Taylor Bryan, associate director for football confirmed to the Lariat that Smith will replace senior quarterback Anu Solomon as the starter following the team’s 0-2 start.
Rhule said at his weekly Big 12 teleconference that Solomon suffered a wrist injury in the Bears’ 17-10 loss to UTSA Saturday.
“We’re going to turn to Zach and let him do his thing,” Rhule said. “We’ll rally around Zach. He’s a competitor, you know. Anu got banged up a little bit in the game and Zach is ready to go. He’s healthy now. I think that ankle’s 100 percent. He’s moving around well.”
Smith played in nine of 13 games as a freshman, starting the last four games following starter Seth Russell’s season-ending ankle injury in a 45-24 loss to Oklahoma.
Smith accumulated 1526 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions and ranked fifth in the Big 12 Conference in passing efficiency at 139.3 during his debut year.
Following the loss to UTSA on Saturday, Rhule said a change in quarterback could be in order.
“I have a lot of confidence in Zach,” Rhule said. “So the thought at a lot of positions crossed my mind tonight about getting other people in. But that wasn’t the time or place, and we’ll go back and watch the tape and see what we see.”
Solomon, a graduate transfer from Arizona, started in Baylor’s home losses to Liberty and UTSA.
Solomon impressed in his debut, a 48-45 loss to Liberty, throwing for 278 yards and three touchdowns while also gaining 97 yards on the ground according to Baylorbears.com.
In the 17-10 loss to UTSA however, the offense sputtered, largely due to Solomon’s struggles.
The Kalihi, HI, native completed just 10 of 26 passes for 121 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Solomon put the blame on himself, saying nothing went his way against the UTSA defense.
“Yeah, just things wasn’t just going my way,” Solomon said. “Everything to my reads, to my throws downfield. I wasn’t connecting. Receivers were ready to play today. I just wasn’t connecting with them.”
Smith and the Bears look to pick up their first win of the season as they face Duke at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Durham, North Carolina.