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Baylor Bears Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Baylor Bears Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Baylor season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Baylor Bears Preview
Head Coach: Dave Aranda, 3rd year, 14-9
2021 preview: Overall: 12-2, Conference: 7-2
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Baylor Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis

Baylor Bears Preview 2022

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It wasn’t always pretty, it was never easy, and it turned into – arguably – the greatest season in Baylor football history.

After a tough 2020 in Dave Aranda’s first time as a head coach – it was supposed to be a rebuilding year anyway – there were a few changes made, the experienced parts came together, and it all for a team that learned how to hold up in tight games.

There might have been two close misfires – the loss to a mediocre TCU hurt – but the program’s first ever 12-win season, a Big 12 Championship, and a Sugar Bowl victory was everything the fan base could’ve dreamed of after going 2- 7 the year before.

Maybe a College Football Playoff appearance would’ve been nice, but it was a un run anyway.

The turnaround showed just how good Aranda is, and it proved just how strong Baylor football can be with the second amazing season in three years. Now it’s up to Aranda and the good base of returning parts to keep it all going.

There might be some key personnel losses, and there are a whole lot of dangerous Big 12 road games to deal with, but the bar is set reasonably high at this point.

Underestimate Baylor at your own risk. With Oklahoma in a bit of a reboot, Texas still trying to get it all together, and with no one else in the Big 12 looking like a world-beater, don’t be shocked if the Bears make another big run if everything comes together over the first few weeks.

Baylor Bears Preview 2022: Offense

The offense was the middle of the Big 12 pack – the Bears finished fifth in total O – and the passing game didn’t crank up too much down the field compared to the rest of the league, but the offensive line was great, the running game was fantastic, and everything fit into the overall plan .

Balance, ball control, limited mistakes, repeat.

Top passer Gerry Bohanon left for USF after being beaten out for the starting quarterback gig this offseason, and top targets Tyquan Thornton (New England), RJ Sneed (Colorado Buffaloes), and Drew Estrada (Houston Texans) are gone.

There’s a tie among the leading returning 2021 receivers with just one catch, but Gavin Holmes – the team’s third leading receiver in 2020 – is back after missing last year, but he needs a break from the injuries.

QB Blake Shapen isn’t all that big, but he can run a bit and he’s deadly accurate when he gets into a groove. Now the offense is his.

Trestan Ebner is a Chicago Bear, and leading rusher Abram Smith is trying to make a splash at New Orleans after running for over 1,600 yards and 12 scores. Fortunately, Craig Williams is back after a knee problem to add a whole lot of flash to the backfield.

The offensive front will be fine. It was great in pass protection and it returns as the most experienced area of ​​the offense around all-star tackle Connor Galvin and center Jacob Gall.

Baylor Bears Preview 2022

Dave Aranda knows how to get a defense to produce, and this one should be more than fine. It finished fourth in the Big 12 in total D and tenth in the nation in scoring defense, but the it was really, really good at was taking the ball away. The pass rush will be good, the run D will be great, and …

The back seven needs some reworking. The Bears lose a ton of star talent with safeties Jalen Pitre and JT Woods, LB Terrel Bernard, and CB Raleigh Texada just part of the talent that’s done.

Even with the losses, there’s depth and plenty of options to fill in the parts. Fortunately, the heavy lifting will be done by …

The defensive front will be a rock. The massive Siaki Ika in the middle of the line is a good guy to start with. Throw in second-leading tackler Dillon Doyle in the linebacking corps and good pass rusher Gabe Hall on the end, and this should be among the Big 12’s best fronts.

Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Baylor Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis

Baylor Bears: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Baylor Bears: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Baylor Bears: Key To The 2022 Offense

Get steadier play out of the passing game

Enter Blake Shapen, who might not have the bulk of former starter Gerry Bohanon, and he’s not going to bring any power when he runs, but he’s a stronger pure passer.

Baylor didn’t get the passing attack going against Oklahoma State, struggled to do anything right in the Sugar Bowl win over Ole Miss, and it was too often along for the ride while the running game did its thing.

It was a small sample size, but Shapen was brilliant in the Big 12 Championship win over Oklahoma State and hit 72% of his passes on the season. He’s fine, and the O line will give him time, but the passing game has to be better with a new group of receivers taking over.

Baylor Bears: Key To The 2022 Defense

Keep the takeaways coming

In Dave Aranda’s two seasons, Baylor came up with 44 takeaways. That’s not going to stop.

Owning the turnover margin didn’t always mean everything to the Bears – they lost to Oklahoma State the first time around despite being a +3 – but all the big plays kept the offense from having to take a whole lot of chances.

Rely on the defense to take the ball away, work with the great running game, don’t turn the ball over, and keep it all going.

The defensive front will provide the pressure, but the secondary has to be as productive as the amazing 2021 version that picked off 19 passes and was in on 27 takeaways.

Baylor Bears: Key Player To The 2022 Season

WR Gavin Holmes, Jr.
Baylor has good young talents in the wide receiver mix to work with, but Holmes is the veteran who can step on the field right away and be a reliable target for new starting quarterback Blake Shapen.

He might not be the main for the attack, and he might not be the most explosive option, but he’s experienced. He made 33 catches in nine games in 2020 as a short-range target, but he’s had injury issues and was out all of last year.

Baylor Bears

D.T. Jaxon Player, Sr.
Former LSU LB Josh White will be a factor, too, but the short, squatty Player is a much-needed veteran option to work in the rotation on the inside.

He made 138 tackles with eight sacks and 31 tackles for loss in four years at Tulsa, and now he’ll likely spell Siaki Ika on the nose from time to time.

Baylor Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Iowa State, Sept. 24
Start with the belief that Baylor needs to own Waco. Oklahoma State and Kansas State are key games at home, and those are a must.

The Big 12 opener is in Ames against Iowa State. There’s still plenty of time to bounce back if there’s a loss, but the Bears have five conference road games going to Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, and West Virginia.

Lose to Iowa State, and it’s going to take a whole lot of work to get back to the Big 12 Championship.

Baylor Bears: 2021 Fun Stats

– Sacks: Baylor 34 for 231 yards – Opponents 18 for 133 yards
– Average Yards Per Carry: Baylor 5.3 – Opponents 3.4
– 4th Down Conversions: Baylor 22-of-33 (67%) – Opponents 12-of-21 (57%)

Oh, D Breakdown | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Baylor Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis

Baylor Bears Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Baylor Bears Season Prediction, What Will Happen

It’s easy to see Baylor.

It doesn’t have the national splash of Oklahoma, Texas will get all of the headlines for being Texas, and Oklahoma State might actually be the best team in the Big 12, but there’s more than enough in place to be deep in the conference title hunt for a third time in four years.

There are two things happening here. One, the Big 12 probably won’t be anything special. Will Texas really start to be a thing, and will Oklahoma really be able to keep it all going with a new coach and a slightly tweaked style?

There’s no one in the conference that this version of Baylor can’t beat. However, this gets to the second key aspect of the season …

Set The Baylor Bears Regular Season Win Total At 7.5

The road games.

Baylor’s only two losses last season came on the road against Oklahoma State and TCU. Helping the cause were the home dates against Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, and West Virginia.

Now all five of those games are on the road along with a huge problem non-conference date at BYU.

Baylor got the Cougars at home last year, but that’s a completely different team in Provo.

Again, it’s not that Baylor can’t win any or all of the games on its schedule, but all six road dates are a concern, and Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and TCU won’t be sure-thing outs at home.

It’ll be another terrific season, but it’ll be a stretch to make it a double-digit win campaign without a few big breaks.

Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Baylor Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams


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