Baylor football’s start to the 2017 season hasn’t provided much optimism for Bears fans on a game-to-game basis. Baylor head coach Matt Rhule thinks that mentality might just be the problem.
According to the Waco Tribune-Herald’s John Werner, Rhule voiced concern over the team’s psyche on Tuesday as Baylor finds itself winless at the halfway point of the 2017 regular season. The Bears have lost 12 straight regular-season games dating back to October 2016.
While it’s easy to just pencil in loss after loss following Baylor’s ugly 43-point loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, Rhule said the “here we go again” mentality is the last thing the Bears can afford.
“As we continue to work on their psyche and continue to work on the way they look at the game, that can’t happen,” Rhule said, according to Werner. “We can never get used to losing. We can never allow those thoughts to enter our brains, because bad thoughts lead to bad actions.”
Baylor has had its moments of hope this season, but a lack of depth has ultimately plagued the Bears in every game thus far in 2017.
The Bears opened the scoring with a 7-0 lead against the tenth-ranked Cowboys on Oct. 14, but the lead was short-lived, as Oklahoma State’s offense showed no mercy in a 59-16 blowout win over the Bears. It was the most lopsided loss for Baylor since 2007.
Baylor will face yet another ranked opponent on Oct. 21 when No. 23 West Virginia rolls into town. It will mark the first home game for the Bears since losing to Oklahoma on Sept. 23.
Despite entering the contest as 9 1/2-point underdogs to the Mountaineers, Rhule said he hopes the return home could provide some extra motivation for the Baylor players, according to Werner.
“These kids are unbelievably mentally tough,” Rhule said, according to Werner. “They’ve been through a lot, and they continue to fight and scratch and claw, and I’m proud of those guys that go out and represent us on Saturdays.”
Baylor and West Virginia are set for kickoff at McLane Stadium at 7 p.m. CT. The game will air on FS1.