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Bears blanked, fall to Texas A&M 24-0

Oct. 17, 2000

By ERIKA SNOBERGER

Sports writer

The Bears need a way to get back their rhythm, and dancing lessons aren't the answer.

The Baylor football team was shut out for the second week in a row on Saturday, crumbling 24-0 to Texas A&M University.

While neither team played a particularly synchronized game, it was apparent that mistakes hurt the Bears far more than the Aggies. Take interceptions, for example.

Baylor (2-4 overall, 0-3 in the Big 12 Conference) snagged two A&M passes, but no points resulted. The Aggies (4-2, 2-1) picked off four passes, and found the endzone three times.

'When you play an even game, the team that wins is the one that makes the fewest mistakes,' head Coach Kevin Steele said. 'There are more teams who beat themselves than get beat by opponents. But when you've got this much youth, you also have to take chances.'

Baylor took a chance by starting a freshman quarterback. The team also leads the Big 12 in underclassmen starters, and nine true freshmen have played in games since the start of the season.

'I wasn't shaken up,' freshman quarterback Kerry Dixon said. 'It was intense, and that's what I expected. We're just having a hard time getting into a rhythm.'

But it wasn't as if Baylor gave the points away. With the exception of one, each A&M scoring drive covered more than 70 yards. The team racked up 414 offensive yards by the end of the night, while Baylor's 236 paled in comparison.

But now is not the time for the Bears to make mistakes. An ominous cloud hovers over the team, and its name is the University of Nebraska. Saturday, Baylor will travel to the Huskers' home turf.

'To beat Nebraska in Lincoln, you have to play your best game,' Steele said. 'Very few things get your attention like the atmosphere at the University of Nebraska.'

With a Heisman trophy candidate quarterback and an offensive line that averages more than 300 pounds, the Huskers aren't slowing down anytime soon, and Baylor's only

choice is to be flawless.

But perhaps the Bears have more experience, or at least insight, than they realize. Both Steele, who served as an assistant coach at Nebraska, and running backs Coach Tommie Frazier, who suited up for four years as a Husker, may be able to give the team somewhat of an inside look at its opponent. But don't count on a miracle, according to Steele.

'Can we more vividly paint a picture than others? Yes,' Steele said. 'But we're not out on the field. To make it happen, we've simply got to perform in the biggest way possible.'