McLane Stadium debuts in grand style
Baylor football cruised to a 45-0 win over SMU in Sunday night’s McLane Stadium opener — just the second shutout Mustangs coach June Jones has suffered in his 15+ years as a collegiate head coach. But that wasn’t even the best part of the night; the highlight, naturally, was the celebration surrounding the debut of the 10th-ranked Bears’ new home on the Brazos.
Tailgating (on campus!), sailgating, the RG3 statue dedication, and of course the new stadium itself… Add in the win to cap off the day, and #McLaneKickoff was a success in practically every way.
[FOLLOW THE DAY through @BaylorProud's Twitter feed, with photos, videos & more.]
Boats packed the nearby harbor by mid morning, 10+ hours before kickoff, and that number only grew throughout the day. Fans spent the day tailgating on both sides of the river (and sailgating inbetween), occasionally taking a break to find their bricks along the Bear Walk or take selfies along the Umphrey Bridge, with the stadium as a grand backdrop. Judging by the number of fans still outside after kickoff (and the lack of empty seats inside the stadium), a good number of Bears without tickets chose to come tailgate and follow the game from the surrounding grounds.
Baylor President Ken Starr, Director of Athletics Ian McCaw and Robert Griffin III himself unveiled the RG3 statue in mid-afternoon. Texas Governor Rick Perry and former U.S. President George W. Bush were among the many dignitaries in attendance, with the Governor presenting a Texas flag to Judge Starr and President Bush handing the coin toss. City officials and the McLane Stadium Founders were honored at halftime, shortly after RG3 guest-conducted the band and took a selfie with the Baylor Line.
[LINKS: Photos -- pregame, in-game action & an overview of the day || Waco Tribune-Herald story, photos & video from the day || USA Today's time-lapse video follows Briles through the Bear Walk || ESPN highlights]
Whether you were among the 45,000+ who packed the house today or following along from home, today was a special day for all of Baylor Nation. This a home to be proud of, Bears.
Sic ’em, Baylor football and McLane Stadium!