A team that plays Duke and Kansas on back-to-back weeks in basketball and comes out with a 1-1 record usually feels pretty good about itself.
On the football field, well, it’s a little murkier.
But one thing is clear: Baylor came out with a different kind of intensity in its Big 12 opener. A week after the Blue Devils stomped the Bears at McLane Stadium, Baylor turned the tables and rolled over the Jayhawks.
Especially on defense, Baylor made aggressive plays that made the difference in the game.
“After the game I got some texts from some football people that I really trust, and they kept telling me how well the defense moved around and how they played physical,” Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. “It really just backs up that if you practice hard it will show up in the game.”
Bears cornerback Grayland Arnold drew particular praise for making a big hit on a fourth-and-nine play in Baylor territory. Arnold hit Kansas receiver Stephon Robinson and stopped him two yards short of the first down.
Although Baylor led 26-7 at the time, Arnold’s play stopped the Jayhawks from building momentum with back-to-back scoring possessions in the third quarter.
Now the Bears (3-1) will look for more such plays as the travel to play Oklahoma (4-0) on Saturday.
The Sooners struggled to defeat Army on Saturday as Oklahoma grasped a 28-21 overtime victory.
But Rhule didn’t see a recipe for how to challenge the Sooners from Army’s effort. He admitted his program isn’t in a place where it can play ball control the way the Golden Knights did.
“I don't think we're built like that,” Rhule said. “You'd love to go out there and slow the game down, keep their offense off the field, but that's not where we are right now. We'll have to go out there and just be us. Army limits mistakes and that's how they win. I thought that was a key for us last game. Army is built to keep that great Oklahoma offense off the field and I'm not sure that we're really wired for that."