Shapen was injured late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 42-31 upset loss to Texas State. Shapen threw for 306 yards and a pair of scoring strikes before leaving the game with six minutes to go. Shapen also scampered for the lone Bears rushing TD. Aranda issued high praise on his junior quarterback, telling reporters on Monday;
“Blake really played well on Saturday. He was a warrior,” Aranda said. “Some of those throws he was making, the ball was coming out in different arm angles, and (it) was on the money. We’re still going to have him with us, and he’s still going to be a motivator for us and a leader.”
Robertson to Make First Start
Robertson will make his first collegiate start when the Bears take on the Utes on Saturday. Robertson completed 50% of his passes for 113 yards, plus one interception. Aranda heaped high praise on his backup QB;
“He’s a confident kid,” Aranda said. “He’s going to bring energy in meetings and walkthroughs. He’s going to motivate those guys around him. There’s a contagious spirit about him. We’ll need that, especially early in the week, to pick ourselves up off the mat.”
Protecting Robertson could be an issue on Saturday. The Bears allowed three sacks in last week’s loss and now face a Utah defense with five sacks in their 24-11 victory over the Florida Gators.
The offensive line also committed six penalties, and that’s something Aranda attempted to explain away;
“A lot of the issue was, ‘This is a college football game, this is really happening, these are bright lights,’ and all that. I think that was definitely the case for a couple of guys, especially on our right side of the line,” Aranda said. “It’s going to be demanded that we improve,” he said. “I feel like from that hard lesson that we had Saturday, moving forward throughout the week, that we’ll see some good improvement.”
Bears Meet Utes as +7.5 Home Underdog
Sports betting in Texas is prohibited.
The Shapen news had sports bettors scurrying to the window. Baylor opened as +5.5 underdogs, but the game is now as high as +7.5 in some US sportsbooks.
The Bears’ offensive line is in for a tough afternoon against the Utes defensive line. Utah relentlessly pursued Florida quarterback Graham Mertz, sacking him five times with an interception, and the Bears can expect much of the same on Saturday.
“If you had to say what was the one phase or one thing that was the biggest difference in the game, it was the way our defense played,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
Baylor will also miss starting safety Devin Lemear, and linebacker Garmon Randolph suffered injuries in the loss to Texas State and has been ruled out for Saturday.
The Utes defense needed to step up because Utah has quarterback issues of their own. Starting QB Cam Rising is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered last season and missed the season opener. His status for Saturday is still up in the air.
The Utes offense couldn’t find much rhythm with Bryson Barnes under center in their 24-11 Week 1 victory. The Utah ground game wasn’t much better, rushing for 105 yards on 30 attempts.
The total opened at 50.5 points and fell to 47.5 with the Shapen news. The Bears’ defense allowed 441 total yards of offense, with 143 rushing yards. The Utes couldn’t do much on the ground against Florida, but Baylor allowed 143 rushing yards against a less-accomplished Texas State backfield.
Finally, the best betting advice would be to look for the Under. The number fell roughly three points with the Shapen news and could fall below 47.5 if Risng can’t suit up. Grab the 47.5 points while it’s there, and play the Under 47.5 with or without the Rising news.
For more tips on Texas online gambling, follow us at Betting TX.