Football players discuss loss against Liberty; look ahead to Saturday’s game

Before home games, students have the opportunity to enjoy free pizza and listen to Baylor football players in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Brooke Hill | Staff Writer Photo credit: Brooke Hill

By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer

At 12:30 p.m. each Thursday before a home game, students are invited to the SUB Den to enjoy Shorty’s pizza and Dr Pepper while listening to football players talk about the upcoming game.

The players at “Chalk Talk” this week were freshman cornerback Harrison Hand and freshman running back John Lovett.

Host John Morris, “Voice of the Bears,” started his conversation with the players by asking how they plan to bounce back from their loss to Liberty University.

“We learned from the experience, took that loss, came back and started watching film, practiced harder and put more trust in the coaches” Hand said.

The players said they realized that the eyes of the nation are on them, watching to see if head coach Matt Rhule can truly turn the program around.

“It’s definitely special to have that weight on your shoulders, because we’re the ones that he recruited and brought in,” Hand said.

Morris also brought up the significance of Lovett’s jersey number, No. 7. Rhule doesn’t just give out single digit numbers to players. Team members vote for the toughest members of the team to get the single digit numbers. This is quite an accomplishment for a freshman, Morris said.

“When I told myself I was going to be No. 7, everyone was like, ‘You’re a freshman, you’re not going to be No. 7,’ and I was like, ‘Why can’t I be No. 7?’ Lovett said. “Every day I went out there to practice and I made sure I was working harder than the guy to the left of me and the guy to the right of me. Every single day I had to beat somebody out. Nothing was stopping me from getting that number.”

Lovett will start Saturday and in the near future and Hand said Lovett is the best player for the position.

“Once he gets the ball in his hands he’s going to make the play, no matter how many guys are around him,” Hand said.

Lovett said that Hand’s talent and techniques allow him to adapt quickly to changes and fix mistakes.

“He’s a sponge, so whatever Coach says to him, he takes it in and he learns from it,” Lovett said. “So if he messes up on a play and Coach tells him what to do and what he did wrong, the next play he fixes it.”

Since both Hand and Lovett are freshmen, this was their first experience in the atmosphere of McLane Stadium on game day. Seeing the Baylor Line for the first time was a special moment for Lovett.

“I always saw videos of the Baylor Line and twitter on stuff and i was like man I gotta see that, so coming out of the tunnel i was one of the first ones,” Lovett said. “I got the chills and I just got hype, I felt invincible. When I ran out of the tunnel I felt like nothing could stop me.”

Lovett said that the team is ready to take on University of Texas-San Antonio this weekend. This Saturday will be UTSA’s first game of the season. It was supposed to play the University of Houston last weekend, but the game got canceled because of Hurricane Harvey.

“The first game you’re getting your feet wet, you’re going to have some mistakes your first game,” Lovett said. “We had our mistakes our first game so I feel like our team is going to come out there real strong. We know what we did wrong last game. We didn’t come out there with a lot of energy and this game we will.”

The Baylor Sports Network has a table set up at “Chalk Talk” each time to pass out stickers and inform students about the services they provide.

“We’re trying to get current students, to inform them of what we do and how they can stay connected to Baylor after they graduate,” said Paul Thorp, Assistant Director of the Baylor Sports Network. “A lot of people graduate and go off around the world and don’t stay connected. We work closely with athletics, we take coaches on the road to speak, we do the Alumni Network tailgate at every home game, we do some road tailgates, we do send-off parties.”

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