Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Notes from the opponent: Baylor

Notes+from+the+opponent%3A+Baylor
Courtesy of The Baylor Lariat

Texas will open conference play this weekend as it heads to Waco to take on Baylor in the Longhorns’ farewell tour of the Big 12. Ahead of Saturday’s action, the Daily Texan spoke with Michael Haag of the Baylor Lariat to see what the Longhorns are up against.

The Daily Texan: What’s the feeling around campus and Waco in general ahead of this matchup, which is going to be the last one since 1945 and the start of Big 12 play for both teams?

Michael Haag: The feeling around campus right now, obviously, there’s just a ton of excitement. I think that kind of goes without saying, hosting a No. 3 team in Texas, and obviously the name Texas and the brand Texas is just really fun for any Big 12 school to face, especially a school like Baylor where it’s one of those in-state rivalries. I think Baylor fans are thinking maybe this could be us, maybe we could put a sour note on Texas’ schedule early in the year. Again, that’s not according to my estimation, I just think that’s kind of the mood around campus.

DT: What do you think has to happen for Baylor to hang in this game and maybe look to pull off an upset?

MH: I think it’s really imperative for Baylor to come out to a hot start against Texas … You can’t put a kind of underwhelming tone to the game out of the gates. You’ve got to kind of do your thing and make a statement early against a team in Texas that is such a high-caliber program … It starts with the run game, and Baylor will be without its leading rusher in Dominic Richardson.

DT: Obviously the start to the season took a hit early with Blake Shapen going down. What have you seen from backup Sawyer Robertson, and what do you think he’ll need to clean up in this game to give Baylor a chance?

MH: I mean, he’s a raw quarterback. He’s got great size. He’s got a really strong arm. And again he’s got a nice frame for the position. But he’s only had two collegiate starts under his belt, as of today. And both of those came here at Baylor, I mean, he came from Mississippi State but I think fans are noticing the lack of experience with this guy. And I think it’s kind of clear now why Blake was given the job because they were competing in the spring and some people were on the Shapen train and some people were on the Sawyer train. … I think what I need to see and what Baylor fans will want to see out of Sawyer is just control and using what he’s good at to extend drives.

DT: Texas has looked their most vulnerable when the offensive line isn’t holding up. Who can you point to on that Bears’ defense that could be a name to watch? TJ Franklin is a guy who’s been pretty active off the edge early, are there any other names Texas fans should look out for?

MH: On the defensive side of the ball, you mentioned a good one, TJ Franklin on the defensive line. Hasn’t been the most imposing guy to look out for to start the year, good player, an old guy so he knows the game and he’s been here forever. Gabe Hall is another guy on that d-line. He had a scoop-and-score against Texas last year in Austin. That was a pretty athletic play. I don’t want to say he showed some wheels, but that guy can move, he’s made Bruce Feldman’s Freaks list for the last two years. The way I look at him is he’s like a Coke machine on wheels. He’s number 95, you’re gonna want to look out for him.

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