By the Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor
Baylor football (1-0) kicked off its season Saturday night with a 29-20 win over Texas State (0-1) in San Marcos. Baylor’s new offensive identity was in full display as the Bears ran the ball 45 times for a total of 238 yards. The two senior runners, Trestan Ebner and Abram Smith, ran more than 100 yards, marking the first time Baylor has had several 100-yard runners since the opening of the 2018 season against Abilene Christian University, when the runner-up duo of John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty did the same.
“I’m proud of our offensive identity,” said Baylor football coach Dave Aranda. “You can get an idea of what we’re trying to achieve.”
Baylor had a good amount of ups and downs on both sides of the ball. The defense looked strong, constantly pressing in the backfield and causing Texas State second quarterback Brady McBride to leave his pocket and present three interceptions. On the other hand, the Bears defense committed 10 penalties for a total of 95 yards. These errors extended the Bobcats’ units and allowed them to finish the units with points instead of points.
“While we’ve set an example, we’ve tackled it in practice, I need to do a much better job,” Aranda said. “I take it personally. Look at the stats coming out of the game, whether it’s streams or total yards or any metrics you want to look at, it leans in favor of Baylor. The only statistic that leaned the other way is sanctions. “
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears struggled to start early, committing two upsets while junior quarterback Gerry Bohanon was unable to connect on some deep passes. However, the offense progressed and began to find its pace as the game continued, Bohanon finishing the game 15-24 for 148 yards in his first start of the race.
“I thought Gerry was calm, collected and ready,” Aranda said. “Gerry was fantastic on the sidelines, out [going] good or bad, in terms of encouraging people. Gerry has both to grow as a quarterback. He is really gifted as a leader. ”
Baylor’s defense set the tone to open the game, forcing the Bobcats to get out quickly. Baylor’s offense had a different start to the game as Smith staggered his first play and returned the ball to Texas State. However, our defense stepped up the next play with a pick-up from senior safety JT Woods to give the Bears a 7-0 lead and Woods returned his first interception to play.
“We saw in the film that when people blink, [McBride] I would try to get the ball out quickly, and JT realized that, “Jalen Pitre said. “.
A more intense penalty from sophomore defender Matt Jones, in a fourth inning followed by a penalty from senior cornerback Raleigh Texada, brought the Bobcats to goal field in their next drive, allowing them to get the its first points of the night to get it. 7-3.
The Bears offense continued to struggle in their next drive, as freshman pitcher Isaiah Hankins missed a 40-yard field goal after a 17-play play that took more than eight minutes.
In the second quarter, the Bears and Bobcats exchanged touchdowns as the Bobcats scored a touchdown in their first unit of the quarter, scoring the ball across the field with an 11-play drive to give them a 10-7 lead. Baylor responded with another long trip, this time finding the end zone after a three-yard run from Smith to give the Bears a 14-10 lead and their first offensive touchdown of the season.
Baylor’s offense began to find its groove in the second half as it scored 222 total offense yards and 13 points. The Bears managed to score 10 unanswered points in the third quarter with Hankins nailing a 43-yard field goal, followed by a 13-yard touchdown from Smith to give him the second of the night and the Bears a 24-yard lead. -10.
A late Texas State comeback in the fourth quarter made it a one-possession game with one minute and 19 seconds to go. A wild play in the final possession of the match, which included a save and two passes forward, gave Baylor some security to secure the 29-20 victory.
Ebner ran 120 yards in 20 runs and became the first player in program history to record 1,000 running yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his career. Smith totaled 118 yards and two touchdowns in 19 runs, averaging 6.2 yards per carry, while senior wide receiver RJ Sneed was the main receiver in the game with seven catches from 92 yards.
On the defensive side, safety Jairon McVea, Woods and Pitre got an interception. Junior defender Dillon Doyle and senior defender Terrel Bernard shared the team’s lead with nine attacks and helped keep the Bobcats at 235 yards in total and just 79 yards in a hurry.
“There were a lot of sanctions and a lot of things we can correct,” Pitre said. “But we got the victory, and that’s the most important thing. We have next week to improve on the things we messed up this week. “
The Bears will host Texas Southern (0-1) at 6 p.m. next Saturday at the opening of McLane Stadium. The Panthers opened with a 40-17 loss to Prairie View A&M in Saturday’s 35th edition of the Labor Day Classic in Houston.