Home / Sports / Seth Russell out, large tests ahead, Baylor has shot to infer complement works

Seth Russell out, large tests ahead, Baylor has shot to infer complement works


For Art Briles, a preference to pointer usually one quarterback in any recruiting category comes down to elementary mathematics: Baylor would rather have additional scholarships any winter to extend to a descent or defensive line, where abyss is historically during a larger premium.

Not coincidentally, it’s now, eight years into Briles’ tenure, that Baylor can put onward a size, talent and abyss on both lines indispensable to contest for a inhabitant championship.

Besides, Baylor’s quarterback prolongation has never been stretched by injuries. Robert Griffin III missed usually a few buliding of his Heisman Trophy-winning deteriorate in 2011; he was transposed by Nick Florence, who threw dual touchdowns in a win opposite Texas Tech. When Bryce Petty missed a nonconference diversion final fall, a Bears’ offense cruised behind then-backup Seth Russell.

Generally speaking, Briles thinks so small of a need for a clipboard-holding backup that he changed a Bears’ third-string quarterback, Chris Johnson, to far-reaching receiver during preseason drills. That finished Baylor’s abyss draft a verbatim two-deep: Russell, a junior, followed by loyal beginner Jarrett Stidham.

“I’ve schooled by a years that we don’t wish dual guys on a sidelines with their caps on retrograde and a pencil in their hands,” Briles told USA TODAY Sports in August. “We’re going to be kind of fearless. You live with it, and we pattern good outcomes.”

It’s a reasonable thought in concept. Yet Russell is finished for a season, a propagandize announced Monday, as a outcome of a neck damage suffered in Saturday win opposite Iowa State. At a time of his injury, a program’s latest Heisman contender led a Football Bowl Subdivision in touchdowns and yards per attempt.

In comes Stidham, a awaiting so gifted Briles called him “the best immature child I’ve ever been around.” The numbers demeanour good: Stidham has thrown some-more touchdown passes, six, than deficient passes, four, in his 7 games of college knowledge — though each snap has come in rubbish time, and many opposite extravagantly defective competition.

For No. 2 Baylor, a entrance weeks will yield a unrelenting exam of a program’s altogether philosophies — in recruiting, in growth and in descent scheme. Baylor has arrived; a month of Nov will uncover if a Bears have staying power.

“We positively have tons of certainty in Jarrett,” Briles said. “He doesn’t seem like a freshman, demeanour like a beginner or perform like a freshman. He’s instinctively and athletically prepared to play. This guy’s good, and he’s ready.”

Not each title-contending module in college football has a oppulance of branch a offense over to a five-star recruit. At a same time, a recruiting devise in place during many title-contending programs would safeguard a refuge between a starter and a loyal freshman, even one of Stidham’s ability.

Take discussion opposition TCU, that has a senior, Bram Kohlhausen, sitting between Trevone Boykin and a successor apparent, redshirt beginner Foster Sawyer. Another senior, J.W. Walsh, serves an critical purpose behind sophomore Mason Rudolph during dominant Oklahoma State. Oklahoma has dual quarterbacks with starting experience: Baker Mayfield and his backup, Trevor Knight.

Baylor has frankly corroborated itself into this position, by going opposite a inhabitant trend of stockpiling quarterbacks — seen some-more and some-more on a major-conference turn — in a many resourceful quarterback-recruitment routine of any championship contender. There’s reason for concern; Stidham is usually a loyal freshman, after all, and a Bears have a razor-thin domain for blunder during a position. If a deteriorate runs off a rail behind a rookie quarterback, Briles and his staff will have no one else to blame.

Yet there’s this: If Stidham matches his early intensity — and opposition Big 12 coaches attested to his ability during Monday’s teleconference — Baylor’s championship hopes sojourn really many intact.

The Bears’ receiver corps is a excellent in college football. The descent and defensive lines are a best in module history, headlined by 3 expected All-America selections. The much-maligned invulnerability leads a Big 12 in takeaways and ranks in yards authorised per play and points authorised per game.

In total, a offense leads a republic in yards per game and yards per play by a graphic margin; for comparison, a Bears normal roughly an additional half-yard per play than second-place TCU. The flitting diversion paces a FBS in quarterback potency by an even wider margin, though this is a two-pronged attack: Baylor ranks initial nationally in yards per lift and second in rushing yards per game.

Stidham won’t be asked to lift a offense, though conjunction was Russell. He’ll merely be tasked with piloting a many energetic complement in college football, with his arm and his legs, and to equivocate a arrange of missteps that could derail a ideal season. Griffin III willed Baylor into inhabitant aptitude out of necessity, though this module has grown exponentially usually in a 4 years given his departure.

In theory, Baylor is some-more than a sum of a tools — even during quarterback. We’ll see that speculation in use during Baylor’s heartless tighten to a unchanging season, with games opposite Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU coming in November.

Ohio State provides a latest instance of a group able of overcoming a harmful damage during quarterback, even if a Buckeyes’ abyss during quarterback is a furious difference to a rule. The same thesis binds for Baylor: Great programs tarry — if not thrive, in Ohio State’s box — in a face of a formidable setback, tossing aside built-in excuses.

Not that Baylor has an excuse. Stidham was a backup by choice and design, as partial of a genius — that of being fast, being aggressive, being opposite — that carried a module into a inhabitant conversation. Having brought Baylor this far, a same genius might lift a Bears to a inhabitant championship.

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Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/big12/2015/10/26/baylor-seth-russell-jarrett-stidham-art-briles-college-football-playoff/74640496/

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