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Baylor follows up home loss to FCS team by losing at home to Conference USA team


UTSA v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Matt Rhule’s Year 1 at Baylor hasn’t gotten off to a hot start, to say the least. Last week, the Bears opened their season at home with a loss to FCS Liberty, which is moving up to the FBS in 2018. This week, Baylor had another home game against UTSA, a Conference USA team. Well, instead of rebounding from the loss last week, Rhule’s team lost to the Roadrunners 17-10.

The Bears struggled offensively, and especially when it came to third downs, converting just two out of 11. Last week, Baylor’s defense gave up 585 yards to the Flames, so it’s only fitting (and balanced!) for the offense to struggle on Saturday night.

Baylor scored a touchdown about midway through the first quarter, and that was all the Bears could put on the board until a field goal late in the fourth quarter. The Bears went three-and-out on their last drive, and the Roadrunners ran the clock out to seal the victory.

Getting off to an 0-2 start is certainly not what was expected of Baylor in 2017, and it’s a little concerning given that the Bears have a road trip to Duke up next before its entire Big 12 schedule.

Here’s Bill Connelly from Baylor’s preview on what to expect from a Bears team going through a transition phase undergoing a coaching change:

Based on what we assume he wants to build in Waco, Rhule inherits a strange set of personnel. He takes on a team that ranked in the Off. S&P+ top five every year from 2011-15 and a respectable 38th during last year’s awkward Jim Grobe experiment. The defense peaked at 26th in Def. S&P+ in 2013 but slid out of the top 50 in each of the last two seasons.

Baylor was reliant on offense to win games. Rhule was not. Baylor operated with extreme tempo. Rhule did not.

A team under a brand new coach is obviously met with tempered expectations, so it certainly isn’t time to start doubting the Rhule hire by any means. But starting the season out like this certainly makes the head coach’s task of rebuilding the program as his own a bit more difficult.

Hang in there, Baylor fans. Looks like it might be a long season.