Story Poster
Photo by Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365
Baylor Football

The Players Club: Moving On & Stepping Up

September 6, 2023
6,277

Ready or not, it’s time to turn the page on Texas State, or else risk missing out on the gigantic bounce-back opportunity awaiting Baylor Football at home this weekend. 

Of course, that's easier said than done for passionate fans and media, but it is necessary for the players and coaches. Opening weekend was a bubble burster but not a season-ender. Eleven games remain, none more important than the next one, at home against the #12-ranked Utah Utes. 

As is customary on game week Tuesdays, select players got their turns in front of the microphones. And Utah Week featured a pair of fresh voices in TE Jake Roberts and OLB Kyler Jordan, who talked about bouncing back, stepping up, and moving on. 


ON SAWYER ROBERTSON 

After two years in Starkville and just one game in Waco, Sawyer Robertson will make his first collegiate start this Saturday against the back-to-back Pac-12 Champions. The redshirt sophomore saw a good dose of playing time in his Baylor debut, backing up and ultimately bouncing in and out for an injured Blake Shapen. 

There was some good and some bad, but enough action to show the arm talent and running ability—enough to have optimism and see the upside. It's also easier to buy in when you hear the belief from teammates. 

Sophomore LB Kyler Jordan and Robertson crossed paths growing up in Lubbock, albeit at different schools, with Robertson starring at Coronado and Jordan at Cooper High. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

“I pretty much grew up with that guy, played against him in football, baseball, basketball, you name it. He’s a year older than me, so we didn’t play that many years against each other in high school,” Jordan said. “But enough for me to see how talented he is. So I’m really excited to see what he can do on Saturday. I know he’s going to prepare his tail off and he’s going be ready to go.”

Whatever questions remain about Robertson heading into Saturday, there’s confidence in his abilities to lead and a belief within the team they can bounce back with him at the helm. 

Jake Roberts and Robertson don’t have that history, but in just a few months, the former North Texas tight end has seen enough to echo other positive sentiments. 

“He’s got a great energy about him. He’s ready for the opportunity. I don’t think anyone’s worried about us skipping a beat. It’s business as usual. Sawyer’s ready for the opportunity. We’re excited to have him in there,” Roberts said.

“And, obviously, really unfortunate what happened to Blake but just for the time being we got to roll with what we got. And I think we got plenty in Sawyer, so it’s going to be fun to see him out there leading the squad.”

Next man up. Fingers crossed, Robertson plays well enough so that when Shapen returns, there’s a fun problem to have. It’s a massive opportunity for the newcomer after finishing second in the QB1 race during spring. 


STEPPING UP 

Blake Shapen wasn’t the only injury on Saturday, nor was Robertson the only player they need to continue stepping up. We also learned safety Devin Lemear will miss time, and so too will Jack linebacker Garmon Randolph. 

If there was a blessing for those walking wounded, it's that none of the injuries are long-term. But for the time being, there are some ramifications depth-wise. 

“Yeah, it’s definitely tough. We’re getting a little shallow in the [OLB] room, but it’s giving us younger guys a little chance to step up,” Jordan said. 

“Byron Vaughns has been killing it. I’m so excited to see what he’s going to do on Saturday. But like I said, just trying to do our 1/11, do whatever we can in the position room to help us succeed on Saturday.”

Randolph missing time isn’t anything new. He was out during spring due to injury and suspension. Along with Vaughns, Tony Anyanwu is another option, but Jordan is in that mix for playing-time-based on numbers alone. The only other OLB listed on the roster is true freshman Corey Kelly. 

Back in the spring, Jordan said the speed adjustment of playing the position was the biggest he faced. Asked about how the Jack linebacker spot suits him now, the redshirt freshman provided an insightful and mature answer. 

“I think it gives me a chance to get in coverage a little bit, gives me a chance to rush, run stop. Kind of a little bit of everything. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still a little young, still trying to figure out what my strengths are, what I need to work on. But I think as of right now, it’s a good enough fit, so just trying to do what I can to help the team.”


MOVING ON 

Safe to say, things have been a little tense this week. But that’s more so on message boards or social media than for the players and coaches. They have 11 games left to play no matter what, and if they dwell on Texas State, it’ll only get uglier with who’s rolling into town. 

“I think, for all of us, it’s about the next game. We can’t do anything about what happened [last] Saturday now. So I think the best thing we can do is look towards Utah and get ready to play on Saturday,” Jordan said. 

As for what corrections are needed, it seems simple enough upon review. But executing is a different story, as we learned last week in a performance that lacked winning execution. 

Jack Mackenzie - SicEm365

“I think it was just little mistakes here and there. I want to praise Texas State, I think Texas State played a really good football game,” Jordan said. “We did some stuff on defense that was uncharacteristic of us, people trying to do more than what they need to. But I think just getting back to square one, doing your 1/11 and taking care of your job.”

From Roberts’ point of view, some pre-snap penalties that plagued the offense mainly were a byproduct of first-game jitters. He sensed improvement as the game got late, but all that matters now is what’s next. 

If one’s not careful, it’s possible to get stuck in the negativity or affected by the disappointment. But that mindset will sink this team faster and further than any upset loss. The good news is the team seems to have moved on while also maintaining a bit of an edge based on the reactions to last week. 

“It sucks really bad and everybody in the program hurts. But you can only harp on it for so long, you can only be down about it so long. That’s the nature of the sport, you got to move on fast,” Roberts wisely preached. 

“We got another really good opponent coming to town on Saturday. And at this point, Texas State’s over with. It’s done with. We know what we need to improve on and we’re on to the next opponent.” 

The same team upset at home by Texas State to start the year could follow that up with a Top 15 upset win at home against Utah. Or they could be in a 0-2 hole.

Either way, Utah was always going to be an early season gut check, regardless of the Texas State result. But now, at a sloppy 0-1, the Bears’ challenge is not just the Utes but also urgency and, most of all, themselves. 

Discussion from...

The Players Club: Moving On & Stepping Up

4,970 Views | 15 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by ImABearToo
Dia del DougO
How long do you want to ignore this user?

From down on the field up close, when Robertson came into the game, it seemed to me like the team suddenly had a little extra bounce in their step, more energy. Maybe it was unrelated to the qb, maybe it was the urgency of the situation, maybe it was my imagination. But I noticed it. Perhaps Sawyer has a little something to him that his teammates gravitate towards. Or perhaps not. Saturday may show that if it's a real thing.
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
HuttoBear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Does any one think that at best this is a mediocre team and certainly not ready for P5.
SicEmBU
How long do you want to ignore this user?
HuttoBear said:

Does any one think that at best this is a mediocre team and certainly not ready for P5.
Not just yet. But I, like everyone, was disappointed with what I saw.
joseywales
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Sounds like a bunch of excuses from losers...Colorado Duke and several others did not suffer so much from first time together first game jitters, etc etc...the team was not prepared and looked awfully untalented.
BUGWBBear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
HuttoBear said:

Does any one think that at best this is a mediocre team and certainly not ready for P5.


This current bunch isn't ready for Div III, let alone a P5. And I'm being kind. It's all coaching and zero motivation.
ImABearToo
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Simply put, we lost a home game to Texas State University, a mid-tier Sunbelt Conference team with A new coach and 50+ new players that have never played together before. They play the Arkansas St Red Wolves, Georgia Southern Eagles, South Alabama Jaguars, et al
We have a coach in Year 4 with a number of returning players and program in a power 5 conference that plays the likes of OU, UT, ok State, TCU, etc…
Make it make any sense!
“Life is short, eat desert first!”
HuttoBear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
What a breath of fresh air:

https://fb.watch/mUH7ryEWsj/
ImABearToo
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Dang! I'm ready to suit up.
“Life is short, eat desert first!”
HuttoBear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Dia del DougO
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Deion's students at Prime Prep probably would have thought their day would be better if they had school lunches and teachers in their empty classes, and maybe a decent education, or the scholarships his players were promised but never got because their fake school failed to meet stat standards.

"How much money y'all need to make this go away?"

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."
jdkingbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
As disappointing as the Texas State game was, it is important to recognize the fact that in the last part of the 4th quarter ... the opportunity to win was there. TX State could not move the ball after their last TD. And the Bears were moving and scoring. With the score 43-31, had the Robertson pass at the goal line been good - TD and its 42 to 38 or 39. Bears held them on their next drive and Robertson moved them down the field. His completions and the long run put us in a positon to go ahead, but he gets the ball knocked out as he is going down. Score on that series and you are ahead.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Woulda Coulda Shoulda. The fact remains that the Bears became more competitive as the game went on and especially in the last half and 4th qtr. They could have pulled it out, but those two turnovers sealed the win for TX State. Their coach said as much.

Let's see what this Saturday brings. They are underdogs. So was TX State, and Colorado, and Duke, and Wyoming ... etc. etc. Let's see if this team can find what it takes to win. The talent is there. Now, we see if the mettle is there.
jdkingbear
ImABearToo
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I get it but we play Utah, a near Top 10 ranked team.
“Life is short, eat desert first!”
241Bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
jdkingbear said:

TX State could not move the ball after their last TD.
I appreciate your optimism, but up until that point they had scored 42 points. With ease.
wongobear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
241Bear said:

jdkingbear said:

TX State could not move the ball after their last TD.
I appreciate your optimism, but up until that point they had scored 42 points. With ease.
THIS - they obviously changed their gameplan to kill clock and make us waste timeouts - of which we only had 1 I believe (hard to be sure since the terrible broadcast kept changing the incorrect graphics during the game).
ImABearToo
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Wish I could see where we just make a few adjustments here and there, switch a player or 2, and it fixes last weeks problems. From my 35,000' view it simply looks like we don't have the talent assembled to compete at the level of completion ahead the next 11 games (LIU being the exception). Or maybe this is our "Facing the Giants" moment and we find the will to change course.
“Life is short, eat desert first!”
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.