Couldn't connect to the highlights yesterday so here they are today. Can also report that Blake has been able to keep his bodyweight consistently between 305lb and 310lb between each of the games this year and he is 100% heading into this week's Texas game. The game will be 5.30am on Sunday Australian time so we're all up early for that one.
SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2014
The Bears opened Big 12 play against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa and took care of business in a convincing if not absolutely perfect performance. The Offense was more like the balanced prolific animal that opposing teams fear and fans love as a few key receivers returned from injury and showcased the embarrassment of riches that the Baylor team enjoys for 2014.
Blake started his 16th career game and played arguably the best game of the season so far. You will see his blocks for TD runs by Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson in the highlights package; the Baylor OL are still to allow a sack in 2014.
The boys enjoy a day off for Monday with school work and then prepare for the most important game so far in Austin against the University of Texas. Baylor will be 2 TD favourites in Austin for the first time ever and will be looking for the sort of dominating performance that has never really happened between the two programs, Texas enjoying a 74-25-4 record head to head.
SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2014
The week off has been well received at Baylor after the bunched start to the 2014 season.
Baylor are at #6 in the Coaches' Poll and #7 in the Associated Press Poll. Several teams above them had tough games this week and all looks good for a classic match up vs Oklahoma in November who are ranked #3 and #4 in the same polls.
Whilst there has been some criticism of Baylor's out of conference schedule, there can be no doubt that if Baylor runs the table in 2014 they will go to the first College Football playoff series.
Blake and Sean had a day off on Sunday, the first for essentially 3 weeks. Blake is healthy and ready to make his 16th career start vs Iowa State.
SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2014
The Baylor Bears are now 3-0 with a bye week coming up after defeating the University of Buffalo Bulls 63-21 in Buffalo, New York.
QB Bryce Petty returned to the starting line up and threw for over 400 yards passing,a big load off the mind of many fans considering the number of other injuries on the Baylor offense to start the season.
The friday night game made a for a second short week in a row, the first 3 games coming on a Sunday, then a Saturday, then a Friday. After a week off the Bears open Big 12 play on the road at Iowa State. Blake made his 15th career start at Left Guard, take a look at his key block at 1:34 of this clip to set up a TD for RB Johnny Jefferson.
SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2014
The Bears have traveled to Buffalo, New York for tomorrow's game against the Buffalo Bulls.
Its probably worth taking a look at how this adds to the list of venues that Blake has traveled to over his career so far. Here it goes....
2011 (Hawaii travel squad, but redshirted)
Seattle, Washington (Washington)
Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV)
Ruston, Louisiana (Louisiana Tech)
San Jose, California (San Jose State)
Moscow, Idaho (Idaho)
2012 (Hawaii starter)
Los Angeles, California (USC)
Provo, Utah (BYU)
San Diego, California (San Diego State)
Fort Collins, Colorado (Colorado State)
Fresno, California (Fresno State)
Colorado Springs, Colorado (Air Force)
2014 (Baylor starter)
The slate of away games includes...
Buffalo, New York (Buffalo)
Ames, Iowa (Iowa State)
Austin, Texas (Texas)
Morgantown, West Virginia (West Virginia)
Norman, Oklahoma (Oklahoma)
Arlington, Texas (Texas Tech)
Its possible that by the end of next year that Blake will be amongst the most traveled college football players ever. Eventually being on the travel squad for 4 years at 2 different schools means well over 20 unique away game venues across the USA. A interesting way to see the whole country.
SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2014
Your blog updater has just returned from visiting with the boys for 2 weeks.
The second game for Baylor was a huge victory, 70-6 over Northwestern State. Highlights can be seen below.
Blake started his 14th career game, although normal starter at QB Bryce Petty sat out, back up Seth Russell taking control of the offense and setting a tone for the kind of Baylor offensive dominance that we've seen in the last few years.
This week is a short week again for the Bears, they travel to Buffalo in New York state to play the Buffalo Bulls on Friday. So far this year they have gone Sunday, Saturday, Friday; fortunately they get a bye week after that to recoup.
Blake was happy with his performances in the first two games, he took a few hits to the elbow from his own RB and OL but just the normal sorts of collisions that come with the game. He's eager to continue to get back into the week to week process of playing games after having to sit out 2013 through transfer rules.
SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2014
Baylor took a historic step in its history on Sunday as it took on a defeated SMU in the new McLane Stadium winning 45-0.
The defense was the stand out and proved much of what had been said of it during the off season, offensively there were hiccups. Starting QB Bryce Petty exited the game as did top returning receiver Antwan Goodley in the first half. The Bears couldn't finish off drives and only showed flashes of what we ahve seen in the past.
Blake made his start at Left Guard and the first team was subbed out in the 3rd quarter as the result became beyond doubt. He was reasonably happy with his game, his first since December 2012 and 13th start. He took a hit to the elbow from one of the Baylor RB's in pass pro but otherwise 100% for Northwestern State nest week.
AUGUST 26th, 2014
The official depth chart had been released and it can now be reported that Blake will start for Baylor at Left Guard on Sunday against SMU and make his 13th career start overall.
Blake is also the 'swing' player on the OL which means if there is an injury or reason to substitute another starter elsewhere on the OL particularly at Left or Right Tackle then he will move over to that spot and fellow Left Guard LaQuan McGowan will take up the Left Guard position.
The Left Guard position has been described as a big hole to fill on the OL considering the starter there the last 2 years was consensus All-American Cyril Richardson. Since the beginning of Spring practice the Left Guard position became the obvious landing spot for Blake as confidence grew that All Big 12 Left Tackle Spencer Drango would return for Fall camp healthy, which he has, and that Center Kyle Fuller would ascend the starting role as snapper. With the experienced Desmine Hilliard at Right Guard and Troy Baker at Right Tackle the Bears have a great shot at being one of the top OL units in the nation in what should be a special year.
Depth chart for SMU game.
AUGUST 24th, 2014
Fall camp has wrapped up and the Baylor Bears are about to start regular school in the lead up to the first game against SMU. The SMU coaching staff are somewhat known to Blake as he was originally committed to them as a defensive line prospect before eventually enrolling at Hawaii in Spring 2011.
The story goes something like this........ Blake was committed to Hawaii as an offensive line prospect but they did not have a scholarship available until Fall 2011. SMU coaches then offered Blake a DL spot for Spring 2011 (the SMU staff were previously at Hawaii) and insisted that Blake de-commit from Hawaii before taking an official visit. So playing the recruiting game, Blake did that and took the visit, giving him a good idea of the strengths of both schools.
The key feature came down to Hawaii OL coach Gordie Shaw. Shaw was the first coach to take the leap to offer Blake first. Being recruited from Australia is very very difficult. The competition is very poor by comparison to US high schools but Shaw saw through all that and despite the general reaction of schools of 'nobody wants to recruit anyone who nobody wants' he made the first offer albeit, Hawaii couldn't provide a scholarship until Fall 2011. In spite of that Blake decided to enrol for Spring and come up with the $20000 in fees as an International student. Blake worked at a liquor store to save money whilst he trained. The rest, and how he then ended up going to Baylor is a whole other story but it is worth mentioning in the face of SMU being the first opponent for Blake at Baylor.
Your blog updater will be heading to Texas on Wednesday to catch up with the boys and take in the historic events of Baylor's first game in its new home stadium and what hopes to be a remarkable season. Instructions have been given to bring packets of Tim Tams for Baylor team mates. The classic Australian chocolate biscuit is just as popular in Texas as it is around the rest of the world.
AUGUST 17th, 2014
The Bears practiced in their new stadium for the first time today. The day included a walk to the stadium across the new bridge from the athletic department.
AUGUST 16TH, 2014
John Werner, from the Waco Tribune with another nice article on Blake in particular with the rotation at OL.
AUGUST 15th, 2014
Blake was interviewed by 1660am host David Smoak this morning.
AUGUST 13th, 2014
Today is the last day of summer session 2. The boys have an exam and then fall semester doesn't start for 2 weeks.
Sean is taking all his reps now at Center, Blake is still focusing on LG, followed by LT and some RT. The team is getting all sorts of attention and accolades. The preseason rankings are from #9 through to #15 nationally and on the whole they are a close 2nd to Oklahoma in terms of being Big 12 favourites. ESPN has them at #11
The Bears also just won the vote on best uniforms in the nation. The irony somewhat is that Blake and Sean to put it mildly, aren't the sort of people to get all giddy over uniform colours and designs. It can't be denied however that in the current college football scene, quality of appearance has become very important.
AUGUST 9th, 2014
Practice has started for the Baylor Bears for Fall Camp 2014.
The practice schedule looks like this, courtesy of Sic'Em Sports.com :-
Aug. 5 - Practice around 2:50 p.m.
Aug. 6 - Practice at 2:50 p.m.
Aug. 7 - Practice at 2:50 p.m.
Aug. 8 - No practice
Aug. 9 - Practice at 10:00 a.m. Meet the Bears fan event at 12:30 p.m.
Aug. 10 - Practice at 1:50 p.m.
Aug. 11 - Practice at 2:50 p.m.
Aug. 12 - No practice
Aug. 13 - Practice at 10:00 a.m.
Aug. 14 - Practice at 9:50 a.m.
Aug. 15 - Practice at 9:50 a.m.
Aug. 18 - Practice at 11:45 a.m.
Aug. 19 - Practice at 9:50 a.m.
Aug. 20 - Practice at 9:20 a.m.
Through the first 2 practices Blake has been on the 1st team offense as the LG sharing some reps on the 2nd team as well. Today is the 3rd practice and the team will be going to pads after that. The OL will be able to do more serious work at that time.