Baylor gears up for season opener against Houston

Nate Smith | Broadcast Reporter

Football is finally back on the banks of the Brazos! The Bears are set to host the Houston Cougars for the first time since 1995, when the two teams were a part of the now defunct Southwest Conference.

“We’ve talked about that already some as a staff and just the tradition and the rivalry. And we will build on that as we go throughout the week,” Dave Aranda, Baylor’s head football coach, said. “I have a lot of respect for our rivalry, or the history. I have a lot of respect for Houston right now, just as they stand, and how Dana [Holgersen] is building that team with the talent level they’ve got.”

Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is headed into his second season with the Cougars, coming off a 4-8 campaign a year ago. Last year the Cougars redshirted 35 players, including five seniors.

Among those returning for Houston are quarterback Clayton Tune, who accounted for 1,533 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air in 2019. They are also bringing back a pair of explosive wide receivers in Marquez Stevenson and Keith Corbin, who both have well over 1000 receiving yards in their collegiate careers.

“Seeing Houston on film, it’s been pretty cool to watch them,” Raleigh Texada, a senior cornerback, said. “They’re super fast. Their quarterback is a great quarterback back there. He can throw the ball, and he can run too. Seeing their receivers, [they’re] going to impose a great challenge for us because they’ve got a lot of speed.”

The Bears are no slouches on the offensive side of the ball either. Coach Aranda’s squad returns seven starters from last year’s offense, including quarterback Charlie Brewer. Brewer is the only returning FBS quarterback who had 20 or more passing touchdowns and 11 or more rushing touchdowns in 2019.

“Charlie hasn’t had a bad day yet,” Gavin Holmes, a senior wide receiver, said. “He’s leading this offense; he’s putting the ball where it needs to be. You can just tell he’s playing with a confidence about himself.”

The Bears and the Cougars are set for an 11 a.m. kickoff at McLane Stadium on Saturday, and the game will be televised on Fox.