Defense Could Push Baylor Bears into BCS National Title Race

sam holl

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The Baylor Bears are on a special run this season. The offense has looked unstoppable, scoring 70 points or more in four games already this season as they lead the nation in scoring, and the Bears are on a 10-game winning streak dating back to last season. At 6-0 on the season, Baylor has put itself in the mix for a run at the Big 12 title. If they hope to finish the job, however, it will be the Bears’ defense that gets them there.

While the publicity is pretty much entirely centered on the exploits of the offense, Baylor’s defense has been sneaky good this season. They rank No. 2 in the Big 12 in total defense (317.3 yards per game), No. 1 in scoring defense (16.2 points per game), No. 2 in turnover margin (plus six) and No. 2 in sacks (21.0). Despite getting put on the field more often than most thanks to their fast-break offense putting scoring drives together in a blink of any eye and sending the D back onto the field, Baylor’s defense has stayed strong.

On Saturday, Baylor came up with arguably their best defensive performance of the season against the Iowa State Cyclones. Coming into the game, Iowa State had scored 30 points or more in three straight games but needed a late touchdown with less than a minute to go to avoid the shutout in Waco. Baylor held the Cyclones to just 174 yards of total offense, including 41 yards on the ground, and forced three turnovers. While the Cyclones’ chances were slim, the defensive clinic put on by Baylor shut the door early.

With huge games on the horizon, Baylor will need their defense to give them an edge against some excellent offensive teams on the back end of a tough schedule. There’s no question that the Baylor offense makes them a favorite in the Big 12 but with a sneaky good defense on the other side, the Bears have a chance to do something truly special in Waco. Not only could Baylor bring home the conference crown, they might be playing in Pasadena for a BCS National Championship.

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