ARLINGTON (AP) — Charlie Brewer won a Texas Class 6A high school state championship game the last time he played at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. That was less than 11 months ago.
Brewer will be back at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, making his second start as Baylor’s quarterback a week after their first victory under coach Matt Rhule.
“It was a ton of fun. Those guys have worked so hard and we’ve had to put things in perspective so many times in the locker room,” Rhule said. “We still had to put things in perspective after the game, because great teams ask what’s next and move forward.”
A week after that win at Kansas , Baylor (1-8, 1-5 Big 12) plays its annual neutral-site game against Texas Tech (4-5, 1-5).
The Red Raiders can still get bowl eligible by winning two of their last three games. But their four-game losing streak has again raised questions about the future of coach Kliff Kingsbury.
“Oh, that’s a tough one. I don’t know if I’m the one to talk about that,” said junior center Paul Stawarz, when asked if the team is playing for Kingsbury’s job. “At least I can speak for the O-line again. We’re going to come after it and attack it every week. Try to go 1-0. But I personally don’t look into things like that.”
Texas Tech started 4-1 in Kingsbury’s fifth season, but is coming off an overtime home loss to Kansas State, which overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Red Raiders won their first seven games in 2013 but are 21-31 since under their former quarterback-turned-coach.
A difficult Baylor debut was expected for Rhule, with a roster full of freshmen and first-time starters in the aftermath of a sexual assault scandal. The Bears were within a touchdown margin in the fourth quarter of six losses before finally winning.
With Zach Smith hampered by a shoulder injury, and likely still only available in an emergency situation, Brewer is now Baylor’s starter. The freshman, who enrolled at Baylor last spring after leading Austin’s Lake Travis High to a championship in Texas’ highest classification, was 23-of-29 passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas in his starting debut.
“We had a good plan to keep it simple for him, but he threw the ball down the field a good bit,” Rhule said. “We knew Charlie is a good player and he can run around and make some plays.”
Some other things for the tiebreaker of a series that is all even at 37-37-1:
Red Raiders junior WR Keke Coutee is tied for the Big 12 lead with 69 catches (7.7 per game) and is second in the league with 114 yards receiving a game. He also has nine TDs. … Both teams have scored at least 30 points in each of the last seven games in the series. … In Kingsbury’s four previous meetings against Baylor, the Red Raiders have averaged 618 total yards a game.
SON OF A COWBOY
Texas Tech defensive back Jah’Shawn Johnson used to go to most of the Dallas Cowboys home games when his dad, Keith Davis, played for them from 2002-08. Those were the last seven seasons the Cowboys played in old Texas Stadium.
“I’ve been a Cowboys fan my whole life,” Johnson said. “Watched my dad play in the old stadium. I was dreaming of playing in there.”
MORE ATTENTIVE THIS TIME
Rhule got a bit distracted the first time he was at AT&T Stadium, in the coaches box in 2012 while on staff with the NFL’s New York Giants.
“They gave me like Kobe beef sliders and sashimi. In the first quarter, I kind of found myself, like it was almost surreal,” Rhule said. “I’m watching the big screen, and I’m eating instead of being locked in to doing my job.”
haAT LEAST ONE MORE TIME
This will be the eighth time Texas Tech and Baylor play at AT&T Stadium, where the series is scheduled to be played through 2018.
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