We’re quickly approaching summer which means one big thing for Baylor fans: football is just around the corner! That also means it’s time to fire up the opponent quick-hitter column, which will preview one 2021 opponent each Friday in the leadup to the season. Without further adieu, let’s get to it!
Opponent: Texas State
Kickoff: September 4th
Location: Bobcat Stadium (San Marcos, TX)
Conference: Sun Belt
Head Coach: Jake Spavital (entering third season)
Last Year’s Record: 2-10
Notable Outcomes: Lost to SMU 31-24; lost to Boston College 24-21; lost to BYU 52-14
Key Losses: Jeremiah Haydel WR/Kick Returner; Jah’Marae Sheread WR; Hal Vinson LB
Strength: Quarterbacks. Texas State returns two quarterbacks that started games last year due to injuries/COVID, Brady McBride and Tyler Vitt. They have also added a talented transfer from North Carolina State, Ty Evans. The room is pretty loaded, so the quarterback position should be a strength moving forward for the Bobcats, but such a heated battle might mean that HC Spavital won’t really know who his best quarterback is until later in the season, which helps the Bears in this season opener.
Weakness: Defense. The Bobcats return 9 starters on the defensive side of the ball. That’s good, but the defense ranked 106th out of 127 FBS programs on defense which is certainly not good. Compound that with about 20 defensive players sitting out the spring game and you’re looking at a situation where there is a lot of pressure for quick development in fall practice.
Way Too Early Prediction: This game could be closer than some might like, at least early on. We’ve seen this plenty of times with Baylor playing opening opponents like this. Generally, I expect a lot of rust from teams nationally at the start of this season coming off of a very strange 2020 football season. Baylor’s defense should be able to keep Texas State’s offense mostly in check, the question will be if the Baylor offense can get it going under new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. Luckily, the matchup here should give Baylor some wiggle room to work out their offense. I also expect there will be plenty of Baylor fans in attendance given it’s only about a 2 hour drive from Waco. Bears start 1-0.