Baylor ended its 6-game losing streak with a win over FCS member Long Island University
Baylor vs. Long Island predictions: Will the Bears get their first win of 2023?
Baylor football returned to the win column for the first time since Nov. 5, 2022, when it beat Oklahoma 38-35 in Norman.
Here are five takeaways from Baylor’s 30-7 win over Long Island:
It felt like Baylor hit rock bottom when it lost to Texas State 42-31 at home in Week 1. While a win is a win, there is little confidence emanating from this program right now. The Bears, who entered this contest as 44-point favorites, struggled to dominate FCS opponent Long Island.
The Bears took a 3-0 lead on their opening drive, which seemed like a red flag to start the game this way against LIU. They ended up building a 16-0 lead, but the Sharks were able to cut it to 16-7 to close out the first half. A nine-point halftime lead against a Northeast Conference school doesn’t seem like something Baylor should hang its hat on.
Baylor added salt to the wound when they realized they would be without running back Dominique Richardson, as he was ruled out minutes before kickoff. Richardson got beat up in last week’s game.
The absence of Richardson, Baylor’s leading player entering the game, created more opportunities for Richard Reese, Dawson Pendergrass and Bryson Washington. Although the trio looked good, they never had the opportunity to find a rhythm as individuals. Pendergrass rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown. Reese rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns and Washington added 45 yards.
Quarterback Sawyer Robertson also reportedly did not come out 100% of the game against No. 12 Utah. Head coach Dave Aranda said Robertson tweaked his ankle in the second half against the Utes. Robertson looked limited on Saturday against the Sharks as well.
After a promising week in which Baylor put up a solid effort against Utah, it all came crashing down again.
The Bears ran out of the tunnel with little to no juice and never gathered any kind of momentum. The attitude and aura on Baylor’s sideline was constant.
Aranda said he trusts both his players and his coaching staff, but outside of last week, there hasn’t been any kind of magic captured on tape.
This was not a pretty win. Now Aranda and his group have a week to prepare for one of the toughest teams in the country in Texas.
Robertson certainly wasn’t 100% today, as Aranda decided to bring on midfielder RJ Martinez at half-time. Martinez didn’t take over completely, but it was a strange decision considering Baylor wasn’t ahead by more than two scores. Martinez couldn’t do much, completing three of five passes for eight yards.
Robertson’s condition, as well as that of quarterback Blake Chapin (MCL), will be monitored throughout the week leading up to the Longhorns.
Baylor Athletics announced a weather delay as both teams entered the tunnel at the end of the first half. This was due to speckled lightning within an 8-mile radius of McLean Stadium. The official rule is that if there is a strike within this range, the timer must be set or reset to 30 minutes.
The delay lasted more than two hours. The second half resumed around 2:35 p.m., completely eliminating any life in McLean Stadium, if there had been any beforehand. The place was about half full at kickoff. A scattered crowd stopped her and ended the match.
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