By Parmida Schahhosseini
Having a defense is important to win games. One may think that it’s common sense. There are many examples even throughout Baylor Athletics that support this notion.
Last season, Baylor football played West Virginia early in the season. ESPN was basically giving Gino Smith the Heisman after torching Baylor’s defense for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. However, ESPN didn’t notice the fact that Baylor scored 63 points. Senior quarterback Nick Florence had 581 yards for five touchdowns. Usually those numbers would be enough to win, but they came up short. Throughout the season, Baylor was one of the highest scoring offences, finishing number two in the country, but they only won eight games. Against Texas, Baylor scored 50 points, but ended up losing 56-50. Football is a team sport and everyone could have done a bit more, but after scoring so much, what more was the offense supposed to do?
After being compared to a high school defense, Baylor got a wake-up call and beat No. 1 Kansas State in convincing fashion: 52-24. When the defense came together, Baylor began winning games and went to its third straight bowl game.
Great defenses allow teams to stay in the game. Perfect examples for this are the recent softball games. On Friday, freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns started her first game and the defense let the game to get away from her. Fortunately for Baylor, Stearns won her next two. In recent games, Baylor’s offense has struggled scoring runs.
However, Baylor’s pitching and defense allowed them to remain close. After allowing a score once in each game against Northern Illinois on Saturday and Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, Baylor was sound on defense. This kept the team competitive. The games were never out of reach. The Lady Bears pitched well and stopped threats from opposing teams, which gave them a chance to come back and win both games. While head coach Glenn Moore wasn’t pleased with how the offense played, it’s still early in the season. As long as the defense is sound, they can stay in every game.
Head women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey prides herself on having her teams playing sound, physical defense. Her 361-80 record in 13 seasons speaks for itself. Mulkey understands that playing good defense gives teams a chance to win. Senior center Brittney Griner, who holds the NCAA record for blocks at 693, recently said that blocked shots are important to her because it prevents opposing teams from scoring. Senior guard Jordan Madden and senior forward Brooklyn Pope have been putting pressure on opponents. The whole team contributes and plays unselfish ball, allowing the team to do what they do best — winning games. The Lady Bears have been defeating opponents by an average of 28 points due to the pressure they put on opposing teams, preventing them to keep up with the third best offense in the nation.
Whether the team is having a hard time scoring a run, or putting up 63 points on offense, the defense needs to do its job to win. A great defense can take pressure off any offense, no matter how good they are. Defense is what allows teams to stay in games, because anything can happen later in the game.