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BU must learn how to win beyond Waco

Nov. 9, 2004

By DREW WILLIAMSON, sports writer

When somebody asks me how the football game went this past weekend, and I tell them the score, the reaction that follows usually constitutes a sarcastic remark along the lines of "that's more like it" or just a painful-looking grimace, as if to say "I'm sorry that you went all the way to Lubbock to watch that."

Well, don't be. Although a score of 42-17 is lopsided indeed, it is no longer lopsided for the reasons it used to be. Over the past few years, Baylor has been dominated in the Big 12 simply because the talent gap was a mile wide. On Saturday, I saw something different.

The reason I'm not sorry I made the trip this weekend is because I saw a Baylor football team that should have won, or, moderately speaking, should have been in the game until the end, which is something you usually can't say confidently after a game.

While there is still somewhat of a gap at certain positions, the Baylor receivers, defensive backs and linebackers were just as talented as their counterparts on Saturday.

The difference in the game was that the Red Raiders wanted the win more, and made more plays.

"We just didn't execute," senior linebacker Justin Crooks said. "We wanted it, but it seemed they wanted it worse than us."

This can't keep happening. How can you let someone want a win worse than you do?

The Baylor football team has been labeled as the whipping boy of the Big 12 conference for the past 10 years. If you have a chance to do something about that, then go do it.

Baylor has yet to learn how to play on the road, and as many have come to believe, it seems as if it can't play well without a Floyd Casey crowd behind them.

"Well, we won't ever be good if that's how they feel. I mean it's more comfortable at home because everything is routine. My back hurt from my bed, but that didn't stop me, I still had to go out there and coach a game," head Coach Guy Morriss said. "Sure, it's going to be different and harder, but you have to overcome that, it's just the nature of the beast."

The talent gap people have talked about for so long is becoming less irrelevant, and pretty soon, will no longer be a valid excuse. Morriss is trying to convince his team that they should expect to play well every week, not just once a year, i.e. Colorado and Texas A&M.

And while watching a Baylor team lose that is more talented than those in the past years is easier to watch than a team that never has a chance from the opening kickoff, the team needs to come together and figure out how to use their talent.

Sophomore receiver Trent Shelton said it best, "There were some positive signs, but the main sign is a win and we didn't get that today."