WACO, Texas (KWTX) Gradual improvements. That is what Baylor head coach Matt Rhule and his staff are looking for from not only their players, but themselves. Even though the Bears were able to come away with a 56-17 win on Saturday over SFA, Rhule knows the team can be better.
"As I tell our team, you didn't play bad, you didn't play well, you just played how you played, right," said Rhule at his weekly press conference on Monday.
"To just get past all the labels we put on how we played, you just played how you played. Now, whether it's good or bad, just try to do it better next week. That's my focus. I want to do a better job next week."
As he stated on Saturday and reiterated on Monday, Rhule believes teams show the most improvement between weeks one and two.
"Week one, you know, you’re in training camp, you’re in practices, you're kind of practicing for three hours, two hours, however long you practice, so you make a mistake, you drop a ball, you block the wrong guy, you kind of just go right to the next play," said Rhule.
"And there isn't a lot of consequence to that. And then all of a sudden you get into a game and you drop that same ball and you have to go stand on the sideline because you have to punt. Or you blow a coverage and now all of a sudden it's a touchdown and it effects the scoreboard. So the ability to handle those emotions is way different. You don't get to just go right back out there. You have to stand on the sideline, you have to in the middle of the game, deal with the crowd. You know, all the different things. So it's just different. So you have to get out there and see how you just manage the game itself. Are you able to stay focused on each play or do you let your mind wander? Do you have a veteran group that answers a score with a score? Answer a stop with a stop? Or do you have guys that are kind of just floating through the game? So it's just all of that."
Rhule knows that the Bears will need to be all in and focused when they take on UTSA this week. The game last year against the Roadrunners was close going into the fourth quarter. The Bears ended up pulling out a 37-20 victory in the Alamodome.
"We know they are a tough, rugged group that can run, that’s going to play hard. That's going to swarm to the ball that’s going to challenge you with the run game. And they’ve added in perimeter screens now and they'll throw the ball deep and Tariq Woolen is a big play threat for them and we recruited him. He's got great track times at 6'4 so there is a lot of things to have to deal with."