The new look Baylor Bears looked electric in their season opener against Stephen F Austin Saturday night, winning 56-17. In a weekend of College football that left more questions than answers, the Bears brought effort and toughness on both sides of the ball.
While the Bears looked solid top to bottom, a few stars shined in the victory, particularly on offense. Let’s take a look at three offensive players to watch out for as the season rolls forward.
RB John Lovett
John Lovett popped in what could be the game that puts him at the top of the running back depth chart. Matt Rhule was treated to an excellent showing from the Junior back out of New Jersey, who tallied 108 rushing yards and a touchdown on only eight carries. That number is good for a 13.5 yards per carry average. While this sort of production is unsustainable over the course of an entire season, his lightning speed and excellent backfield vision is certain to transfer over to tougher opponents. Don’t believe me? Watch this.
On this run late in the second quarter, we see his explosiveness on full display out of the gate. After breaking through the line, he puts on a nifty move, simultaneously eviscerating the cornerback and allowing Lovett to coast into the end zone virtually untouched. He’s the real deal, and if Senior JaMycal Hasty continues to struggle (10 rushes for 25 yards), we may see Lovett take a majority of the running snaps this season.
WR Denzel Mims
Denzel Mims did not have the most prolific game, tallying only 5 catches for 46 yards, all coming in the first half of play. However, considering he barely played after halftime, we start to see what the number could have been had Rhule kept his foot on the gas the entire game.
Mims is an NFL talent, standing a towering 6’3” and weighing in at 215 lbs. His physical profile, and even the way he plays, demands comparison to a young Dez Bryant. He possesses a unique combination of breakaway speed and brute strength, making him an ideal target to throw the ball up to in traffic. Mims can outmuscle any cornerback to a jump ball, and once it’s in his hands, he makes defenders miss consistently.
In games where the Bears need him, watch for Mims to be the primary target in the end zone.
QB Charlie Brewer
Brewer is back as starting quarterback after an overall impressive Sophomore season. This season he comes in as one of the more experienced QBs in the conference and looks to solidify himself as a star in the Big 12.
Saturday’s game showed us flashes of both brilliance and struggle for Brewer. If we were only looking at his stat sheet, we would see that in about a half of play he had about 200 yards and 3 touchdowns on 20/30 throws. Not bad at all. Here is one of Brewer’s three touchdown dimes on the night.
Cool, calm and collected, Brewer takes the snap and lofts it perfectly right out of the cornerback’s reach, allowing Sophomore receiver RJ Sneed to snag it easily. This is just one example of Brewer’s ability to place the ball perfectly out of the defense’s hands, especially in Red Zone situations.
However, Brewer did also show signs of worry. In the first half, Brewer missed a wide-open Denzel Mims in the end zone on an overthrow. Questions were even raised about his decision making, as he almost got picked off on what should have been an easy throw early on in the game. It may sound like being overcritical, but against elite defenses, those sorts of mistakes can be the difference in a game. Brewer must be able to hit the open man consistently, and if he does, then the Bears are in great shape for the season.