Jordan Smith | Sports Writer
The Baylor Bears were spot-on in the matchup against Northwestern State on Sept. 2 at McLane Stadium, dominating the competition with a final score of 55-7.
This was Jim Grobe’s first game as Baylor’s head football coach. The last time he was on a sideline for a game was in 2013 when he was the head coach of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The Bears who were coming off a bowl win against North Carolina, looked to continue with the momentum from last season although several changes were made.
With Grobe leading the way, the Bears came out of the gates strong to a commanding lead, one which they never let slip away.
Grobe said he was satisfied with the way the game went in the wake of all the events that have surrounded Baylor football. With players suspended and dismissed, and coaching staff fired, Grobe had big shoes to fill.
“It was refreshing, honestly, to get to football,” Grobe said. “For me, it was a learning experience. I really felt good about our players, and I felt good about our coaching staff, but I wanted to see us put it together, and I wanted to see how we reacted as a team, and I was very pleased tonight.”
Grobe said it was exciting it was for his players to finally go against people who weren’t their own teammates in practice.
“I thought that this was important to get to game night, the first game. But what I sensed was, when we first started practice, there was a great sense of energy, and you could just tell that the kids were having fun being back together and practicing again,” Grobe said. “You know after a couple of weeks practice gets old, you know? I don’t think we could have improved any more by practicing, and I thought our coaches did a good job keeping the guys healthy. I think, more than anything else, it’s just a different feel.”
Although all the drama off the field could have hindered the Bears from competing in the big moment, the players remained composed as Grobe led the way.
Senior Linebacker Aiavion Edwards was ready to get back out there and doing it against someone other than their teammates and showing that nothing could stop them from playing their game.
“It was exciting. We came in with a lot of energy. We felt like it had just been a really long offseason, and we were ready to get back on the field,” Edwards said. “It was very exciting just to be able to go out there and play against someone else other than what we’ve been doing for the last few months.”
Although the game was a priority and Grobe had much on his mind surrounding his team, he said he noticed all of the green and gold in the stands, and he acknowledged the fans’ presence, especially the student section.
“Seeing the student section, seeing the way the students turned out for our guys tonight, was really rewarding to me, and seeing the fans come and support our guys,” Grobe said. “I can’t imagine that our players don’t feel really, really good right now about the crowd tonight.”
Grobe is now 1-0 as a Baylor’s head football coach and will look to keep that record at perfection as the Bears play their next game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at McLane Stadium against Southern Methodist University.