Baylor is off to a — how do you say it? — terrible start to this season. The Bears have dropped games to Liberty and UTSA, with a road trip to Duke and entire Big 12 schedule awaiting them.
The situation Matt Rhule inherited is the exact opposite of ideal, with quotes like this floating around out there.
Baylor is going to be bad this season, and if you’re going to be bad you might as well be young. Baylor is going young at quarterback.
Rhule announced Monday that sophomore Zach Smith will supplant graduate transfer Anu Solomon at quarterback. An arrival from Arizona, Solomon started both of the Bears’ first two games, hitting a pedestrian 22-of-54 passes (43.6 percent) for 399 yards (7.3 yards per attempt) with four touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing 16 times for 106 yards.
Smith has started previously, and is responsible for Baylor’s only victory since Oct. 15 of last season, hitting 28-of-39 throws for 375 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 31-12 win over Boise State in the Cactus Bowl last December.
Solomon was not named starter until four games before Baylor’s opener, and an ankle injury Smith sustained in August contributed to that. And now it’s clear Smith is Baylor’s best option — if not explicitly for 2017, then for 2018 and ’19.
“Zach will go and we’ll rally around him and see what he can do for us,” Rhule said.
Baylor visits Duke on Saturday before opening Big 12 play with a back-to-back-to-back streak of top-20 opponents — vs. No. 2 Oklahoma, at No. 18 Kansas State and at No. 9 Oklahoma State.