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Baylor notebook: Several key Bears missing in action against Bobcats

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Texas State Baylor Football

Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika gestures after batting down Layne Hatcher's pass in the third quarter.

Baylor hit McLane Stadium without numerous key players in its 42-7 thrashing of Texas State, including wide receiver Monaray Baldwin, tight end Ben Sims and running back Taye McWilliams.

All three were out with head injuries, according to Baylor coach Dave Aranda. Safety Christian Morgan and defensive lineman Cole Maxwell also missed the game.

“We’re hopeful for Taye, Monaray and Ben, that we’ll have them for next week (against Iowa State),” Aranda said. “We were hopeful to get them for this one. Head injuries, and we’re hoping all of that is resolved, kind of coming back. Cole (Maxwell) is, I think, going to be a little bit longer. Not sure exactly how long, hopeful it’s not extended.”

Baylor ‘legend’ has Texas State ties

It’s not often that Baylor’s “Legend of the Game” shows up wearing the other team’s colors, but you could forgive Geff Gandy for his gameday attire.

Gandy, a linebacker from Baylor from 1979-82, now serves as the radio analyst for Texas State’s football broadcasts. So, it kind of made sense for Baylor to honor Gandy when they did.

Gandy played on the 1979 Baylor team that knocked off Clemson in the Peach Bowl as well as the famed 1980 team that won the Southwest Conference championship. He led the Bears in tackles in 1982, and then was drafted by the then-Washington Redskins. Gandy helped Washington reach Super Bowl XVIII in 1983.

Baylor routinely recognizes a former player as its “Legend of the Game” with an on-field ceremony during a break in the action.

Apu finds his inner shotblocker

In the first half, Baylor’s defensive line was pretty quiet, totaling one quarterback hurry and no sacks.

Leave it to big ol’ Siaki “Apu” Ika to finally make some noise.

Ika gave the Bears a lift in the second half when he knocked down passes from Texas State’s Layne Hatcher on consecutive plays.

Naturally, the fun-loving Ika turned to beckon to the crowd after the first one, then waved to them again after the second break-up.

“I just want to say I love our D-line,” Baylor defensive back Al Walcott said. “Those guys really help us so much in the back end especially with a younger group. So for those guys … I always tell them it starts with them up front, even offense. It starts with you guys up front. We could follow behind you guys, and they did a really great job of doing that.”

Bears 9-0 against Bobcats

With their lopsided win over the Bobcats, the Bears improved to 9-0 all-time in the series.

The Bears looked much sharper in Saturday’s 42-7 win than last season when they struggled to find any rhythm in a season-opening 29-20 win over Texas State in San Marcos.

Baylor amassed 501 yards total offense while holding the Bobcats to 268 yards.

“It’s a happy locker room,” Aranda said. “I’m proud of the guys, the coaches too. You love the energy and you love the optimism and you love the want-to.”

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