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Baylor vs. Liberty — GAME DAY — Links, Notes, Predictions, TV Schedule


NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Baylor Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover this morning, but watch this first:

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, if you’re headed down for the 6 PM start this evening, safe travels to you and godspeed. I hope you have a wonderful time tailgating, and if you see anyone there because they’ve been displaced by Hurricane Harvey, make them feel welcome.

For those not going, our game thread here will go up at or around 5:30, half an hour before the game. Until then, we’ll have an open thread so people can congregate throughout the day. Speaking of that ...

Saturday college football schedule, Week 1 2017: What to watch when -

The mothership has got you covered on a watching guide for today, as always. As for me, I’ll probably go with the following:

  • 11 AM — Maryland @ Texas (FS1), maybe some Clemson on ESPN.
  • 2 PM — Florida vs. Michigan (ABC), maybe some Oklahoma on FOX.
  • 6 PM -- BAYLOR! with perhaps a bit of Bama-FSU once it starts at 7 on ABC.
  • 8:30 PM -- BYU/LSU (ESPN)


Thoughts/Predictions on Baylor vs. Liberty

The Bears take the field this evening for the first time in the Matt Rhule Era in front of what I expect will be a less-than-stellar crowd (mostly due to the fact that it’s Liberty). Though we have some idea of what the team will look like due to the yeoman’s work done by guys like S11 over at SicEm365, nobody really knows for sure what our offense or defense will look like given that this group of guys has never actually played a game for this group of coaches. A few things I think will probably happen, though:

My Official Predictions—

  • Anu Solomon, our starting QB, will throw for about 240-250 yards and 2-3 TDs, including one to a tight end. I bet he runs for 40-50 yards, too.
  • Baylor as a whole puts up about 250 yards on the ground, led by J’Mycal Hasty. The game finishes with a ball-control Baylor offense pounding the rock with John Lovett, Dru Dixon, and Wyatt Schrepfer late.
  • Blake Lynch plays both ways at some point. I bet we see him come off the edge on defense on a third down somewhere in the game.
  • Taylor Young leads the defense in tackles because he’s Taylor Young and that’s what he does.
  • Brian Nance gets a sack from the RUSH position. It is known.

Baylor wins 52-13.

What I’ll be Looking For—

  • Offensive Line -- The OL is such a big question mark that it has to be #1 on the list, particularly in the first half when Mo Porter will be out due to suspension. Our run-blocking scheme is different from what we did under Briles, so there could be a few misfires early on before the group settles in.
  • Anu Solomon -- Not hard to imagine that a first-time starter (for us, I mean) will be under the microscope, right? Solomon got this job because of experience, poise, and mobility. All of them should be on display, although hopefully not because Liberty is making his life difficult.
  • The Secondary -- Harrison Hand and Jairon McVea lead a youth movement in Baylor’s secondary early this season with Grayland Arnold (himself just a sophomore) and Taion Sells out.
  • Defensive Rotations -- Coach Snow said earlier this week that he plays to play about 25 different guys on defense in this game to try to limit reps to about 50 per player. I would expect to see a ton of movement across the defensive line, particularly, considering it’s one of our deeper spots. Could see a few different LBs play in this game, too.


You’ll notice we have a new source for articles this year: the Baylor Diehards site. Welcome, gents! We’re going to lead off with an article about my adopted son, Jalen Pitre.

Last man standing: Baylor LB Jalen Pitre poised to become player to remember

Flames face the unknown in matchup with Baylor | LU Sports |
The Liberty coaching staff had a good grasp on what to prepare for in last season’s opener at Virginia Tech. Even though the Hokies were debuting a new coaching staff

Baylor Athletics lends helping hand to Harvey victims | The Baylor Lariat

Rhule anxious for Baylor coaching debut | Baylor Bears Football |
Baylor coach Matt Rhule has spent a great deal of time at McLane Stadium since arriving in Waco last December.

College football picks 2017: Predicting every Week 1 game -
Bama 30, FSU 23! Texas State 30, Houston Baptist 28! And everything in between!

Finally on field: Rhule debuts as Baylor coach vs Liberty | FOX Sports
Finally on field: Rhule debuts as Baylor coach vs Liberty

John Werner's college picks: Rhule looking to impress in Baylor debut | Baylor Bears Football |
Following the turbulence of the last two seasons, Matt Rhule hopes to bring some stability and hope for the future to the Baylor football program.

Something is going on with the clipper tool, so blame that if things look weird.