there is an obvious disagreement between players and their coach concerning the origination of the disconnect seen on the defense lately.
One thing the players and Briles do agree on, however, is Briles’ mindset going in to Iowa State this weekend
“What we’re trying to do is start clean, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Briles said Monday. “We got six games left, these next six games will determine our football season.”
As Baylor sits winless against Big 12 opponents as a result of a three game losing streak, finding positivity in the situation may be the best way for Briles to encourage his players.
“I think it’s a good approach,” senior quarterback Nick Florence said of Briles’ wiping-the-slate-clean mentality. “We got a lot we can learn from these last six games, a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. So we got to learn from those, but I think the biggest thing is, like he said, starting fresh, so I think that’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Baylor travels to Ames this weekend clenching tightly to their aspirations of seeing a bowl game this year and hoping to start a “new” season seven weeks in to the 2012 season.
Baylor vs. Iowa State kicks off at 6 p.m. CT on FSN. -- Savannah Pullin