Baylor's big hurdle not Tech, but focus

November, 25, 2011
The Baylor Bears just don't have much experience to draw upon when it comes to recharging the emotional battery the week after celebrating a hugely meaningful victory.

That's the test Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium when the Bears (7-3, 4-3 Big 12), fresh off last week's incredible takedown of the Oklahoma Sooners, face a Texas Tech Red Raiders squad (5-6, 2-6) desperate to end a death spiral that started the week after its shocking upset of the Sooners more than a month ago.

"It won’t be hard at all," quarterback Robert Griffin III said of his team's ability to put OU behind and focus on the task at hand. "The thing is the guys immediately after the game were talking about the next game because we know how it is. You can enjoy the victory the next night and all Sunday when you wake up and you come to lift weights and watch film; it’s onto the next one. That’s the way we look at it."

The Bears have some monumental goals ahead of them in the final two regular-season games, plus a bowl game. A win Saturday gives this team an eighth win for the first time since 1991. Think about that, a 20-year span between eight-win seasons. Baylor finishes the season next week at home against a Texas Longhorns team that seems to be regressing offensively and could have all kinds of problems keeping up with the Bears' Heisman Trophy candidate.

Not to get too far ahead, but a 10-win season is a possibility. A Baylor team hasn't done that since it won the Southwest Conference in 1980 (A nine-win season was last accomplished in 1986). That's a lot to think about for these Bears, who were 7-2 a year ago and then closed the season by losing four in a row. The last game they won in 2010 was in Austin against the Horns and the next week Baylor was crushed in Stillwater by the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

The Bears nearly let a huge opportunity slip away a few weeks ago. After a big Homecoming win over the Missouri Tigers, Baylor played at the downtrodden Kansas Jayhawks and surprisingly needed overtime to get a 31-30 win.

"Our guys are doing a great job of making sure they stay focused," Griffin said. "They came back to work on Sunday ready to go and that’s a big thing. It shows a lot of maturity and leadership, so Texas Tech will not be taken lightly, and we realize that the most important game, the next important win is the next one and that’s what we’re going to go and do."



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