From his time at Utah State to Wisconsin, to LSU, and even before those stops, Dave Aranda has made a career out of stifling offenses.
But last season, in his first year as head coach, the Baylor offense struggled mightily. So much so, that Aranda made the decision to move on from offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, passing game coordinator Jorge Munoz, and offensive line coach Joe Wickline.
Reflecting back on a year where they finished near the bottom of the Big 12 (alongside Kansas in most cases) in nearly every important offensive category, Aranda shared that where they went wrong is that they tried to hang their hat on doing the two hardest things in college football.
“I think two of the hardest things to do in college football right now is to run inside zone and dropback pass,” Aranda told Texas Football. “We did a lot of those two things last year, which I take responsibility for.”
Coincidentally, while the defensive coordinator at LSU in 2019, Aranda was part of a staff where they were able to do those two things at an elite level with Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger calling the plays and Joe Burrow taking the snaps en route to a Heisman.
Aranda opting to lean on the things that were really successful at a previous stop is a misstep that a lot of coaches tend to make.
With the keys of Baylor's offense now handed to former BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes, the Bears new scheme will be heavy on wide zone with variations and compliments off of it.
Grimes describes to Dave Campbell's Texas Football that his approach is one that will use multiple formations to attack defenses with just a few plays, run a lot of different ways, combined with as much misdirection as any team in college football.
In addition to Grimes, who will also coach the team's tight ends, Eric Mateos was also brought in from BYU and will work with the offensive line. Also, Shawn Bell moved from tight ends to quarterbacks while Chansi Stuckey was hired to coach the wide receivers after serving as a graduate assistant at Clemson.
If Baylor can get the same type of production with this new-look offensive staff that Grimes was able to have at BYU last season, and Aranda can get back to his dominant defensive ways, Baylor will be a really fun team to watch this fall.
Head here to read the full piece, with more from Grimes including how their wide zone scheme plans to give Big 12 safety and nickel players a ton of fits.