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Archive for Sunday, November 7, 1999

T PLUG DEFENSIVE HOLES

November 7, 1999

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Baylor football coach Kevin Steele didn't have enough fingers to plug the holes on Saturday.

After last week's 48-7 loss at Kansas State, Steele said he wanted his defense to step up its effort. Surrendering 45 points and a season-high 378 rushing yards to Kansas wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

"We're just finding more holes in our dike," Steele said. "And it seems like we plug one hole up and another springs up here and so on."

Kansas had three running backs with over 70 yards rushing -- including David Winbush's 111-yard, three-touchdown performance.

Steele didn't put all the blame on his defense. He praised the Jayhawks' offensive line.

"They really got some players up front on that offensive line that hit you with all cylinders," Steele said. "Then they got some (running) backs that can do many different things."

Defensive coordinator Andra Haley said his team practiced during the week on decreasing the 194.9 rushing yards opponents have averaged against the Bears. In order to accomplish that feat against Kansas, Haley primarily focused on slowing down Winbush.

"We talked about him earlier in the week and what we needed to do to stop him," Haley said. "He's one of those players you gotta stop and hold him until the rest of the calvary gets there, but we weren't able to do that."

After allowing 235 yards on the ground prior to halftime, Steele and Haley went to work trying to correct some of the defensive mistakes in the second half.

"We made some drastic halftime adjustments that stuck for a while, but the dike broke on that, too." Steele said.

The Bears allowed 50 rushing yards and held the Jayhawks scoreless in the third quarter. But Kansas caught fire in the fourth quarter with 93 more yards and three touchdowns, all on the ground.

"We came out in the third quarter and did a better job and really were doing some good things, but it just didn't hold together for us." Haley said.

The Bears began the season by allowing Boston College to stomp out 350 yards on the ground, but they had only given more than 200 yards just once in their last four contests.

"We missed a lot of tackles and that was big for us," Haley said. "Kansas did a good job of taking the ball inside and then bouncing outside and we weren't able to counter that."

To make matters worse, all three of Baylor's starting linebackers left the game at one time or another due to injuries. Andre Taylor, Kris Micheaux and Rodney Smith were all taken out of the game and their status for next week's home game against Colorado is unknown.

With a 1-8 record (0-6 in the Big 12), Steele is still looking for his team to play a complete game.

"It's days like this that will beat you into submission," Steele said. "Every man on this team is accountable for themselves and responsible to get their job done."

There were no Baylor players available for comment after the game.

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