Cougars vs. Bears: three storylines to follow into the season opener

Senior quarterback Charlie Brewer dives into the end zone during Baylor's 44-31 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 16, 2019 at McLane Stadium. Lariat File Photo

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

Baylor is one sleep away from game day. And since we know you have all been waiting for kickoff like kids on Christmas morning, here are three storylines to feed your football hunger.

A Historic Meeting

Not only has Baylor not played Houston in 25 years but it also has never had to schedule a game in such a limited amount of time. 18 hours was all it took for the deal to come together. As Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades was beginning to run out of options, the possibility that his former program would be open to play on Sept. 19 was presented almost on a silver platter.

It usually takes years for football programs to come to terms in scheduling a game, but Houston and Baylor did it in a weekend. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger explains the details of how Saturday’s game between the Bears and the Cougars came to be on

QB Battle

Charlie Brewer is a proven leader. Entering his fourth year at the helm of Baylor’s offense, there are no doubts about what the Austin native can do. He has led the Bears in back-to-back bowl seasons and is Baylor’s first four-year starter at the quarterback position since JJ Joe (1990-93), starting in 30 of the last 31 games.

On the other side of the trenches will be Houston’s Clayton Tune. The Carrollton junior has spent most of his career in a backup role to former Cougars star QB D’Eriq King, starting in just nine games during his first two years at Houston. After King redshirted in 2019 and transferred to Miami prior to the 2020 season, Tune was the one in line to take the starting job. The last time Tune played was in 2019, throwing for 393 passing yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. The Cougars dropped the game 56-41 to a ranked Navy team.

You can read up on Tune’s journey in this story by Daily Cougar sports editor Andy Yanez.

Fresh Start vs Continuity

It’s been approximately nine months since former head coach Matt Rhule took an NFL coaching gig after wrapping up an 11-3 season that saw the Bears compete in a Big 12 Championship game and a Sugar Bowl. On Saturday, Dave Aranda will make his head coaching debut and a new era of Baylor football will officially be born. It will be a fresh start for the Bears with several new faces on the coaching staff as well.

On the other side, the Cougars will be entering year two under former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen. In 2019, Holgorsen’s team finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in conference. However, 2020 brings back the majority of Houston’s squad including their statistical leaders in passing yards and touchdowns (Tune), rushing yards (Kyle Porter), rushing touchdowns (Mulbah Car), receiving yards and touchdowns (Marquez Stevenson), tackles (Grant Stuard), interceptions (Damarion Williams) and field goals made (Dalton Witherspoon). Houston also has 10 assistants returning to the coaching staff.