Three Things To Know About BYU Football Opponents: Baylor Bears
PROVO, Utah – 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.
𝐈𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐈𝐂 🏆#SicEm | #BUncommon https://t.co/2gFtdASpL3 pic.twitter.com/C5GJ85nUCY
— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) June 16, 2022
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.
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.
What a DIME by Blake Shapen 🤯pic.twitter.com/H1f3wAci1L
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) December 4, 2021
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.
Could get real hectic when we hit yo party.🥂Prolly shouldn't invite us🚳 #CHAMP💍💍 pic.twitter.com/KOPMLgDChQ
— Siaki Ika'🇹🇴 (@Jackfish801) January 7, 2022
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.
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 KSLsports.com 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: @Mitch_Harper.
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