Baylor football is off to a brutal 0-2 start this season, and the staff is trying to adjust. The latest depth chart revealed several changes to the lineup for Saturday’s game at Duke.
The biggest change is obviously starting sophomore Zach Smith at quarterback. Anu Solomon is reportedly in concussion protocol and will miss the game, so freshman Charlie Brewer will back him up.
Baylor also made several changes along both lines. Sam Tecklenberg will start at center, while Ish Wilson takes the left guard spot. On the other side, Xavier Jones and converted linebacker Deonte Williams will take over the defensive end spots. They replace incumbent starters Xavier Jones and Brian Nance at the position.
Converted wide receiver Blake Lynch also officially gets the start at cornerback over Jameson Houston, who recently returned from injury. Starting defensive tackle K.J. Smith remains out with shin splints, so Micheal Johnson will play in his place.
Rhule searching for help
The Bears expected a rebuilding job, but even the staff is surprised with the poor start. Head coach Matt Rhule believed the team would be further ahead than they are right now, according to KCEN’s Jessica Morrey. But two games into the year, the Bears have losses to an FCS and Conference-USA team.
Starting a new quarterback will be significant, but moving Wilson into the starting lineup is more important. Baylor gave up three sacks and cleared the way for just 4.4 yards per carry against a lower-level opponent. While Miller played relatively well, getting Wilson’s 310-pound frame into the starting lineup will help.
Defensively, Baylor was admittedly better last week. The Bears gave up just 17 points to the Roadrunners this weekend, though the 5.8 yards per play number is still concerning.
Seeing Jones move into the starting lineup over Roberts isn’t a huge surprise. He posted 1.5 sacks in limited time against UTSA. However, seeing Nance– a senior who the staff was high on all spring – get sent to the bench is a surprise.
Williams posted 4 tackles and 2 quarterback hurries as a reserve against UTSA. Nance was a total nonfactor. He did not accumulate a single statistic. It’s a disappointing performance for a player the staff expected to be a team leader.
One or two lineup changes won’t turn Baylor into a quality team. However, Rhule has proven that he is comfortable doing things his way. Getting young, talented players into the lineup will help the program in the long run. Keeping every player accountable – even veterans – helps build credibility.