2009 overall record: 4-8
2009 conference record: 1-7
Returning starters: Offense (6), Defense (6) P/K (2)
Key losses: C J.D. Walton, WR David Gettis, LB Antonio Jones, LB Joe Pawelek, S Jordan Lake, DL Jason Lamb
Sept. 4 Sam Houston State
Sept. 11 Buffalo
Sept. 18 at TCU
Sept. 25 at Rice
Oct. 2 Kansas
Oct. 9 Texas Tech (at Dallas, Tex.)
Oct. 16 at Colorado
Oct. 23 Kansas State
Oct. 30 at Texas
Nov. 6 at Oklahoma State
Nov. 13 Texas A&M
Nov. 20 Oklahoma2009 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Jay Finley* (370 yards)
Passing: Nick Florence* (1,786 yards)
Receiving: Kendall Wright* (740 yards)
Tackles: Joe Pawelek (109)
Sacks: Tracy Robertson*, Jason Lamb (3)
Interceptions: Chance Casey* (2)
Three spring answers
1. The return of RG3. He does still exist. And though he was only a partial participant in spring practice, fans got to see him back on the field for the first time since September. Griffin unsuccessfully campaigned with Baylor coach Art Briles to let him play in the spring game, but says he’s about 80-90 percent recovered from knee surgery.
2. Deeper and deeper. Briles finally feels like his team has a quality two-deep full of players who won’t have a significant dropoff if forced into action. It’s something he didn’t have in the team’s first two seasons under Briles, and now his focus shifts to becoming as deep as some of the teams who routinely finish above them in the Big 12 South.
3. Patching together the O-Line. Baylor is replacing All-American J.D. Walton, among others on the offensive line, and the spring was the first step to filling those holes. Briles says offensive tackle Danny Watkins could be one of the best in the conference, and juco transfer Robert T. Griffin will compete for time at guard in the fall after recovering from shoulder surgery in the middle of this spring.
Three fall questions
1. Is Robert Griffin really back? He’ll be back on the field, but will he be the same Griffin? There isn’t a lot of reason to think he won’t be, but you never know until he takes the field. Whether it’s in his mind or in his legs and arms, a layoff from live action for almost a year could be tough to come back from.
2. Competition in the secondary? Baylor brings in two talented recruits in Prince Kent and Ahmad Dixon in the secondary, along with a few others, but the Bears have three seniors and sophomore Chance Casey leaving the spring with starting positions. The fall camp could play host to heated competition from the talented youngsters.
3. Bowl-bound Bears? This season, not unlike the last, begins with plenty of optimism and legitimate hopes of reaching the program’s first bowl game since 1994. By turning down Texas Tech in the offseason, Briles re-affirmed his commitment to doing it, and he’ll get a chance to prove it when the season arrives.