TCU, Baylor offenses search for identities
Identity is a prominent theme for both TCU and Baylor heading into their Big 12 game Saturday afternoon in Waco, Texas.
With both teams off to rough starts this season, both the Horned Frogs and Bears are still looking for an identity on offense.
For Baylor, the struggle to establish an identity has been an issue partly because COVID-19 issues forced the Bears into a one-week layoff that ended with a game last week against Texas. The Bears had a two-week layoff at the beginning of the season.
The rust seemed to show, as Baylor (1-2, 1-2 Big 12) could muster only 316 yards and 16 points — 13 of which came in the fourth quarter — in a 27-16 defeat against a maligned Texas defense.
Senior quarterback Charlie Brewer is off to a good start this year, completing 65.4 percent of his passes for 627 yards and six touchdowns.
But the Bears have struggled to establish a consistent running game, with senior John Lovett leading the team in that category with 122 yards in three games.
“I think just honing in on an identity, just runs and types of passes that we can hang our hat on,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “Just throughout the week, there have been different personnel different weeks available. I’ve been guilty of this as we are just trying to make things work for that given moment. I think the key is to build and hone in on this is us, and hone in and build on those things week after week.”
TCU (1-3, 1-3) also is coming off a disappointing offensive performance, managing just two touchdowns and 351 total yards in a 33-14 home loss to Oklahoma last week.
TCU has a promising young quarterback in sophomore Max Duggan, who has completed 69.6 percent of his passes (80 of 115) for 902 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception.
But Duggan has been sacked nine times and also is TCU’s leading rusher this season with 150 yards, which has been a problem.
“We have to get better at what we do,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after the loss to Oklahoma. “You’ve got to keep getting better protection, but to do that you’ve got to be able to run the football better. We’re trying to work as well as we can. We’ve got some smart people over there.”
Entering the game, Baylor is tied for seventh in the Big 12 in scoring at an average of 28 points a game, while TCU is ninth at 23.8.
Last season, the teams played a thriller, with Baylor prevailing at TCU in three overtimes, 29-23.
–Field Level Media