Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Baylor.
Spring Practice Begins: Monday, March 19
Spring Game: Saturday, April 14
Returning Starters: Six on offense, eight on defense, both specialists
Three Things To Watch For:
1. How exactly do you replace the best player in school history? Baylor has been on the upward trend ever since Art Briles took over the program, and Briles would be the first to tell you the biggest reason why was Robert Griffin, but now Griffin is poised to become one of the first selections taken in the NFL Draft, and Baylor is beginning the process of moving on without him. Coming into the spring it will be Nick Florence's responsibility to make sure the offense doesn't lose a beat, and it will be interesting to see how this Baylor team responds now that he's the man on the field. The good news for Baylor is that Florence got plenty of experience with Griffin out in 2009, and when filling in for him against Texas Tech last fall, Florence kept the Baylor offense moving, throwing for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns in only a half of football.
2. Griffin isn't the only player Baylor needs to replace. Only six players return on a Baylor offense that averaged 45.3 points and 587 yards per game in 2011. Amongst those gone besides Griffin are leading receiver Kendall Wright and leading rusher Terrance Ganaway, a duo that combined for 3,210 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2011. That's a lot of production to replace.
Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese will play bigger roles in the passing game, but both will have to adjust to not having Wright around to draw attention away. At running back Jarred Salubi and Glasco Martin will both get more carries, but the most interesting player in the Baylor backfield this spring will be Lache Seastrunk. Will the transfer from Oregon live up to the hype that surrounded him in high school?
3. Plenty of work to be done on defense. A big reason Baylor's offense had to be so prolific last season was because of Baylor's defense. It's a unit that allowed 37.2 points per game, allowing more than 30 points in 9 games last season. There are eight starters returning in 2012 in
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