Baylor AD says he’s ‘spent several conversations’ discussing offensive changes with coach Dave Aranda

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades says the Bears need to make some changes after a 2-4 start to the season.

Baylor was blown out at home by Texas Tech on Saturday night as the Red Raiders jumped out to a 24-3 lead on the way to a 39-14 win. On the 365 Sports show Tuesday, Rhoades said that “no one is OK with Saturday’s performance” and that adjustments were needed on the offensive side of the ball.

“Quite frankly, we need to make some adjustments, we need to make some changes particularly on the offensive side of the ball,” Rhoades said. “I believe we’ve got really good staff, I believe we’ve got really good football minds, they didn’t all of the sudden get less smart from 2021. And nobody’s working harder than them and nobody’s more disappointed than them.”

The Bears are being outscored 30-22 on the season and just 24 teams are scoring fewer points per game. The offense is averaging 5.5 yards per play, though starting QB Blake Shapen is now back after suffering a knee injury in the first game of the season.

Backup Sawyer Robertson completed less than 50% of his passes and threw one TD and four interceptions in Shapen’s absence as the Bears went 1-2 in Robertson’s time as the starter.

Shapen returned for Baylor’s incredible comeback win over UCF in Week 5 — a win that will be incredibly vital if Baylor can rebound for a potential bowl berth over the second half of the season. When asked directly about the team’s quarterback situation and if he’s gotten involved in discussions about who the starter should be, Rhoades said he hadn’t while revealing that he had been having detailed conversations with coach Dave Aranda about the team’s offense.

“I never have in the past but I can assure you that coach Aranda and I have spent several conversations, minutes, hours, whatever the totality of those conversations have been, talking about our offense and talking about how it needs change,” Rhoades said. “It needs to be tweaked. It needs to — probably where our personnel is right now — fit our personnel better. So we’ve had those very honest and direct and candid conversations.”

The offense isn’t the only thing holding Baylor back, however. The Bears’ defense is giving up 6.3 yards per play and opponents are rushing for nearly five yards a carry. Aranda came to Baylor after defensive coordinator stints at Wisconsin and LSU and the Bears have allowed more points and yards per play in each of the past two seasons after going 12-2 and winning the Sugar Bowl in 2021.

But Rhoades said in his interview that he was confident in Aranda’s ability to get Baylor back on track.

“We’ve had a great partnership up to this point in time and I believe in him,” Rhoades said. “I believe in his ability to fix these problems … to solve these problems, to fix these problems over time.”

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Baylor Bears coach  Dave Aranda during a second quarter timeout of a college football game between the Long Island Sharks and Baylor Bears on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at McLane Stadium in Waco, TX. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Baylor is being outscored 30-22 through six games in 2023. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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