Q&A with Waco Tribune-Herald

Here are some answers from Baylor beat writer John Werner.

1. What were expectations like for this team post-RG3? Has this exceeded even the best-case scenario?

I think 7-5 was the best most people thought Baylor could finish. Baylor coach Art Briles was never worried about Nick Florence following RG3. But there were big questions about the defense, and those worries came to fruition when Baylor lost its first four Big 12 games. But the defense forced a lot of turnovers in the final five games, and was a big factor in the late-season run.

2. Baylor’s total defense is second-to-last among FBS teams. How much of that is due to the Bears’ pace and how much is just bad defense?

It’s a little bit of both. Baylor’s offense doesn’t spend much time on the field because it scores so quickly. I don’t think Baylor’s defense is as bad as the stats suggest. Nearly all Big 12 teams run quick-tempo offenses, so there are a lot of defenses across the league that give up big numbers.

3. What are Nick Florence’s strengths and weaknesses? How would he fare without All-American receiver Terrance Williams?

Nick is accurate and throws a very good deep ball. He occasionally tries to force passes which has led to some interceptions. He’s also a surprisingly good runner. Terrance Williams has been a major reason for his success, but he’s also got a lot of other talented receivers surrounding him.

4. Who are some lesser-known names that could be a factor for Baylor on offense or defense?

Linebacker Eddie Lackey from Vista Murrieta High School has given the Bears a spark by returning interceptions for touchdowns in each of the last two games. Nickelback Ahmad Dixon is a hard hitter and a leader on defense. Glasco Martin is a power back who complements Lache Seastrunk’s speed. (Seastrunk didn’t play much earlier because he was still trying to learn the offense and was playing behind senior Jarred Salubi who had waited his time to play.)

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