Baylor to start Zach Smith at QB

Baylor quarterback Zach Smith (4) is sacked by Oklahoma linebacker Jordan Evans (26) during the second half of a NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Oklahoma won 45-24. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
AP Photo/Alonzo Adams

Head coach Matt Rhule delivered some bad news to Baylor Bears quarterback Anu Solomon after Saturday evening’s loss. Baylor’s first-year head coach is making a switch, naming sophomore signal caller Zach Smith his starter this week against Duke.

The Bears are now an unthinkable 0-2 after a historic loss to Liberty while then falling to Texas-San Antonio over the weekend.

Rhule said Solomon got “banged up” in Saturday’s loss to UTSA, according to ESPN, but the change follows a poor performance from the quarterback. The transfer from Arizona has completed just 43.6 percent of his passing attempts with four touchdowns and two interceptions in the team’s two games.

“Zach will go and we’ll rally around him and see what he can do for us,” Rhule said of Smith, who started Baylor’s final four games as a freshman last year.

In those four games, Smith had a rating of 139.3, throwing for 1,526 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 116-of-196 passing attempts, good for 59.2 percent. Now a sophomore, the Grandview, Texas native will get another crack at leading the Baylor offense this week.

The Bear’s loss to Liberty was the second largest upset involving a FBS school since 2005, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index. Liberty entered the game with a measly 2.2 percent chance of winning. They shocked, however, taking down Rhule’s squad 48-45 as Solomon struggled.

This season marks the first time Baylor has started 0-2 since 2003. That year the Bears went 3-9 under another first-year coach, Guy Morris. The Bears will now try to avoid a third straight loss this Saturday when they travel to Wallace Wade Stadium to face the Blue Devils.

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