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Injuries leave Baylor defense backed into a corner

08:34 PM CDT on Saturday, October 25, 2008

By GREG ECHLIN / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

LINCOLN, Neb. – Because of thinning ranks at cornerback, Baylor coach Art Briles was forced to shift players around Saturday.

Senior right corner Dwain Crawford sat out because of an injured ankle. Crawford missed the final three games last season because of injury.

Krys Buerck, a converted wide receiver who started the first four games at corner, moved back into the starting lineup.

At the other corner spot, Antareis Bryan, a Carter High graduate who had started the previous three games, didn't start because of a quad muscle injury. Freshman Trentson Hill made his first collegiate start, with Bryan and Tim Atchison rotating in. Atchison normally plays free safety.

"There's not a lot of difference when they're out on the field as far as what they bring to the table, so we're still trying to find the one or two that we really feel comfortable about," Briles said.

QB Griffin sets mark: Freshman quarterback Robert Griffin set a Baylor record for consecutive passes thrown without an interception (now at 175, surpassing the old mark of 162). His streak already stood as the NCAA record to start a collegiate career.

Baylor also set a modern team record (since 1946) with its seventh straight game without throwing an interception. The previous record was set in 1990.

No turnovers a plus: With no turnovers Saturday, combined with one lost fumble by Nebraska, Baylor is plus-eight in turnover ratio this season.

The Bears entered the game ranked second in the Big 12 behind Iowa State in turnover ratio and have only one turnover in their last six games.

Receiver sets record: With three catches for 60 yards Saturday, Kendall Wright set a Baylor record for freshman receptions with 36. The old record of 35 was set by tight end Brad Taylor last season.

Wright said he hurt an ankle and hyperextended a knee on a 3-yard run in the third quarter. He did not catch any passes in the fourth quarter.

Greg Echlin is a free-lance writer in Kansas City, Mo.

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