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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UT vs. Baylor: Keys to the Game

UT+vs.+Baylor%3A+Keys+to+the+Game
Lorianne Willett

Highlighting the first Big 12 conference game of the season, the rivalry between Baylor and Texas runs strong; only Texas A&M and Oklahoma have played more games against Texas than the Bears. This game will also mark the final time the Bears and Longhorns will face off in the Big 12 for a regular season game.

Going into the matchup, the Longhorns are 3–0, and the Bears are 1–2. Both teams currently have injuries on both sides of the field; Texas offensive guard Cole Hutson and defensive lineman Kristopher Ross both left last week’s game against Wyoming with injuries, and Baylor’s starting quarterback Blake Shapen has been out since week one.

However, the biggest question surrounding the game is if Texas can play consistently. 

Here are two factors that can start Texas off 1–0 in conference play and keep their undefeated status.

Consistency when attacking deep

Against Alabama, Quinn Ewers went 24-for-38 in passing for 349 yards. However, consistency has been missing from Texas’ passing game. In last week’s game against Wyoming, Ewers only completed 11 of 21 passes for a total of 131 yards, struggling with defensive coverage and protection breakdown.

“Just lack of focus is what it kind of boils down to, and the need to settle in faster than what I did in the game,” Ewers said about his performance in a post-game press conference.

 Without the pressure of a No. 56 Alabama or a No. 63 Wyoming rush defense, Texas may have an easier time finding opportunities downfield this time around. Baylor’s rush defense is ranked 107th in the FBS, according to the NCAA, a spot below Nevada, Georgia Southern, and Bowling Green.

As long as Texas’ offensive line performs at a high level, this game is an opportunity for Ewers to take his time with his deep passes and to gain more confidence in his passing before moving on to opponents who bring the pressure of the rush defense. 

Taking advantage of Robertson’s collegiate inexperience

Baylor’s starting quarterback Blake Shapen is still out with an MCL sprain after hurting his knee in Baylor’s season opener against Texas State. In his place, backup Sawyer Robertson has started in the Bear’s latest two games, throwing a career high of 218 passing yards against Utah.

However, Robertson has not had as much collegiate experience as Shapen, which may show in this week’s game. As a redshirt sophomore, Robertson has thrown 34 completed passes out of 73 passing attempts for a 45.2% completion percentage. 

If Texas’ defense can repeat Jerrin Thompson’s performance against Wyoming and get a pick-six against Robertson, the Baylor offense may shut down faster and give Texas the upper hand. 

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Double Coverage Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Double Coverage Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.