WACO, Texas (KWTX) When Clay Johnston went down with a season-ending knee injury in Baylor's double-overtime win against Texas Tech, the Bears had to adjust to being without their senior leader, and leading tackler, on the field.
However, sophomore linebacker Terrel Bernard has led the Bears (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) in tackles in every game since Johnston's injury. Even though Bernard is putting up some nice numbers, he's quick to pass along some credit to his teammates.
"Coach (Phil) Snow definitely put us in positions to be successful," Bernard said. "Some of them were just the right place at the right time and it was my play to make. A lot of it came from the D-line. They took up most of the blocks that let me run free a lot of the times."
"I don't want to take anything away from Terrel, he is doing what Clay was doing," Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said. "It just goes to show you that all those guys are learning that we all have to step up. No one is playing better right now than Bravvion (Roy), (James Lockhart) and (James) Lynch, and no one is playing better than (Jordan Williams) is playing. Everyone is doing their job and allowing people to flourish."
The consistent play continued through the game against TCU for Bernard, who was named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high 19 tackles, as well as a sack and interception.
"That interception was an elite interception. Not many guys can react that fast to that ball," Rhule said. "He works hard at things, he is really critical of himself and that allows him to go fix and improve on things he can get better at."
Baylor and Oklahoma kick off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The Bears are No. 13 in the newest College Football Playoff rankings, while the Sooners check in at No. 10.