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Baylor - Who are these guys?

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If you asked anyone at the start of the season who was going to win the 2011 Heisman Trophy the name Robert Griffin the third (RG3) from Baylor University didn't exactly roll off your lips. Heisman winners don't usually come from traditional doormat programs.

No matter how you slice it Baylor is a traditional doormat. It is one of those classic "have not" type of programs that has been recently clinging to life as a BCS conference member. Twice in the last two years the Bears were almost left behind as Texas considered a jump to the Pac 12.

Until last season they hadn't even been to a bowl game since 1994 when they were defeated 10-3 by WSU in the Alamo Bowl. In 2010 they played in something called the Texas Bowl while getting hammered 38-14 by Ron Zook and Illinois.

Nobody really saw this RG3/Heisman thing coming at the start of the season. Sure...we all knew that he was a good QB (one of the top three in the Big 12) but you need to have a fantastic year and be on a winner to have a shot at a Heisman which would be a serious challenge with the Bears defense.

The first time I took real notice of Griffin this season was when he kept matching and then surpassing UW's Keith Price for the national lead in touchdown passes. I decided to do a little research and familiarize myself with Griffin.

I learned that in 2010 he had passed for 3501 yards while completing 67% of his passes and connecting on 22 TD passes. He also scrambled for 635 yards on the ground while leading Baylor to a 7-6 record and their first bowl bid since 1994.

To me those type of stats looked very similar to what we expected out of Jake Locker during his senior season at Washington. It was obvious from looking at film that RG3 was a serious play maker and the instant the pocket breaks down it creates opportunity rather than misfortune for the Baylor offense.

Another thing I found out is that he was born in Japan and he and his family lived in the state of Washington while his parents were stationed at Fort Lewis. He played high school ball in Texas and originally was going to go to Houston until Art Briles took the job at Baylor.

This past season he passed for a sensational 3998 yards while hooking up with his receivers for a wild 36 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He led the nation with a 192.3 passer rating. He also rushed for 644 yards and picked up 9 of his own TD's on the ground. It was by far the best overall performance of any QB in the country this season.

The Bears finished with a strong 9-3 record after closing strong with five high scoring late season victories over Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech, and arch rival Texas. Griffin ended up beating out pre-season Heisman favorite Andrew Luck who faded a bit late in the season for college football's most storied award.

So how exactly do you stop RG3 and Baylor?

Washington is going up against an offense that has been almost unstoppable over the last five games. Baylor has averaged 46.4 points and 587 yards per game during the impressive five game winning streak. So lets examine the last loss to see what happened.

Oklahoma State held them to a season low 24 points in a 59-24 win that Okie State led 35-0 at halftime. RG3 still went 33-of-50 for 425 yards, with one passing, and one rushing TD, but he tossed two interceptions, and the Bears coughed the ball up three additional drive killing times.

Despite the low point production Baylor was still able to move to amass 622 total yards against the Cowboys! So Okie State really didn't slow them down...they just forced-helped them into mistakes that kept them out of the end zone while piling up 601 yards of their own against that stingy Baylor defense.

Washington's best hope in this game is shredding a Baylor defense that gives up an average of 35.67 points and 477 total yards per game. They have to do that in order to stay in the game because the UW defense will have serious problems keeping the Bears out of the end zone in what should be an Alamo Bowl full of offensive firepower.

Stay tuned...next up will be an inside look at the Baylor defense.