By Grace Smith | Broadcast Reporter
Having just come out of a nine-day shutdown of all team activities due to COVID-19 complications, Baylor took an “L” on Saturday against Texas in Austin at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, losing 27-16.
While the Bears headed to Austin COVID-free, preparation for the Longhorn matchup was drastically cut short. The Bears had not played a game since Oct. 3 and had limited practice time.
Head coach Dave Aranda said he is proud of the way the team worked through their struggles during the game. The Bears had a slow second and third quarter but were able to put points back on the scoreboard in the final quarter, but not enough to secure the win.
“I think at the end of the game we were able to finish the drives,” Aranda said. “We talked about it, we were down but there was no finger-pointing, no questioning this and that, no palms up. There was no hyperventilating on the sideline. There was calm and we talked about what adjustments we could make, and I was proud of that approach.”
Aranda said there is much improvement to be made and is looking forward to having all the players back at practice. However, he is proud of the Bears and their ability to work through an ugly game in a “logical manner.”
Sophomore wideout Gavin Holmes had an impressive game and in the third quarter, he put the Bears back on the board. Throwing 30 passes on 43 attempts, which accounted for 256 of Baylor’s 316 offensive yards, senior quarterback Charlie Brewer connected with Holmes for nine of those completions on 57 yards. Holmes helped the Bears cut into Texas’ lead in the fourth quarter with a touchdown. Holmes said that was a “big moment” for him.
“Just getting back and being able to help my teammates, just knowing that that helped us get back in the game a little bit, that was fun,” Holmes said.
Aranda said Holmes’ touchdown was “really good to see.”
“I’m a big fan of Gavin,” Aranda said. “Today was what I and the rest of our coaches saw throughout fall cam and the prep from previous games, his ability to win routes, his ability to win off the three-step passing game, and his runs after the catch.”
Holmes said the Longhorns “switched up their defense a little bit and threw a couple of things at us” at the beginning of the game, but he felt like the team adjusted well in the second half.
“There are areas that we see flashes of what we can be once we just get it all together, once we just figure everything out,” Holmes said.
Aranda said, “as much as we want to have success on the field, there are bigger things than football.” The first-year head coach said one of the main things he learned during the last month is understanding that sometimes you might not know what someone is going through. He encouraged his team through all the weeks of the COVID-19 complications to reach out to one other and be there for each other. Aranda said the team talks about how “no man is an island.”
“Anytime there is adversity, and anytime for me personally when you are feeling down or you are feeling the weight of this or the stress of that, to reach out and look to help others and check in on people to see how they’re doing,” Aranda said.