Coaches and players say that nothing’s ever as good as it looked live when they watch the film nor is anything ever as bad as it felt in the moment. With that in mind, now that almost 24 hours have passed since Baylor’s 55-27 victory over Abilene Christian, here are three things to think about.
-- Matt Rhule is getting closer to the kind of offense he wants to run.
John Lovett rushed for 115 yards on 12 carries and JaMycal Hasty rushed for 102 yards on 10 carries. Baylor had punch in the running game and it helped put a win on the board to start the season. It’s hard to tell how that will translate when the Bears play an FBS opponent, but it was one of the key things that made this season-opener a whole lot better than the start of the 2017 season.
-- Rhule has a balancing act on his hands at the quarterback position.
Grad transfer Jalan McClendon looked really good as he completed 10 of 13 passes for 173 yards and 2 TDs. He made precise passes and had zip on the ball when he needed it. As we head into the second week of the season, he looks like a difference-maker at QB.
But the Bears still need Charlie Brewer, who also looked good in the first game of his sophomore season. He suffered a back injury, which we’ll probably learn more about early this week. If Brewer can get back in the game soon, it will be a priority to keep him going. Baylor knows he can handle himself in Big 12 play, so it’s too soon to turn the reins of the offense over to McClendon, who will only be here for one season anyway.
-- Baylor’s defense raised a red flag.
The Bears surrendered 220 rushing yards and 8.1 per carry against an FCS opponent, and Abilene Christian isn’t exactly North Dakota State.
Safety Chris Miller led Baylor with seven tackles and defensive end James Lockhart had four solo tackles, including a sack. But really, the Bears lacked defensive standouts.