LAWRENCE, Kan. — Matt Rhule instituted a dress code for road games when he took over at Baylor, requiring each of his players to wear crisp suits and nice ties before and after their games.
The one exception: Sweats are allowed heading home from a win.
So after the Bears dispatched Kansas 38-9 for their first win under Rhule, the former Temple coach couldn’t help but crack a smile when he stepped into the visiting locker room at Memorial Stadium on Saturday and heard a chant: “Jogging suits! Jogging suits!”
“It was pretty funny,” Rhule admitted.
There was nothing funny about an eight-game skid to begin his tenure, though. But with freshman Charlie Brewer making his first start, the Bears (1-8, 1-5 Big 12) were sharp on offense and downright dominant on defense in beating the Jayhawks (1-8, 0-6) for the eighth straight time.
Brewer threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Denzel Mims had five catches for 122 yards. And the Bears piled up 455 yards total offense while holding Kansas to just 289 yards.
“There was just calmness about our team today,” Rhule said. “Our guys never turned against each other, they only turned to each other. That was really good to see.”
The announced crowd for a matchup between two of the worst teams in major college football was 21,797, but there were perhaps half that many fans in the stands. There were even fewer in the second half, when the Bears kept tacking on points to put the game away.
Carter Stanley, back in the starting lineup for Kansas, finished 17 of 33 for 155 yards with a pick before he was benched in favor of former starter Peyton Bender in the fourth quarter.
It was the third time in four games that Kansas didn’t score a touchdown.
“They kept battling to the very end,” Jayhawks coach David Beaty said. “Those guys kept fighting.”
The Jayhawks’ frustration peaked when offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, irked by the officials slowing down the game to give Baylor time to substitute personnel, had to be restrained from going after the referee by Beaty and other members of the coaching staff.
Baylor didn’t fare much better offensively early, punting on its first three possessions. But once Brewer got into a rhythm, the freshman quarterback picked apart one of the nation’s worst defenses.
Brewer led the Bears on a 75-yard touchdown march, and then took them on a 74-yard TD drive. He capped the first half with a 56-yard touchdown trot for a 21-6 lead at the break.
“Charlie’s just going to play as hard as he can for you,” said Jordan Feuerbacher, who had one of the Bears’ touchdown catches. “It gives you something extra when you see that out there.”
Terence Williams scored from 1 yard out midway through the second half, and the Bears added a field goal and a touchdown catch by Ish Wainright to put the game away.
The victory should provide a nice boost to Rhule’s rebuilding job, which has taken its lumps as he plays dozens of freshmen. And it should increase the pressure on Beaty, who dropped to 3-30 in his third season and has just one victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision program.
“We got to let this one go. We have no choice,” Beaty said. “I know those boys are disappointed, I know our coaches are disappointed, I know our fans are disappointed. Got every right to be.”
Baylor: After coming oh-so-close a handful of times, the Bears ensured they would win at least one game this season. Their start had been the worst in 48 years, and had made those memorable seasons under former coach Art Briles, well, nothing more than a distant memory.
Kansas: It’s less than a week until basketball season starts.
SALUTE TO SERVICE
The Jayhawks wore uniforms inspired by the Civil War era as part of military appreciation day. A new class of cadets was sworn in during a timeout in the second half, and an armored personnel carrier was parked near the south end zone of Memorial Stadium.
YES, YOUR HONOR
The Jayhawks inducted defensive tackle Gilbert Brown, who starred from 1989-92 before embarking on an NFL career, into their ring of honor. They also honored the 1992 Aloha Bowl team at halftime.
Baylor plays Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas next Saturday.
Kansas hits the road to face Texas next Saturday night.