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By Robert Griffin standards, Robert Griffin wasn't at peak Robert Griffin during Baylor's 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl Thursday night. The Heisman winner finished with a pedestrian 24 of 33 passing for 295 yards and one touchdown, as well as this sole rushing score in the second quarter. Just one? Clearly RG3's slacking:
The 402 yards rushing split among three running backs (Terrance Ganaway, Tevin Reese, Jared Salubi) carried the Bears' offense against the Huskies, Griffin's passing was still integral in Baylor's second half comeback:
But the most played clip for Bear fans might be Griffin's courteous post-game interview with ESPN, which the broadcast team and Baylor nation dissected for a clue towards RG3's pro aspirations:
Baylor's first bowl victory since 1992 (who could forget a 20-15 over Arizona in the "John Hancock Bowl?") came with an unforgettable flurry of points from the Bears' offense on a record setting night. The 67-56 win is a record for most points scored in regulation of any bowl game, ever. Courtesy of Baylor's sports information team, here are a few other accomplishments from last night's shootout:
• The win was the first for head coach Art Briles. He made his fifth bowl appearance as head coach and is now 1-4 overall. He was 0-3 in three bowl trips as Houston head coach (2003 Hawai`i, 2005 Fort Worth, 2006 Liberty) and 1-1 as Baylor head coach (2010 Texas, 2011 Alamo).
• Baylor set school bowl records for points in a quarter, half and a game.
• The 43 combined third-quarter points set a Valero Alamo Bowl record.
• Baylor’s 67 points are the most scored by a team in FBS bowl history (previous was 66 by Nebraska in 2000 Alamo Bowl).
• Baylor and Washington established a FBS bowl record for most combined points (123) in a regulation bowl game (previous was 2001 GMAC Bowl; Marshall and East Carolina were tied 51-51 before heading into overtime).
• Baylor and Washington established a FBS bowl record for most combined yards of total offense with 1,397, shattering the previous mark of 1,211 total yards set in the 2005 Insight Bowl.
• Baylor established a FBS bowl record for most yards of total offense with 777, shattering the previous mark of 718 total yards set by Arizona State in the 1972 Fiesta Bowl.
SB Nation's college football stats gangster Bill C. has a numerical breakdown of the Alamo Bowl up, which features a look at some the wonderfully stupid numbers put up by both teams:
3: 100-yard Baylor rushers. Running back Terrance Ganaway continued his absolutely torrid late-season stretch with 21 carries for 200 yards and five touchdowns. In his final three games in green and gold, Ganaway gained 598 yards and scored nine touchdowns on 86 carries. As the season progressed, opponents not named Oklahoma attempted to play the umbrella defense against Baylor -- unfold as wide as possible and attempt to prevent big plays. To some degree, it worked to control Heisman winner Robert Griffin III; Griffin was sacked four times and averaged only 7.5 yards per attempt. But Ganaway continuously punctured the umbrella. He is absurdly fast for a 240-pounder, and Washington simply had no answer for him. That Jarred Salubi (five carries, 101 yards) and receiver Tevin Reese (two carries, 101 yards; seven total touches, 167 yards) also gained 100 yards (and Griffin threw in 93 non-sack rushing yards) was just a bonus.
We won’t forget the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl any time soon. After trailing 42-24 early in the third quarter, Baylor blitzed Washington with 43 second-half points. The Huskies didn’t go away, even leading 56-53 in the fourth quarter, but the Bears managed to come up with key stops late and converted for an electric 67-56 bowl victory.
The first half was a tail of two quarters, with Baylor marching up and down the field for three long touchdown drives and leading 21-7 at the quarter. Washington won the second quarter 28-3 behind four long scoring drives of their own.
An 80-yard touchdown pass from Keith Price to Jermaine Kearse improved Washington’s lead to 42-24, but from there it was the Terence Ganaway show. Ganaway scored the last five of Baylor’s six second-half touchdowns, but it wasn’t until the Bears managed to get the Huskies offense off the field in the fourth quarter that they sealed the win.
Baylor answered a fourth quarter Washington score with a touchdown of their own, retaking a 60-56 lead with 8:40 remaining in the game. The Huskies converted a 4th-1 at their own 31 and drove into Baylor territory, but they stalled out at the Baylor 39, failing on a 4th-8 Price incomplete pass – their first failed fourth down attempt after three conversions. The drive sapped over five minutes of clock, and when Ganaway reached the end zone for the final time, the Bears were kicking off with an 11-point lead and only 2:36 remaining.
Their squib kick was fumbled by Danny Shelton and recovered by Baylor, who ran off the rest of the clock. It was an anticlimactic finish to a game that seemed destined for last second dramatics, but Baylor will gladly take their first bowl win in 19 years and a victory that gave them a ten-win season and a possible top ten finish in the postseason polls.
The most ironic fact of the game was that Robert Griffin III, despite a solid performance, was not a statistical standout in a game where his offense scored nine touchdowns and a field goal. Griffin finished 24-33 for 295 yards and just one TD. He ran for one more and totaled 55 yards on the ground, but his backfield counterparts were the story.
Ganaway led the way with the five scores and 200 yards on just 21 carries, Tevin Reese and Jarred Salubi each totaled 101 yards – Salubi on five carries and Reese on two. Salubi also found the end zone twice. The lasting memory from the game will be Ganaway, Reese and Salubi breaking into the open time after time, as their collective 14.4 yards per carry attest.
If there is a second image that will stick with us, it will be the performance of Price. The Washington QB couldn’t rely on an explosive ground game like Griffin, so he did the damage himself. Price threw for 438 yards, completing 23 passes to seven different receivers. His primary target was Jermaine Kearse, who found plenty of open field to roam after catches and totaled 198 yards and one score. Devin Aguillar pulled in two more of Price’s four passing TDs.
Price also ran for three touchdowns, as he accounted in some fashion for seven of Washington’s eight scores. Chris Polk had the other, and Polk did give Price 147 yards of ground gains, but his relatively workmanlike 4.9 yards per carry couldn’t keep pace with Baylor’s explosive trio.
The Alamo Bowl missed the all time bowl scoring record by a few points, but the two teams totaled a remarkable 1397 combined yards. Baylor accounted for 777 of those – 482 on the ground. There were just two first downs by penalty and two offensive turnovers in a game that will be remembered for its remarkable amount of offensive dominance.
The 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl promised to be exciting and it has lived up to the advanced billing. After Washington scored on the second play of the half, Baylor came roaring back and takes a 53-49 lead into the fourth quarter.
On the second play of the third quarter, Keith Price found Jermaine Kearse for a 80 yard touchdown bomb to extend the Washington lead to 42-24. Baylor would come back with its first touchdown since the first quarter with an 80 yard drive of its on capped off by a Jarred Salubi seven yard touchdown.
Washington would turn the ball over for the first time in the game on their next possession when running back Chris Polk coughed it up and Rodney Chadwick recovered at the Baylor 11 yard line. The Bears needed just one play to score again when Terrance Ganaway broke through the line and sprinted 89 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was good and the Washington lead was cut to 42-39.
With the lead slipping away, Keith Price went back to work and put the Huskies back in the end zone in just two plays with a 60 yard completion to Jermaine Kearse and a 13 yard scoring strike to Devin Aguilar to push the lead back to 49-39.
From their Baylor got back on track scoring 14 unanswered points on two one-yard touchdown runs from Terance Ganaway to re-take the lead at 53-49.
The first quarter belonged to Baylor and Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III but the second quarter belonged to Washington and quarterback Keith Price. The Huskies came storming back in the second quarter scoring 28 unanswered points to take a 35-24 lead into the half.
Down 21-7 in the game, Washington and Keith Price weren't going to go away quietly. On their first possession of the second half, the Huskies marched 73 yards in 11 plays to cut the Baylor lead to 21-14. Washington scored when Price connected with James Johnson for a 12 yard touchdown pass.
After a Baylor punt, Washington went on another long drive that resulted in a one yard touchdown pass from Price to Devin Aguilar that tied the game at 21-21. The Huskies were unable to pressure Griffin III much in the first quarter but finally started to get to him in the second. Washington's Andrew Hudson caused the game's first turnover when he sacked Griffin III and forced a fumble that was recovered by John Timu.
With the hot hand, Price led the Huskies on yet another scoring drive capped off by the quarterback's fourth touchdown of the first half for a 28-21 lead. Griffin then led Baylor past midfield but was stopped on fourth down by the Washington defense. The Huskies needed exactly one play to score when running back Chris Polk took a hand off from Price and sprinted 56 yards to the end zone and a 35-21 lead. Baylor finally broke the Huskies scoring streak with a 42 yard field goal from Aaron Jones to end the half.
The two teams combined for over 600 yards of offense in the first half. Robert Griffin III amassed 192 yards passing and 46 yards rushing in the first half with two total touchdowns. Keith Price threw for 179 yards and ran for 27 while scoring four of Washington's five touchdowns.
Robert Griffin III didn't waste anytime getting off to a quick start in the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl. Baylor leads Washington 21-7 at the end of the first quarter behind two touchdowns and a number of highlights from Griffin III already.
On their first possession, Baylor marched 85 yards in 13 plays for an early 7-0 lead after Griffin III found Kendall Wright for an 11 yard touchdown pass. Washington answered right back and tied the game 7-7 on a Keith Price five yard touchdown run. The big play on that drive was a 42 yard completion from Price to Devin Aguilar.
On Baylor's second possession, the Bears marched 63 yards highlighted by a 36 yard touchdown run by Jarred Salubi who was escorted into the end zone by Robert Griffin III who was in front lead blocking on the play. After a Washington punt, Griffin put Baylor up 21-7 with an 82 yard drive that was capped off by a 24 yard scoring run by the Heisman trophy winner.
While Robert Griffin III has steadfastly refused to comment on the possibility of the NFL after the season, a Sports Illustrated writer is reporting that the Heisman winner is leaning towards entering the NFL Draft:
TonyPauline Tony PaulineSaid on 12/22 things could change and they have- hearing Robert Griffin III had a change of heart and leaning towards entering the draft.
Griffin, a fourth-year junior, has already completed his BA degree and is currently studying for a MA in Communications in one of Baylor's graduate programs.
After winning the Heisman, defeating Texas and Oklahoma and leading Baylor to consecutive bowl games for only the fourth time in the program's 106-year history, Griffin has little left to accomplish in Waco.
He's currently projected to be a top 5 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and after already suffering one season-ending knee injury during his college career, he may want to become a professional while the iron is hot.
His departure wouldn't leave the cupboard bare in Waco, as Art Briles has steadily built up the program in his four years there.
Griffin's backup, junior Nick Florence, looked impressive in relief of the junior superstar in the second half of the Texas Tech game, after Griffin left with a head injury.
If the odds-makers are correct, the Baylor Bears should win 10 games in a season for only the second time in the program's 106-year history.
They are favored by -8.5 points against Washington in the 2011 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Thursday Dec. 29.
Much of the optimism surrounding the Bears comes from the high-scoring offense powered by Heisman winner and likely top 5 NFL pick Robert Griffin III, who has almost single-handedly changed the mentality of the perennial Big 12 doormat.
They are facing a Huskies defense that has struggled to keep pace in the Pac-12, giving up 33.3 points a game, 99th worst in the nation.
Against the four best offenses they've faced, Washington coach Steve Sarkisian's defense has imploded, giving up 51 points to Nebraska, 65 to Stanford, 34 to Oregon and 40 to USC.
But Sarkisian's background is on offense, and he's had little trouble replacing Jake Locker in his third season in Seattle, plugging in sophomore Keith Price to helm his pro-style offense. The 6'1 195 sophomore has completed 67.4% of his passes for 2,625 yards, 29 TD's and 11 INT's.
Price will certainly have his opportunities on a Baylor defense that's given up 35.7 points a game, 109th worst in the nation.
With Griffin possibly headed to the NFL, Texas likely to rebound after a two-year down spell and perennial power TCU joining the conference next season, coach Art Briles will need to improve his defensive recruiting to keep the Bears out of the Big 12 cellar.
He'll have a chance to do that with a strong performance over a solid Pac-12 program in a game located in one of Baylor's main recruiting areas along I-35.
The over/under for a game that could quickly turn into a shoot-out is 76.5.
What can't Robert Griffin III do? The Baylor quarterback stoking excitement for the 2011 Alamo Bowl, typically not one of bowl season's hottest tickets, to a level that the bowl has only rarely seen in its 18-year existence.
Sales are "very steady, and we’re trying to find more and more seats," bowl spokesman Rick Hill said. "We just put some more obstructed view seats for sale in the system. We’re training toward a capacity crowd at kickoff."
The capacity crowd would be 65,000 fans strong, and the Alamo Bowl has only had seven games with 65K-plus on hand in its history. Of those games, all but one featured a Texas team, and four of them featured either Texas or Texas A&M.
Baylor has played in the Alamo Bowl before, in 1994, but drew the fewest fans in the bowl's history, with just 44,106 coming out to see the Bears fall to Washington State.
SB Nation's resident college football stat monster Bill C. has undertaken an impossible task - mathematically ranking the 2011-'12 college bowl slate by potential excitement, team prestige and the games likeliest to be close at the end.
Baylor's become a hot ticket at the 2011 Alamo Bowl against Washington, and Bill C. projects that of all 35 bowl games, the Alamo has a ton of potential to show off a little "MACtion," a rating named in honor of the high-scoring, low-defense midweek MAC games of the regular season. On the MACtion Scale, the Alamo ranks seventh overall, a strong indicator that Robert Griffin III and company will light up the scoreboard in San Antonio.
In terms of a watchable outing, though, Bill C. also rates the games according to their potential margins, and by his math, the Alamo Bowl won't be close, ranking 22nd out of 35 (6.9 point margin). In terms of historical weight - yes, there's a ranking system to weight games according to historical prestige - the Huskies and Bears are a respectable 17th in the field. Head over to the full rankings to see the full explanation.
Never mind that antiquated Heisman trophy business - Robert Griffin III is putting the Baylor Bears on the national map of college football with his latest accolade - being named the quarterback of SB Nation's inaugural All America Team. Griffin is joined by wide receiver Kendall Wright on the list, and the duo makes the Bears as one of only four teams (LSU, Stanford and Alabama being the others) with more than one player.
Griffin's exploits are well known, and despite a deep class of quarterbacks, SB Nation's Jason Kirk argues the pick was a no-brainer:
From numbers to moments, no player better defines everything that was great about the 2011 season than RG3 does. Andrew Luck and Brandon Weeden were outstanding, but this feels like just about the easiest choice on the board.
Bill Connelly argues the case for Wright, who joins fellow Big 12 standout Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State in barely edging out USC's Robert Woods:
...when Baylor fell behind schedule and found themselves on second- or third-and-long, Wright got better: 68 catches, 75-percent catch rate, 10.4 yards per target on standard downs, then 27 catches, 75-percent catch rate and 13.0 yards per target on passing downs. Wright was more explosive than Woods, and when Baylor needed a big catch, Wright came up bigger.
For the complete list of SB Nation's All-America team, click here. For everything college football be sure to check out SB Nation's college football news hub, and for your Baylor fix, visit Our Daily Bears.
RG3 Mania has shot up demand for the Bears' game against the Huskies.
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