Here is everything you need to know about Baylor’s 2021 season-opener in our Texas State vs. Baylor preview and prediction.
Saturday, September 4, 2021; 6:00 PM; Bobcat Stadium; San Marcos, Texas
Radio: Learfield IMG; The Varsity Network/KTSW 89.9 FM
Spread: Baylor -14.0
Fun Fact: Baylor has defeated Texas State in all seven meetings between the schools dating back to 1909.
LT Connor Galvin
New starting QB Gerry Bohanon might be the obvious pick here, but Galvin is the leader of a Baylor offensive line greatly in need of improvement from last season. Galvin has steadily improved since contributing during his true freshman season in 2018, and aside from a shaky outing against K-State’s Wyatt Hubert (now a Cincinnati Bengal), he had an impressive 2020 season. Blind side protection is always critical for quarterbacks, but even more so for quarterbacks, like Bohanon, who lack significant experience. Texas State’s defense should give Galvin and the Baylor O-line the chance to develop some much-needed cohesion, but a bad outing by the unit may signal trouble ahead for the Baylor offense.
NT Saika Ika
Ika is a 6-4, 340-pound LSU transfer with the potential to give offensive coordinators nightmares all season long. With tremendous power and long arms, he’s effective at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback, but perhaps his greatest strength for Baylor will be his ability to absorb multiple blockers, freeing Baylor’s speedy defensive ends and linebackers to create havoc. Baylor’s defense has the potential to be elite this season, but that is going to have to start up front with Ika.
Texas State Bobcats
QB Brady McBride/Ty Evans
As of this writing, Texas State has yet to officially name a starting QB for the game, but the competition appears to be between the returning starter, McBride, and NC State transfer, Evans. The Bobcats have a solid group of receivers, and RB Calvin Hill is also a threat in the passing game, but quarterback play was an adventure for the team throughout most of 2020. McBride erupted, however, against Arkansas State last season for 443 yards and five TDs. Evans, who was 247Sport’s 18th ranked pro-style QB of the 2018 class, has high ceiling, but he has yet to take a college snap.
DT Nico Ezidore, JR.
As the Bobcats’ most active D-lineman, Ezidore totaled 66 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2020. He’s a bit undersized at 6-2, 285 pounds, but he makes up for it with a good motor. With Baylor’s new starting quarterback and questions about the offensive line, Ezidore will need to make plays early and often to keep the Bears’ playmakers from getting into a rhythm.
It’s time to shrug off 2020’s Covid season and get the Dave Aranda era going in earnest with a huge day on defense. The offense is going to need time to truly find its groove, even against an overmatched Texas State defense. It will be up to Baylor’s defense to smother Texas State’s upset dreams under a nightmare blanket of bruising hits.
This is a rare home game against a Power 5 opponent and a chance to make a big splash with Texas recruits for the Sun Belt’s Bobcats. Even with the game relegated to ESPN+, the Bobcats are going to get a lot of exposure from playing Baylor, and they want to make the most of it with a strong showing. An outright win might be too much to hope for but keeping the game close well into the fourth quarter is realistic.
Prediction: Baylor 34, Texas State 13
The Bears may get off to a slow start on offense, but its defense should be able to take over the game and bless its offense with good field position all night long. Texas State will get a few licks in, but they’ll be too few and far between, and the game will get a big out of hand in the second half.