Big 12 Wire: Baylor moving past scandals in 2017

By Seth McCaskill

Sports Blogger

@theozoneonline

 

(Devin L. Wilber, O’Colly)

Baylor’s 2016 season did not begin on a good note, as coach Art Briles was fired in May following a lengthy sexual assault scandal. In an effort to bring some stability to the program, longtime Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe was hired as interim coach before the start of the season. The Bears raced out of the gates, winning the first six games of the season, albeit against a relatively weak schedule, while averaging 43.7 points a game. However, Baylor posted only 26.2 points per game the rest of the regular season, leading to a six game losing streak. The Bears’ fall was precipitated by the season-ending injury to quarterback Seth Russell in Week 11. True freshman Zach Smith was called upon to start the final three games of the season, which included a 31-12 Cactus Bowl victory against Boise State.
Former Temple coach Matt Rhule was hired as the new head coach this offseason with hopes to move on from the university’s recent scandals and begin a new era of Baylor football.
On the field, the Bears have a three-man quarterback competition between Smith, freshman Charlie Brewer from Lake Travis, Texas, and Anu Solomon, a graduate transfer from Arizona. Baylor must also replace the production of graduated star receiver KD Cannon, who is now playing for the Los Angeles Rams after tallying 1,215 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns his junior season.
The Bears’ 2017 season will kick off on Sept. 2 in Waco against Liberty University, followed by games against Texas-San Antonio and Duke. Big 12 play begins September 23 at home against Oklahoma for Baylor.

 

Schedule

Sept. 2: Liberty, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9: UTSA, 8 p.m.
Sept. 16: at Duke, 12:30 p.m.

Sept. 23: Oklahoma
Sept. 30: at Kansas St.
Oct. 14: at Oklahoma St.
Oct. 21: West Virginia
Oct. 28: Texas
Nov. 4: at Kansas
Nov. 11: at Texas Tech
Nov. 18: Iowa State
Nov. 24: at TCU

ozone@ocolly.com

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