Banged-up Baylor offense adapts to life without speedster Tevin Reese

Sam Cooper

Speedy Baylor wideout Tevin Reese was lost for the season when he dislocated his right wrist in last Thursday’s win over Oklahoma, and in his absence, the Bears’ offense will have to adapt in its quest for an undefeated season.

“I’m eager to see how it changes from a schematic standpoint and a philosophical standpoint,” coach Art Briles said. “We’re going to have to kind of change how we think and how we feel without Tevin because he’s the fastest receiver in America. We’ll have to compensate in a variety of ways.”

Reese leads the country by averaging almost 25 yards per catch in Baylor’s high-powered offense. Beyond that, the senior is a team leader with extensive knowledge of the offense who is a great example for the younger receivers.

“You can’t replace a guy like Tevin Reese, on or off the field. Leadership-wise, experience-wise, he was more than just a great wideout, that’s for sure,” quarterback Bryce Petty said.

Juniors Levi Norwood (19 catches, 312 yards, 2 TDs) and Clay Fuller (18 catches, 261 yards, 1 TD) and sophomore Corey Coleman (13 catches, 244 yards, 2 TDs) will all need to step up in Reese’s absence. Norwood caught four passes for 78 yards including a 17-yard touchdown in the second half against Oklahoma after Reese went down.

That group should have plenty of opportunities to make plays with defenses now keying on Antwan Goodley, who is having a fantastic season with 44 catches, 974 yards and 10 touchdowns.

In addition to the loss of Reese, running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin are banged up and are considered day-to-day. Freshman Shock Linwood stepped up admirably when Seastrunk and Martin went down against Oklahoma, racking up 182 yards on 23 carries.

The Bears (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) have climbed to fifth in the latest BCS standings behind Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State, who are also undefeated, and one-loss Stanford, who knocked off Oregon last Saturday.

The Bears host Texas Tech Saturday and will need help to potentially play itself into contention for the National Championship down the stretch.

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