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17 BAYLOR
Elizabeth McGarr McCue
August 19, 2013
The case for
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August 19, 2013

17 Baylor

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The case for

After Robert Griffin III took the Bears to their first and second bowl games since 1994, Nick Florence surprised fans by getting the team to a third straight bowl and setting a school single-season passing record (4,309 yards). Now the job of keeping that bowl streak alive belongs to a junior who has thrown just 14 passes. Fortunately for Bryce Petty, Baylor's offense is loaded. Senior guard Cyril Richardson, a second-team All-America, will help protect his blind side, while junior Lache Seastrunk—who rushed for 1,012 yards last year after transferring from Oregon—and senior Glasco Martin (889) form one of the most productive backfields in the country. Seastrunk said in December that he'll be gunning for the 2013 Heisman Trophy, and coach Art Briles calls him "an RG3-caliber, game-changing type of player."

Defensively, Baylor averaged 2.6 takeaways over the last five Big 12 games, held UCLA to 33 yards rushing in a 49--26 Holiday Bowl victory and has seven players with at least 13 games of starting experience, plus junior linebacker Bryce Hager, who led the conference with 124 tackles.

The case against

Even in an offensive league like the Big 12, a team can't dominate if it surrenders 37.2 points per game, as Baylor did last season—especially with an unproven quarterback.

Coach Speak

ART BRILES

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What improvements do you need to see from Bryce Petty?

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