WACO, Texas — Typically, with a new head coach, a college football team would hold its first scrimmage during spring practice.
But, as Baylor began building its new-look program under first-year head coach Dave Aranda, COVID-19 meant no spring practice and the weirdest off-season college football has ever seen.
Aranda finally got to see his team scrimmage Saturday, three weeks ahead of his first game as a collegiate head coach on Sept. 12.
"It's much more game-like," Aranda said after the scrimmage. "It gives the opportunity for our players to play through some things."
It's the first chance Aranda has also had to evaluate his team on how they handle good plays, bad plays, substitution and momentum.
"What's next when something good happens, something bad happens and there's a wave coming over a particular sideline, either offense or defense," Aranda said. "Hey can we stop this momentum and can we turn it around? And I think the more competitive, the more contested, the more animated and the more excited the practices the better."
Aranda continued to say a practice like that is important, especially when a program makes a coaching change.
But more than that, he's seeing continued development in the offensive line, saying the edge that position needs on the field is coming in nicely under renowned offensive line coach Joe Wickline.
Throughout camp, senior quarterback Charlie Brewer has also impressed the new coach with his leadership in the new offense under Baylor's new offensive coordinator, Larry Fedora.
"He knows we're going to be pretty good," Aranda said.
The Bears plan to scrimmage again as fall camp continues, Aranda said, leading up to their season opener. Baylor plays its lone non-conference game Sept. 12 against Louisiana Tech.
That kick time at McLane Stadium in Waco has not yet been announced.