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Baylor Bears Claw Army, 20-10
West Point, NY - Baylor upped its mark to 3-0 for the first time since 1996 by getting off to a quick score and holding an inept Army offense to 56 total net rushing yards on the day. As poorly as Army's offense performed, the defense played better than anticipated by CFF.com. There was a noticeable improvement over the 44 straight points allowed the previous week by Boson College. For Army's sake, the defense might be righting itself, but the offense needs a lot of work. Army attempted three mid to long range field goals and came up short each time. Even a few breaks on penalties and turnovers could not be converted into points. Baylor QB Shawn Bell racked up 205 yards going 20 for 30 in the passing department. RBs Paul Mosley and Brandon Whitaker had 77 and 60 yards respectively for the Bears. Army QB Zac Dahman was 19 of 37 for 228 yards, throwing for 60 of them and one TD in the waning minutes.
Baylor took the opening kick-off and scored three points on a 39-yard FG by PK Ryan Havens. Army's subsequent drive stayed alive after Baylor was penalized on a punt. Army drove to the Baylor 30, but turned the ball back over as Baylor stopped RB Carlton Jones ( 80 yards on 24 carries) on a fourth and one. A 40-yard Bell pass which an Army defender seemed to miss an easy pick, set Havens up for his second FG, this time from 27, to put the Bears up 6-0 by the end of Q1.
Halfway through the second period, PK Joe Riley put Army on the board with a 49-yard boot, right after the Black Knights were penalized 5 yards for a delay of game penalty. Several Army fans nearby were astounded by the result. After several exchanges, Baylor scored as Bell connected with Mosley out of the backfield on a 7-yard TD pass with :42 left. Havens' conversion put the Bears on top, 13-3. Army got Riley onto position for a 56-yard FG, but it was asking too much as the ball fell too short and too wide as time expired.
Halftime was marked with a tribute to late Heisman Trophy Winner Glenn Davis, "Mr. Outside, who passed away this past March. His "41" is on the two 20-Yard lines. On the one to the north end of the stadium, flowers and a painting were presented to his widow, son and daughter. A video was played on a small screen at the southern end of the newly built football center, but it was too small for anyone to see without binoculars, and difficult to hear as it's always been at Michie Stadium, at least from the Family Fun Zone.
Baylor drove downfield on its first possession of the second half, but Army caused WR Trent Shelton to fumble and DB Dhyan Tarver recovered. Army put together a drive, but Riley misfired a FG attempt from 47 yards away. Several series later, Bell overthrew his receiver and DB Rob Davis brought it down to the Baylor 32 giving Army great field position.
Army got as far as the 20, but Riley came in and missed the mark again! Baylor retaliated with a long drive of their own, but Havens missed his FG from 33 yards with a wide right. With 5:00 remaining, Army lost what little momentum it had when QB Zac Dahman's pass attempt on first down was tipped and fell on to the chest of S Maurice Linguist who was laying flat on his back! Baylor took advantage of field position and scored on a seven-yard end around With WR Dominque Ziegler take it around the left side. The Bears were up 20-3 with 3:46 left. CB Alton Widemon intercepted another Dahman pass on the next Army series which put the game out of reach for the poor Army offense. Army's defense held Baylor to no yards and forced a punt. Taking over from their own 40, Army's Dahman passed on each down to get this team downfield, and with :45 remaining, WR Corey Anderson hauled in a 10-yard pass to close out the score at 20-10 in favor of Baylor. Perhaps that final drive will give Army the confidence it needs to utilize its passing game when the running game gets virtually shut down. We will get a firsthand chance to check this out when we go back next Friday night when The Iowa State Cyclones (#98) come calling on the Black Knights. With a win over highly ranked Iowa last week, ISU can make this an ugly one if the Army doesn't get its offense together rather quickly. This is one of those games where we take the good (adding a new team) with the bad (watching a blow-out). We'll be there! Baylor has a week off to bask at 3-0 before heading to College Station to visit Texas A&M.
Extra Points: Our parking pass with our three game ticket package isn't worth a "Target Hill of beans". We thought the designated lot would be on a hill above the stadium where we've parked with a pass in the past. Instead it took us to the furthest parking lot on campus! The lot is nice and big and flat and near the picturesque Hudson River, but the bus system is so horrendous, you don't know if you can get to the game on time. Traveling uphill is the reason to take the bus, but it is delayed so long, the walk might be quicker. Here's a campus that the Army's controlled for over 200 years and they can't get buses from about a mile away from the stadium in about five minutes. How efficient can logistics be when they set supply lines up in foreign countries. The campus bus routes changed, but someone has to be thinking about the best way to control the flow of traffic on a nice day in upstate New York.
The new Plebe class was a little overzealous for their first home game. Not only did they quickly abscond with the six Baylor flags, they deflated the big "Judge" the Bear mascot with a sneak attack from the rear! The frontal assault was set up to carry Judge away, but one plebe pulled the plug from behind to deflate the green and gold Judge into the lump of vinyl he really is with the Baylor student still inside. It must have been hot in there! The plebes escaped. No arrests were made. Extra Duty? We doubt it. The plebes have three straight home games to come up with more ideas.
Baylor P Dan Sepulveda, who is on the Ray Guy Award watch list, booted the ball four times for an average of 47.5 yards. He boomed one for about 57 yards. We'll see him play on Sundays in the future.