Bears claw past Roadrunners for 37-20 win on the road

Story by Adam Gibson | Sports Writer, Video by Noah Torr | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor football took to the road Saturday for its first away game against UTSA where the Bears defeated the Roadrunners by a score of 37-20.

After picking up his second win of the season, Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said the team approached the challenges it faced head on and played well.

“We certainly weren’t perfect and certainly aren’t where we need to be but I’m really proud of a lot of guys for stepping up,” Rhule said. “We gave up that touchdown right before the half, and I said, ‘aren’t we lucky with this happen to us,’ you know, just an opportunity to find out if we can battle back from adversity. Then we came out and I thought we were really good in the third quarter.”

UTSA received the kick-off to begin the game at the 25-yard line. Sophomore defensive end James Lynch got the Bears’ defense started after tackling UTSA junior quarterback Cordale Grundy for a 9-yard loss. Lynch said getting the first sack of the game was a great feeling and set the tone for how physical the game would be.

“I mean you can’t beat that first play,” Lynch said. “You want to make every play … I just took my chance and got the tackle so I was pretty excited obviously.”

The Bears got the scoring started with a touchdown on their first drive after a 50-yard drive ended with a 3-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer to junior running back JaMycal Hasty who walked in the end zone untouched. After the touchdown, UTSA only got one play off which resulted in an interception by Baylor senior cornerback Derrek Thomas, leading to a field goal as the Bears a 10-point lead.

The Roadrunners responded with a 7-play, 45-yard drive that ended with a 47-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Jared Sackett. The next second touchdown of the game came over a quarter later when junior wide receiver Denzel Mims leapt to snag a 22-yard pass from Brewer for Brewer’s second passing touchdown.

UTSA found its first touchdown of the game with only nine seconds left to go in the half off a 2-yard rush by sophomore tailback B.J. Daniels, closing out the half with a score of 20-13 with the Bears leading the Roadrunners.

Although UTSA was down going into halftime, the defense for the Roadrunners managed to hold the Bears to only 43-yards on the ground through the first half and 91 rushing yards at the end of the game. UTSA head coach Frank Wilson said the offense did not perform as well as he had hoped, but the Roadrunners defense covering the ground game contained the Bears.

“You know, from a defensive standpoint, we were more stout from a rush defense,” Wilson said. “So we tackled better than we did a week ago and that was evidence from the rush game standpoint.

Brewer and senior quarterback Jalan McClendon continued to share the field with each other throughout the game. Brewer led both of the touchdown drives for Baylor in the first half.

Coming out of the locker room, the Bears scored their third touchdown of the day off a pass from to senior wide receiver Jalen Hurd, who laid out to make the grab, giving Baylor a 27-13 lead. Neither team was able to put more points on the board in the third quarter.

Hurd led the receivers for the Bears with eight receptions for 136-yards and one touchdown. He said starting the season with two wins is a good feeling, but the focus is still on getting better as a team.

“It feels great. I mean, we could have and should have played a lot better than what we did, but I’m so happy that we’re 2-0,” Hurd said. “We have to keep pushing and working hard.”

The Roadrunners got the scoring going in the fourth quarter when just under two minutes in, Grundy found junior wide receiver Blaze Moorhead in the back right of the end zone, pulling UTSA within seven of the Bears. The touchdown capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive, the longest of the game for the Roadrunners.

Baylor was able to get 10 more points on the scoreboard, in the fourth quarter and held UTSA to the lone touchdown, resulting in a final score of 37-20. Brewer completed 23-of-34 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns. He also racked up 22 rushing yards and was the second leading rusher on the team. Brewer said that while they left San Antonio with a win, there is still work that needs to be done to ensure the Bears success in the future.

“There’s a lot of things that we kind of missed on tonight, a lot of opportunities where we could have big big plays and we’re close to doing it,” Brewer said. “We shot ourselves in the foot a little, but you know, we got to get that corrected this week.”

The Bears return to the turf next Saturday at 2:30 when they take on Duke at McLane Stadium.