Three Things To Know About BYU Football Opponents: Baylor Bears

Jun 27, 2022, 2:43 PM
Baylor Bears, Dillon Doyle, BYU Football...
BYU Football will host the Baylor Bears in week two of the 2022 season. Baylor defeated BYU last year in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

PROVO, UtahΒ – The home opener of the 2022 BYU football season will be a sneak peek at BYU’s future in the Big 12 Conference. In week two, BYU will face the defending Big 12 Champion Baylor Bears.

Last season, BYU lost to Baylor 38-24 in Waco. So when BYU hosts Baylor at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, September 10, it will be an opportunity for revenge against a future Big 12 foe.

There’s no shortage of storylines in this matchup. Baylor still has former BYU OC Jeff Grimes leading the Bears’ offense, along with Eric Mateos coaching the offensive line. But many of the faces leading the Bears are different from the team winning a program-best 12 wins a season ago.

Here are three things to know about the BYU Football opponent, the Baylor Bears.

Defending Big 12 Champions

Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is a star in college football coaching. His name was linked quite a bit to the USC coaching search, but he appears committed to the Bears for the long haul. He signed a contract extension that keeps him locked in at Baylor through the 2029 season.

With Aranda locked in as the leader, Baylor has the pieces to repeat as Big 12 champs again in 2022. Last season, they won the Big 12 crown and the Sugar Bowl.

They will have new faces across their depth chart. For example, Baylor is 122nd nationally in ESPN’s returning production metrics. But keep in mind, BYU was dead last a year ago and the Cougars put together a 10-3 season with a perfect record against Pac-12 teams.

Baylor doesn’t appear to be slowing down under Aranda as they have one of the nastiest defenses in college football. Also, Grimes won’t steer away from their success as a wide zone team in the “RVO” (Reliable, Violent Offense) that BYU fans know very well.

Watch for linebacker Dillon Doyle (pictured); he also performs as a fullback for Grimey’s offense. BYU saw that first-hand last year in Waco as he scored two touchdowns in the Baylor victory.

New QB1

Baylor held a quarterback competition during spring practices. After the spring season, Aranda and Grimes moved away from last year’s starter, Gerry Bohanon, in favor of last year’s backup, Blake Shapen.

Aranda informed Bohanon before the May 1 transfer portal deadline, giving him a chance to find a new school and play this season. Bohanon is now at USF, BYU’s season opener opponent, on September 3.

Shapen appeared in five games last season, including the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma State. In that victory over the Pokes for the title, Shapen completed his first 17 pass attempts and finished 23-of-28 for 180 yards and three touchdown passes.

Shapen could be one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 this fall by season’s end.

Star power in the trenches

The strength of Baylor in 2022 resides in the offensive and defensive lines. That should be no surprise considering Aranda and Grimes’ backgrounds of working extensively with groups in the trenches over the years.

On the defensive line, former East High star Siaki “Apu” Ika enters his junior season with the Bears. A former National Champion at LSU in 2019, Ika was an instant star in the interior of Baylor’s defensive front producing 24 tackles, six for loss, and 3.5 sacks in 2021.

Four players with starting experience return along the offensive line, led by left tackle Connor Galvin, who was a first-team All-Big 12 performer last season.

BYU/Baylor details

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2022

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. (MT)


Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium

2022 Baylor Bears Football Schedule

Sept. 3 – UAlbany

Sept. 10 – at BYU

Sept. 17 – Texas State

Sept. 24 – at Iowa State

Oct. 1 – Oklahoma State

Oct. 13 – at West Virginia

Oct. 22 – Kansas

Oct. 29 – at Texas Tech

Nov. 5 – at Oklahoma

Nov. 12 – Kansas State

Nov. 19 – TCU

Nov. 26 – at Texas

Get to know the 2022 BYU Football opponents

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter:Β @Mitch_Harper.

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Three Things To Know About BYU Football Opponents: Baylor Bears