Sophomore Smith still at helm of Baylor Football

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

The Baylor Bears (0-7) will continue with sophomore Zach Smith as the starting quarterback against the Texas Longhorns (3-4) this weekend. The Bears fell short again this past weekend against the West Virginia Mountaineers (5-2) 38-36. However, the late charge that led to the almost to the Bears first victory came from freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer.

Brewer completed 8-13 passes for 109 yards, that culminated into two passing touchdowns. The offense as a unit produced 23 points, 13 first downs, 121 rushing yards with 109 passing yards in the fourth quarter with Brewer at quarterback. Compared to the 13 points, 17 first downs and 6 rushing yards the first three quarters with Smith at the helm.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said he expects Brewer to be ready to play at any time like always, but that Smith’s resume throughout the season still pits him ahead.

“I know you guys are going to ask me about the quarterback situation, but if we went out there today, I’d put Zach out there first and have Charlie ready,” Rhule said. “I just think, in these times, Zach’s done too much. He led that comeback against Oklahoma, and I think it’s too quick to say, ‘Charlie played great.’ Charlie needs to be ready to play, but I don’t want to have a quick trigger on our quarterback. I think Zach got into that ballgame not feeling real well and pressed a little too much, and he didn’t have much help. I thought as we got going in the second half and guys got more confidence as we got back in there, guys started making plays they didn’t make in the first half.”

When asked if both quarterbacks would at least play this week, Rhule reminded everyone during his weekly press conference that the team has tried “to play both quarterbacks” since the Kansas State earlier in the season.

Rhule said the Bears might prepare Brewer for a bigger role, but will most likely only have a package for the young quarterback.

“There might have been smaller roles for Charlie, but we know he’s a gamer. We had him ready to punt last week,” Rhule said. “We’ve done that the last four games, so I don’t know why this would be different. We’ll probably have a package for Charlie ready to go. And again, this is Monday. We were up all night working, and we’ll be working all day today, so we’ll see where that leads.

Rhule said the Longhorn defense is “such a hard defense to prepare for” and that the Bears have to be very specific about the direction they take trying to match up with their own offense. Between the two quarterbacks, Rhule said he’ll see “if it’s Zach, and if it’s Charlie, we’ll put him in there and see what happens.”

The Texas defense has improved since allowing 51 points in their season opener. The Longhorns have only allowed 110 points in the games played since. They rank eighth nationally in third-down defense and second nationally in fourth-down defense, which could prove tough for a Baylor offense who has struggled on third downs this season.

Texas head coach Tom Herman said he feels his team must prepare for the Bears winless squad like they would prepare for any other talented team.

“I mean turn on the film. This is a team that was ahead of Oklahoma in the fourth quarter and against West Virginia was down 38-13 and lined up with 17 seconds left for a two-point conversion to tie the game,” Herman said. “So, if you want to look at their record… then you’re looking at the wrong thing. Turn on the film, this is a good football team.”

The Baylor Bears hope to capture their first victory against the Texas Longhorns at 11 a.m. Saturday in McLane Stadium.