There’s little doubt left that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is one of the country’s best and well deserving of the Heisman hype surrounding him.
Art Briles’ offense has proven time and again that they can’t be stopped through conventional means, but more reasonably contained with a defensive scheme that places emphasis on making the passing game more difficult.
For the Texas Longhorns to emerge from Waco with a victory this Saturday, they must do just this: contain the Bears offense.
Baylor’s defense is one of the weaker units in the Big 12, with serious gaps in the secondary and in the second-level among the linebacking corps and defensive ends. While the Texas offense has been far from explosive in recent weeks, Case McCoy and his receivers should have ample opportunity to exploit these weaknesses.
The output of the Texas offense, however, is a moot point if pressure is not placed on Robert Griffin from the outset.
Griffin’s relationship with his wide receivers– especially the NFL-caliber Kendall Wright– is almost supernatural. In almost every case, Baylor’s receivers break right when they should, run routes to proper depth and make plays when plays need to be made.
The only times during the 2011 season when Baylor has looked vulnerable on offense is when Griffin is forced to throw on the run and under pressure. Given this, the Texas front four–especially Kheeston Randall and Ashton Dorsey– must bull rush when possible and do their best to overpower the Baylor offensive linemen from the snap.
If Randall and Dorsey are as successful at getting into the backfield on Saturday as they have been in recent weeks it could be a huge positive for Texas.
As always, offense is generated by the success of the defense. If Manny Diaz’s unit can succeed in keeping Griffin and the Bears off of the field, the Texas running game could have the opportunity it needs to control the pace of the game and ball possession.
This ball possession success has been the Longhorns’ saving grace in games when overall production has been lacking.
It’s simple really– Robert Griffin’s success, or lack thereof will likely determine Saturday’s outcome.
I know, it’s not that profound, but it’s the facts.