The hits keep coming for the winless Baylor football team as junior punter Drew Galitz is out for the season with a knee injury suffered against Kansas State on Saturday in Manhattan.
Galitz, who also handles kickoffs for the Bears, suffered the noncontact injury on the opening kickoff against the Wildcats. He ranks second in the Big 12 with a 45.2-yard average on 21 punts.
Connor Martin, Baylor’s field goal kicker, stepped in for Galitz and averaged 42 yards on three punts against Kansas State. However, Baylor coach Matt Rhule said he didn’t know yet if Martin or Peter Webster will handle punts and kickoffs in Galitz’s absence in upcoming games.
The loss of Galitz was another blow for the Bears after wide receiver Chris Platt and defensive end Xavier Jones went down with potential season-ending injuries the previous week against Oklahoma.
With their 33-20 loss to Kansas State, the Bears fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1978. Baylor’s next game will be against No. 15 Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in Stillwater, and will be televised on FS1.
Rhule hopes to use the bye week to polish some areas before the Bears hit the midway point of the season against the Cowboys.
“When you’re playing young kids, they have to grow up,” Rhule said. “This week is a good time to make sure we’re doing everything to help us win. When you don’t have a game, the staff and the players can do some soul searching and say ‘Are we doing the right things?’”
Rhule wants to see the Bears continue to become a tougher team that will play more consistently from start to finish. After trailing Kansas State 20-3 in a lackluster first half, the Bears played with much more energy in the second half, and had a chance to win in the fourth quarter.
“After the first half, we made the decision that we’re going to fight, and we have to continue to push and grow that toughness,” Rhule said. “We’d like to get a little rested up this week and make sure we become a tougher team.”
The Bears will work to improve their offensive line after finishing with 84 yards rushing against the Wildcats, including 74 on a third-quarter touchdown run by freshman John Lovett.
Sam Tecklenburg, who moved from guard to starting center for the last three games, made a crucial mistake with a high snap over quarterback Zach Smith’s head late in the third quarter that led to a Kansas State touchdown to open the fourth quarter.
“Sam has probably beaten himself up a little because of that snap, but there are a lot of plays in the football game,” Rhule said. “Sam has gone back and forth between center and guard, and he’s certainly getting better. We’re not dominating the line of scrimmage the way we can. I do think the offensive line is getting better, but to play a physical team like Kansas State, you have to get better play from the offensive line and tight end.”
Rhule said sophomore running back JaMycal Hasty has a chance to play against Oklahoma State after going down with a knee injury in the season opener against Liberty.
Baylor freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer made his first appearance against Kansas State as he lost a yard on his only run in the second quarter. Rhule said he was trying to give the Wildcats a different look with Brewer’s running skills.
“We wanted to get Charlie in there for a couple of plays because we’re going to need him at some point,” Rhule said. “We want to get him into games here and there, so when his number is called he’ll have some snaps and be ready to play.”