Offense falls flat as Rhule rotates quarterbacks

Freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer passes on the run while being chased by a Texas defender in Saturdays 38-7 loss at McLane Stadium in Waco. William Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Collin Bryant | Sports Reporter

Baylor (0-8) fell to Texas (4-4) this past weekend 38-7 at McLane Stadium, having a hard time getting anything started on offense, while Texas was thriving with their back up quarterback.

The Bears only produced 249 total offensive yards. Both freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer and sophomore quarterback Zach Smith took snaps throughout the game.

Smith started the game, passing for 37 yards, while completing only four of 11 with one interception and no touchdowns. Brewer passed for 181 yards, completing 17 of 27 with no interceptions and no touchdowns.

Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said there was a plan and preparation to play both quarterbacks, but that it did not culminate the way the team was hoping it would.

“Yeah, we thought we’d play Zach the first drive and do some more traditional things. We wanted to try to make some throws down the field that his arm can make, and then we thought the second series we’d come out in sort of the three-back option stuff with Charlie,” Rhule said. “Charlie kind of got dinged up pretty quickly, and that sort of took us out of maybe him running quite as much… they were both pretty beat up.”

Brewer, who almost led the Bears to a comeback victory last week against West Virginia, said the team really wants to win.

“It’s always frustrating to lose. We’re doing too much of it. We’ve got to find a way to win,” Brewer said. “You know, it stinks, but this is a team game. It’s not about me. I feel for all the other guys in the locker room. Everyone is a little disappointed. We just need to find a way.”

Brewer’s biggest highlight against the Longhorns’ defense came on a 52-yard pass to sophomore Blake Lynch. Lynch, who has been playing cornerback all season, played on the offensive side of the ball for the first time this season. Brewer’s play set up Baylor’s one and only touchdown that came from freshman running back John Lovett.

The Longhorns found success on offense. Texas backup quarterback sophomore Shane Buechele, started in place of freshman Sam Ehlinger, who was out with an injury. Buechele passed for 256 yards with one touchdown. Buechele also had one interception, but completed 27 of 34 passes. Buechele’s passing performance marked his 12th 200-yard passing game, tying him with former Texas quarterback Vince Young for 6th on the all-time Longhorn list.

Texas head coach Tom Herman said he was pleased with Buechele’s play and the offensive staff for keeping him prepared.

“Was really excited and happy and proud for him to have not played for as many weeks as he hadn’t and stayed engaged, and credit to [offensive coordinator] Tim Beck and the offensive staff and Shane, as well, for staying engaged and being there when his teammates needed him,” Herman said. “You know, I’m sure he’d like to have that pick back. It was the right read, just poorly underthrown. But other than that, there were still some rusty moments I saw out there, but when he’s in a rhythm and seeing the defense really well, he performed well for us.”

The Longhorns also did a lot of damage in the run game. Texas ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns.

Baylor sophomore cornerback Grayland Arnold was a bright spot for the Bears’ defense, recording the Bears’ second interception of the season.

Arnold said the team has to focus on not being discouraged and needs to continue to practice hard.

“We know, okay, we’ve got to practice, and don’t get discouraged and don’t let the little things get to you,” Arnold said. “Like let’s just come out here and keep practicing. We’re going to practice each day like it’s a game and go hard every week.”

Rhule felt like there was not much good the team could take away from the game but that the truth is always somewhere in between.

The Bears are hoping to capture their first victory this week at the Kansas Jayhawks (1-7), at 11 a.m. Saturday at KU Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, Kan.

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