After a slippery start and a healthy rain delay, the Bears managed to reel in a win, outlasting the Long Island University Sharks 30-7.
After an uninspiring 3-and-out on their first drive, Baylor forced their own punt and responded with a 13-play, 92-yard drive ending with a Richard Reese rushing touchdown (his first of the season).
Freshman runningback Dawson Pendergrass impressed on the day, capping a second touchdown drive (16-plays, 82 yards) himself midway through the second quarter.
The Bears showed pop on defense one last time in the first half, forcing a long 4th down that LIU graciously utilized to send the snap on the punt out of the back of their own end zone.
And that is where the sunshine ended for the Bears in the first half. A late fumble and subsequent collapse of the defense allowed the Sharks to drive 59 yards in 66 seconds for their only score of the day.
Lightning forced a sleepy and frankly, frustrated McLane Stadium into the concourse (and many, out of the stadium for the day). Weather delays kept the game on pause for over two hours.
The Bears would, in the second half, impose their will on the ground... on offense at least.
270 yards would be the counting stats for the Bears rushing attack. LIU would not score in the second half, though the opportunities were there.
While the contest will technically be slated as a win for the Bears, there are still concerns.
- Even with no apparent passing threat, LIU still ran the ball for almost 5 yards a carry.
- The Baylor offense tallied 6 explosive plays TOTAL.
- RJ Martinez was subbed into the game for one first half series to “provide a spark” to the offense (against an FCS opponent, mind you).
#Baylor HC Dave Aranda said they played QB RJ Martinez to try to get a spark offensively. Martinez took over for a drive in the first half.— Michael Haag (@MichaelHaag_) September 16, 2023
- The Baylor offense committed two turnovers (1 turnover on downs, after two very confusing play calls).
- Baylor wide receivers have caught a total of zero touchdowns this season.
Potentially even more concerning though was the energy levels from this team and this coaching staff in the first half.
#Baylor HC Dave Aranda said he could sense a lack of energy in warm ups and that he's had discussions with other members of his staff on how to fix that.— Michael Haag (@MichaelHaag_) September 16, 2023
Practices this week were apparently quite productive.
.@BUFootball coach Dave Aranda said the Bears had their best Tues-Wed-Thursday practices since he's been at BU. But he was not pleased with the way his team played in the first half. He thought the team got a "do over" with the delay and responded well.— Matt Mosley (@mattmosley) September 16, 2023
I am unsure why a team with a zero in the win column would need a “do over” against a less than average FCS team, but here we are.
The Bears face Texas in Waco next week.