The Baylor Bears will host the Stephen F. Austin State Lumberjacks at McLane Stadium on Saturday in each team’s 2019 college football season opener.
The game (7 p.m. ET start time) won’t be on regular TV anywhere, but you can watch it live right here on ESPN+, the digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage of dozens of college football games and other live sports every week, all the 30-for-30 documentaries and additional original content (both video and written) all for $4.99 per month.
You can sign up for ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch Baylor vs SFA live on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the ESPN app.
Stephen F Austin vs Baylor Preview
Baylor snuck into bowl season with a 6-6 record in 2018, then bested Vanderbilt 45-38 in the Texas Bowl.
It was the Bears’ second year under head coach Matt Rhule; they went 1-11 in 2017.
“We welcome Stephen F. Austin here and I’m excited to get the games going,” Rhule said on Monday, according to 247Sports. “I thought we had a great preseason. Guys worked really hard. I think we’ve built a solid team around some great leaders and I think we’re at the point now where we have to go out there and compete and see what kind of football team we have.”
Baylor ranked 22nd out of 130 FBS team with 459.1 yards per game a season ago, but scored 29.5 points per contest, ranking 63rd. The Bears defense surrendered 424.9 yards and 31.2 points per contest, ranking 77th and 87th.
“[The players have] been tough,” Rhule said, per 247Sports. “They’ve worked really hard, they’ve been competitive and we’ve eliminated distractions. There has been tremendous competition. And I think the biggest thing is we’re trying to add in discipline on the field.”
He added: “We came out of camp healthy. Some of the young guys have some things, but for our vets, we came out of camp really, really healthy. And I would expect that all our guys will be ready to play this week.”
The Bears will go up against a Stephen F. Austin squad that went 2-8 under interim head coach Jeff Byrd a season ago.
Over the offseason, SFA hired Colby Carthel away from Division II’s Texas A&M–Commerce to helm the program, and he brought with him offensive coordinator Matt Storm and defensive coordinator Scott Power.
“Coach Carthel is a loyal guy and he brought staff with him. And so what I’ll say is they’re unbelievably well coached,” Rhule said, per 247Sports. “I mean they are well put together and they know exactly what they’re doing and they present all kinds of problems both offensively, defensively and special teams wise. I tried to convince him to come work for us a couple years ago and I’ve talked to him, I think he’s just a great coach and his staff is a great staff.”
The Lumberjacks scored just 18.1 points per game in 2018, surrendering 33.3 points per contest.
“The reality is, we’ve got a tough job ahead of us,” Carthel said, according to The Pine Log. “It’s an uphill climb, but we’re going to put our best foot forward every single day.”
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