Kansas vs. Baylor: Previewing the Bears Defense

Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Taking a look at the Baylor Bears defense ahead of Saturday's game against the Jayhawks in Waco.

Flipping now to the Baylor defense and it really is a tale of two units. The offensive unit for the Bears is impressive, explosive and they get the job done. Defensively this team is near the bottom of college football and the confidence among the Baylor fanbase is at an all time low. When you consider that this team is the top passing offense in the country and the no. 2 offense in the league, you wouldn't think they would be winless but that's where they're at. The good news for Baylor is that the Kansas offense has been equally atrocious for the most part so this really is going to be interesting to see which team steps up.

MLB 26 RODNEY CHADWICK (6-1, 240, SR.)
44 Bryce Hager (6-1, 235, So.)

It's probably not commonplace to replace your leading tackler during the middle of the season but that's exactly what Baylor has done. Hager is the underclassman but he was starting and leading the team in tackles at the middle linebacker spot. Chadwick replaced Hager last week and the senior is expected to start Saturday. Perhaps it's a leadership thing more than anything and an attempt by the Baylor staff to inject some life into a hapless defense. I think it's safe to say we'll see some of both but for the time being Baylor might look to go with the senior leadership in the middle.

WLB 5 EDDIE LACKEY (6-0, 220, JR.)

NB 6 AHMAD DIXON (6-0, 210, JR.)

Baylor leans toward the 4-2-5 look with Dixon playing a nickel but in a hybrid type role. Dixon is the second leading tackler on the team and Lackey actually checks in at no. 3. Between the three linebacker positions you have the three players making the most tackles on the team. That's generally a good thing, but for whatever reason the Baylor defense just isn't clicking.

RE 31 CHRIS MCALLISTER (6-2, 255, JR.)

NG 76 NICK JOHNSON (6-2, 295, SR.)

DT 10 GARY MASON JR. (6-4, 265, SR.)

LE 11 TERRANCE LLOYD (6-3, 235, JR.)

Nick Johnson was recruited to Kansas and committed as a center prospect from the junior college level before heading to Baylor where he has found a home at defensive tackle. Johnson and Mason cover the interior but they aren't as effective as some of the other defensive tackles that Baylor has had in the past. Lloyd seems to be the most versatile and more effective at getting into the backfield and making something happen.

CB 9 CHANCE CASEY (5-11, 185, SR.)

CB 22 JOE WILLIAMS (5-9, 190, JR.)

DS 25 SAM HOLL (6-1, 200, JR.)

CS 17 MIKE HICKS (5-11, 200, SR.)

As Charlie Weis explained during his press conference, this is the group that has the most experience when you look at the Baylor defense as a whole. Casey started out at safety but has moved to corner out of necessity. He's a solid tackler in the Baylor secondary and Sam Holl really comes up in run support almost playing like a linebacker/end in some situations and does a nice job creating different looks and opportunities for the Baylor defensive coordinator.

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