2009 Baylor Bears Football Preview
2009 Baylor Bears season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Baylor Bears football preview as well as the 2009 Baylor Bears Football Schedule. If you dont know how to beat the odds, give Maddux's winning NCAA picks a shot.
Coach: Art Briles (2nd year at Baylor)
Team Name: Bears
2008 Overall Record: 4-8
Returning Starters: 16
Once again in 2008, the Baylor Bears (4- 8 overall, 2- 6 Big 12) lost more games than they won and sat out the post season. The club finished tied for fifth in the Big 12 South. The last time the Bears have been to a bowl game was in 1994 when they met #24 Washington State in the Alamo Bowl. They lost 3- 10. This season, however, may be different.
As a freshman in 2008, QB Robert Griffin (267 ATT, 160 COMP, 2,091 YDs, 3 INTs, 15 TDs) proved to be the real thing. Along with performing well as a passer and leader, he proved that he could rush as he gained 843 yards on 173 carries and crossed the goal line 13 times. In order for him to get this offense generating more than 28.0 PPG, Griffin needs a few things to come together. First, the frontline, which features senior center J.D. Walton, needs a few other guys to step up. It looks like RB Jay Finley (149 ATT, 865 YDs, 7 TDs) could post a 1,000-yard season. There’s depth in the rushing unit. Last season, wideout Kendall Wright (50 REC, 649 YDs, 5 TDs) was the club’s go-to receiver. The Bears hope a few others guys will help give QB Griffin more options.
Last season, the 87th ranked Bears defense gave up an average of 29.3 PPG. Baylor will be helped this season by Penn State transfer Phil Taylor, a big, tough defensive tackle. Even with the arrival of Taylor, the frontline lost two starters and needs to find a way to gel. The linebacking unit sees three starters come back—senior Antonio Jones (71 TKLs, 3 SKs, 2.5 TFL), senior Joe Pawelek (128 TKLs, 0 SK, 6 TFL, 6 INTs) and junior Antonio Johnson (72 TKLs, 1 SK, 4 TFL, 1 INT). This group is solid and Pawelek is smart, athletic and tough. Senior free safety Jordan Lake (97 TKLs, 3 INTs) is a potential All-Big 12 pick but the rest of the secondary is sketchy.
Placekicker Ben Parks (39- 44 Extra Pts, 6- 9 FG) had a tough freshman season. It’s hoped that he can make the necessary adjustments to be more productive. Derek Epperson (49 Punts, 2,169 YDs, 44.3 YPP, 14 In20) proved to be an effective punter last season, earning a ranking of ninth nationally. Senior kick returner Mikail Baker (30 RET, 758 YDs, 25.3 YPR, 1 TD) offers good moves and speed. The punts will most likely be brought back by junior Krys Buerck.
Head coach Art Briles (4- 8 in one year with Baylor) has a plan and with that plan in mind he focused this season on recruiting skilled offensive players. With a maturing quarterback in place and solid new guys surrounding him, the Bears look like they’re ready to make a move. The club faces eight teams that earned bowl berths in 2008. Non-conference games versus Wake Forest on the road on September 5 and at home against Connecticut on September 19 will be immediate tests. Still, there may be enough talent on this team to make it a bowl contender. The Bears will finish with an overall winning record, end up fifth in the Big 12 South and earn an invite to a low tier bowl game. If all of that does come true, then Baylor will have made a major step forward.
Baylor Bears Football Schedule
For more info on the 2009 Baylor Bears football program, view the Bears website or read up on the rest of the Big 12 ncaa football teams below.