LB John Garrett

2002 Statistics

Coach: Guy Morriss
1st year
2002 Record: 3-9
at California LOST 22-70
at New Mexico LOST 0-23
at Colorado LOST 0-34
at Texas Tech LOST 11-62
at Texas LOST 0-41
at Oklahoma State LOST 28-63

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

The first priority with the new coaching staff is to lay a long-term foundation. Short-term measures need to include (1.) playing hard and aggressively while (2.) injecting discipline and accountability back into the program. Unfortunately, these traits don't necessarily guarantee instant wins, but will eventually pay off (by season's end or in 2004).

Coach Morris could squeeze five wins out of this team, thanks primarily to an out-of-conference schedule that isn't too far-fetched and the continued woes at Kansas. However, improving on last year's three-win season will be a challenge. The point differential in Baylor's nine losses was an astonishing 38 points per game; hence the need for new blood in the program. Coaches and players have to look at this whole scope realistically. Baylor may not beat any good teams this year, but they should (at least) stay more competitive in their losses.

A good corps of receivers and a decent line (though oversized) are all part of the offensive package. There is a decent group of linebackers and capable DBs in numbers. The big concern will be up front, on the defensive line. But none of this should be new to fans in Waco - the program hasn't won more than three ballgames in six entire seasons. The last time Baylor was considered a legitimate national power (1980), guys like Mike Singletary and Walter Abercrombie were in uniform. So it has been proven - national prominence can be achieved even in this part of the Lone Star State.

Guy Morris showed the ability to make order out of chaos when he took over the Kentucky program two years ago. There is a tremendous recruiting base in the state just loaded with Division I-A prospects. Baylor has five coaches on staff that have strong Texas ties and good relationships with high school coaches. If Baylor cannot sign 20 to 25 recruits annually, then something is wrong. The short-term prognosis for Baylor football is still not very good, but better times are on the horizon.

Projected 2003 record: 3-9
C Cedric Fields
QB Aaron Karas
DE Khari Long
DE Montez Murphy
QB - 2.5 DL - 2
RB - 1.5 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 2
OL - 2 ..

Passing: Aaron Karas, 251-150-13, 1792 yds., 6 TD

Rushing: Rashad Armstrong, 159 att., 647 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Robert Quiroga, 49 rec., 556 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Jonathan Golden, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: Jeremy Parker, 73 punts, 35.6 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Derrick Cash, 64 tot., 50 solo

Sacks: Khari Long, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Derrick Cash, 2 for 60 yds.

Kickoff returns: Robert Quiroga, 4 ret., 15.5 avg.

Punt returns: J.T. Thompson, 7 ret., 3.1 avg.


OFFENSE: Chris DeLeenheer-TE, Antoine Murphy-OG, Reggie Newhouse-WR, Derrick Pearcy-OG, T.J. Helmcamp-OT, Greg Cicero-QB, Ray Harrington-WR, Daniel Andino-K
DEFENSE: A.C. Collier-DE, Bobby Hart-CB, Ethan Kelley-NT, Kevin Stevenson-DT, Greg Wade-WLB, Kelvin Chaisson-LB, A.C. Collier-DE, Bobby Hart-CB (dismissed)

written by James Johnson

Senior running back Rashad Armstrong returns as the feature back for new head coach Guy Morris' offense. Armstrong earned the starting spot with five games remaining in 2002. He finished strong, becoming the first Baylor back with consecutive 100-yard games against Big 12 opponents since 1997. Armstrong was the Junior College Offensive Player of the Year in 2001 and will be an important weapon in the Bears' offense.

Wide receiver Robert Quiroga becomes their "go to guy". He was the Bears' second leading receiver, but more importantly had a strong finish, catching 42 passes in Baylor's final seven games. Quiroga was primarily a possession receiver in 2002, but his speed (he is also a star of the Bears' track team) will make him the primary weapon to stretch opponents' defenses.

Junior quarterback Aaron Karas set the school single-season record for completion percentage last season (59.8%), but that did not earn a vote of confidence from Coach Morris, who said about his offense "I think the biggest question is the trigger man-do we have one?"

How is this possible? Karas' 13 INTs vs. only six TD passes last year is definitely a cause for concern. Another factor - when opponents lead by three touchdowns or more, which all but three of Baylor's did last season, passes between the 20-yard lines are much easier to complete.

Whether Karas will have success while a game is still in doubt remains an unanswered question. His backups are both unproven with only 23 pass attempts between them, so Karas will have plenty of opportunity to reestablish himself as the Baylor quarterback.

Will any Bear quarterback be able to stay in an upright position long enough to be effective? Baylor gave up an alarming total of 52 sacks in 12 2002 games. Now we don't want to say the Bears' offensive linemen were a bit chubby, but hiring Richard Simmons as an offensive line coach is a good plan. Large OLmen are very much in vogue these days, but not if they can't move. Baylor's current starting guards on the depth chart, redshirt freshman Akeen Rettig and sophomore Lequalan McDonald, are listed at 362 and 352 pounds respectively. Given the speed and agility of defensive linemen in the Big 12, that is not going to work when the season starts.

Morris gained a reputation as an offensive wizard at Kentucky, where he helped put together some prolific offenses. At Baylor, he inherits a team that was shut out four times last season and, during a six-week stretch of conference games, put up a total of only 30 points. The offensive line will improve over 2002's version, which will give the Bears a more potent offense, but still far short of Morris' Wildcat teams.


WR Robert Quiroga


Returning Starters in bold
QB Aaron Karas-Jr (6-2, 199) Davon Vinson-So (6-4, 222)
FB Jonathan Evans-Jr (6-1, 253) Billy Crawford-Jr (6-2, 235)
TB Rashad Armstrong-Sr (5-8, 198) Jonathan Golden-Sr (6-1, 210)
WR Robert Quiroga-Sr (6-3, 188) John Martin-Jr (6-0, 184)
WR Marques Roberts-Jr (6-2, 225) J.T. Thompson-Sr (5-10, 193)
TE Shane Williams-Sr (6-4, 226) Iris Williams-Fr (6-4, 234)
OT Quintin Outland-Jr (6-5, 333) Brad Schlueter-Jr (6-4, 277)
OG Akeem Rettig-Fr (6-5, 352) Randy Cornejo-Sr (6-4, 317)
C Cedric Fields-Sr (6-4, 278) Joe DeWoody-Jr (6-4, 284)
OG Lequalan McDonald-So (6-5, 352) Jacob Pittman-Fr (6-8, 333)
OT Glen Oskin-So (6-5, 303) Travis Farst-Fr (6-7, 307)
K Adam Tomlinson-So (6-1, 212) Matt Tritsch-So (5-8, 171) / Troy Wall-Fr



written by James Johnson

Defensive Coordinator John Goodner brings his unusual defensive scheme with him from Kentucky. For his basic defense, he uses four down linemen, two linebackers, and five defensive backs (4-2-5), but two of the backs line up near the line of scrimmage to often present an eight-man front (4-4-3). Movement and stunts keep opponents off balance, creating favorable match-ups, if done well. This scheme should be a good fit with the personnel on hand since their strengths are at defensive back and linebacker. We'll let Head Coach Guy Morriss explain:

"The closest thing I could compare us to is like Joe Lee Dunn's defense over at Mississippi State with the two outside safeties, the two inside linebackers, the four down linemen and a three-deep shell. We're not a soft, sit back and read, soft cover two, or anything like that and watch people snitch down the field on us. We're going to be more of an aggressive style of defense. We'll blitz a little bit. I think recruits enjoy playing that kind of game: offensively wide open and defensively very aggressive."

The top returning tackler is outside safety Derrick Cash. He has made big plays throughout his career and is fifth in school history with 189 career yards in interceptions returns. Cash will be counted on to fortify against the run.

The DB's will shoulder a very heavy load while the front wall attempts to stop teams from ramming the ball down Baylor's throat for another season. Matters became a little more difficult in the secondary when team interception leader and punt return specialist Bobby Hart got dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons. The local talent from Waco leaves a huge void at CB to which only the spring can divulge answers.

Senior John Garrett will be counted on to anchor the middle of the defense. Garrett suffered a season-ending knee injury in the fifth game of 2002, and was limited during spring practice while he recovers. He is expected to be at full strength when the season starts, and his playmaking is sorely needed. In 25 career games, he has 21 tackles for loss, three sacks, three fumble recoveries, and six passes defended.

The biggest concern by far is the defensive line. When a team's defense allows over 41 points and over 405 yards per game, it is hard not to improve on that the following season. Baylor should accomplish that this year, but not by a whole lot. The defensive line is small, which will make the Bears vulnerable to teams running right up the gut, and it will probably take some time for the players to adjust to the new defensive scheme(s). It is unlikely Baylor will allow over 60 points three times like they did last year, but opponents still won't have much trouble scoring.


LB Derrick Cash


Returning Starters in bold
DE Dominick Cravens-Sr (6-3, 240) Joe Simmons-Sr (6-5, 254)
DT Michael Gary-Fr (6-3, 296) Corey Ford-Fr (6-3, 270)
DT Luke Groth-Jr (65, 266) Lorenzo Davis-So (6-4, 312)
DE Khari Long-Jr (6-4, 254) Montez Murphy-So (6-5, 257)
OUT Derrick Cash-Sr (6-0, 216) Maurice Linquist-Fr (5-11, 202)
LB John Garrett-Sr (6-2, 253) Colin Allred-So(6-2, 237)
LB Michael Tolbert-Jr (6-0, 245) Stephen Sepulveda-Sr (6-2, 224)
OUT Willie Andrews-So (5-10, 186) Larry Bynum-Sr (5-11, 191)
CB Tyson Hampton-Jr (6-0, 193) Anthony Arline-Fr (6-2, 186)
CB Matt Johnson-Sr (5-10, 173) James Todd-Fr (6-0, 173)
FS Maurice Lane-So (5-11, 183) Danielle McLean-Sr (6-0, 202)
P Jeremy Parker-So (5-9, 162) ..




The person most important to Baylor's special teams this year will be assistant coach Mark Nelson. He is regarded as one of the nation's best in this area. During his two years at Kentucky, Nelson developed the Wildcats' kicking teams into the best all-around unit in the SEC.

Nelson will need some magic this season to work with a very inexperienced unit.
None of last year's primary kick returners are back, nor is their placekicker. The return jobs will be wide-open going into the season, and three youngsters will vie for the kicking position. Fresh blood here is an asset - it is an obvious breeding ground for the underclassmen and backups. Look for Nelson's impact on special teams to translate in the season's ladder-half. Improved play from the lesser-knowns will assuredly cause positive competitive results in many areas, especially defensively. This is bankable for sizeable improvements in all special teams dimensions.

Jeremy Parker, a sophomore, returns for his second season as the Bears' punter, but needs to improve his 35.6-yard average.