Bears to bounce back with Brewer still starting

Story by Collin Bryant | Sports Writer, Video by Elisabeth Tharp | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor (1-9) will be making more adjustments on offense this week, combating the loss of freshman wide receiver Gavin Holmes and the possible return of sophomore quarterback Zach Smith.

The Bears lost Holmes last week early on in the game in their loss to the Texas Tech Raiders. Holmes tore his ACL after catching a pass from Bears freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer. A Red Raider tackled Holmes, impacting his knee, ultimately tearing his ACL. Holmes caught a touchdown pass on the Bears’ first possession of the game and had become a consistent target for Brewer.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said Holmes tore his ACL, but that his grit will help him return to form.

“Gavin’s got an ACL. So he’s going to have surgery in a couple of weeks,” Rhule said. “He’s got to build up some strength first. So, obviously a tough blow for him, but he’s a tough, tough young man. He’ll rehab and he’ll come back better than ever.”

Rhule said he has no intention on rushing Holmes back whether it be in the spring, or next semester. The Bears will be relying on players like sophomore wide receiver Jared Atikinson, who’s been named starter for the week.

Brewer has been able to hold down the quarterback position. Smith has not played since suffering a shoulder injury against the Texas Longhorns on Oct. 28. Last week in a lost to the Red Raiders, Brewer had his first 400 yard passing performance in his second start. Brewer also set a new Baylor record with 43 completions and 63 attempts.

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said in his weekly press conference that he felt Brewer was a fantastic quarterback who’s given the Bears something to get behind.

“Really on through, this young freshman has played outstanding football. You can tell why they have a lot of belief in him,” Campbell said. “He’s really athletic, he’s a play maker, he’s a guy that extends plays with his feet and can really throw the ball. This quarterback really brought life into this football team right now.”

Rhule said Smith is slated to possibly return to the quarterback mix this week coming off a shoulder injury.

“Zach [Smith] is getting healthy now, so we have two guys there,” Rhule said. “Preston Heard, we’re hoping we can redshirt him, trying to keep him from playing.”

The Bears hope to grab their second victory of the season against the Iowa State Cyclones (6-4), at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in McLane Stadium.

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