Baylor head coach Matt Rhule is no stranger to having his name connected to various opportunities to coach at the next level, in the National Football League. With Baylor preparing to face Georgia in the Sugar Bowl this week, Rhule is once again the center of some NFL coaching carousel headlines as the NFL season draws to a close today.
According to multiple reports on Sunday, Rhule will be interviewing with the Carolina Panthers as the NFL franchise in Charlotte looks to fill a head coaching vacancy. The Panthers fired Ron Rivera earlier this month.
After coaching Baylor to a regular-season record of 11-2 with an appearance in the Big 12 championship game, it was expected Rhule would be among the trendy names for various coaching opportunities, and the NFL has been something Rhule has tested previously. In January 2018, Rhule interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts before ultimately pulling his name out from consideration. Baylor agreed to a contract extension with Rhule back in January with the hope of holding off any further NFL explorations. Rhule has also previously interviewed with the New York Jets.
Rhule commented on the NFL speculation last week to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, suggesting he could only be lured away if the job was “next to perfect.” The Panthers job would certainly have some positives to charm Rhule’s interest (like former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey)
Rhule has spent one football season in the NFL as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants in 2012. He joined the Giants after six seasons on the coaching staff at Temple before ultimately returning to become Temple’s head coach in 2013. Rhule was hired by Baylor after the 2016 season. With a possible change coming with the New York Giants, don’t be surprised if Rhule has another option to evaluate in the coming days if a coaching change is made.
As Baylor gets underway with practices in New Orleans before taking on Georgia in the Sugar Bowl next week. head coach Matt Rhule confirmed he may have his quarterback back for the big game. Rhule announced quarterback Charlie Brewer has been cleared to play in the Sugar Bowl.
Brewer left the Big 12 championship game and had been treated for a concussion.
Brewer was a major reason for the success Baylor had this season, so his being available is a big lift for the Bears in the Sugar Bowl. Brewer completed 65.2 percent of his pass attempts this season for 2,950 yards and 20 touchdowns with just six interceptions. Brewer also took off running with the football 138 times for 337 yards and 10 additional touchdowns.
Having Brewer back to lead the offense is obviously good news for the Big 12 runners-up because the Georgia defense will be the best one Baylor has faced all season.
Baylor takes on Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020. Georgia also had a player cleared to play in the game, although for a different reason.
No. 12 Baylor (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) nearly saw their undefeated record go down in a battle of field goals, but the BEars topped TCU (4-5, 2-4 big 12) in a 29-23 triple-overtime game Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth. Grayland Arnold intercepted a fourth down pass in the third overtime to put the finishing touches on Baylor’s big win that puts them in a terrific spot to play for a Big 12 title.
Baylor kicker John Mayers converted a 51-yard field goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter to help send the game to overtime, which is when the two teams decided that kicking field goals wasn’t fun any more and opted for touchdowns instead. Baylor scored first with JaMycal Hasty running for a short touchdown to open the overtime. TCU answered with Max Duggan completing a 24-yard pass to Te’Vailance Hunt on a 4th & 9 play. The TCU touchdown was not initially called but a video replay overturned the call on the field to credit the Horned Frogs for the score, so they played on.
After the teams exchanged touchdowns in the second overtime, Baylor took a 29-23 lead on a Charlie Brewer pass to Denzel Mims on the second play of the third overtime. TCU looked to be in great position to force a fourth overtime when they moved the ball to the Baylor one-yard line, but a run for a loss of three yards was followed by an incomplete pass. A holding penalty on TCU pushed the football back 10 more yards and later led to a fourth-down try to keep the game alive before falling into the hands of Baylor’s Arnold.
Not every win needs to be pretty, and this one certainly wasn’t. But what this game demonstrated for Matt Rhule is his team is not about to quit on any game. The offense had a rough outing against TCU, but they made the plays they needed the most once they got into overtime. Baylor trailed TCU 9-0 at halftime as this game was dictated by the defenses. Baylor turned the football over twice, but forced three TCU turnovers. Baylor also only managed to get 294 yards of offense against the horned Frogs. Is that good enough? Ordinarily, no, but it was enough to get the job done and go home with an important win for Rhule and the Bears.
Baylor not only remains undefeated but sits atop the Big 12 standings with just three games left to play. Baylor’s next game is a big one. The Bears will host Oklahoma in a battle for first place in the Big 12. It could also be a potential preview of the big 12 championship game, a scenario that became more likely with the win against TCU. Baylor has a one-game lead on Oklahoma in the conference standings, and Baylor will be guaranteed to come out of next week’s matchup with the Sooners no worse than second place in the Big 12. Baylor also owns a head-to-head tiebreaker with Kansas State, who sits in third place in the Big 12 at the start of the day (Kansas State plays at Texas today).
TCU will travel to Lubbock next week to play Texas Tech. The Red Raiders won at West Virginia on Saturday, 38-17.
After leaving last weekend’s game early following a hit to the head, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer has been given the green flag to resume playing this weekend. Baylor head coach Matt Rhule confirmed such news during Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call with the media.
“It was precautionary, especially at the time in the game,” Rhule said of the decision to keep Brewer out of Saturday’s game against Kansas State. “He seemed to be fine. He didn’t play the rest of the game, but he’s cleared to go.”
Brewer has passed for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns without an interception for the 5-0 Baylor Bears. The junior threw for over 3,000 yards last season with 19 touchdowns to nine interceptions.
Rhule wasn’t without some unfortunate injury news for the Bears on Monday though. Rhule announced offensive lineman Connor Galvin will be out for the next four to six weeks. The starting left tackle would miss games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia if out for four weeks.
Missing the next six weeks would tack on games against TCU and Oklahoma that would see Galvin out of action, with a potential return for a Nov. 23 against Texas the in play under the worst-case scenario timeline. Those will be some big games Baylor will hope Galvin doesn’t have to miss later on this season.
Baylor head coach Matt Rhule had a rough weekend. The head coach of the Bears had his truck stolen from the parking lot of a hotel. But rest assured, Rhule made it known that would not prevent him from getting to where he needed to be.
Rhule took to Twitter with a message to the party responsible for his stolen truck, confirming he would still find a way to attend an event organized by the Texas High School Coaches Association at Rice University.
As promised by Rhule, he made it to the event in Houston.
But it wasn’t just a truck that was stolen from Rhule either. Inside the truck was a set of golf clubs that didn’t belong to him, as noted by Baylor assistant coach Joey McGuire.
There is no indication at this time if the truck has or will be recovered. The same goes for the golf clubs. In the meantime, Rhule will have to keep on going about his business as he prepares for a new college football season with Baylor.