Baylor at Texas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Bears and Longhorns.
Baylor at Texas Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 29 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
Baylor remains one of the unsolved mysteries of college football in 2016, the result of playing a first-half schedule largely against overmatched competition. The Bears have used that soft slate to start 6-0 and rise all the way up to No. 8 in the latest AP Poll. But what does anyone really know about the ultimate ceiling of Jim Grobe’s first team in Waco? More answers will come this week in Austin against a wounded Texas team that’s lost four of the last five as its coach, Charlie Strong, deals with a tenuous future. The Horns fell below .500 with last week’s loss to Kansas State, and they still must play the Big 12’s two highest rated teams.
What To Know About Baylor
All of the numbers look sterling, from 44 points per game to the league’s best scoring defense. Again, what does it all mean when not a single ranked team has been faced? The Bears’ best opponent so far has been Oklahoma State, which they defeated at home, 35-24. Baylor also had to scramble earlier this month against 1-6 Iowa State, rallying behind quarterback Seth Russell and running back Shock Linwood for a 45-42 victory. The defense is the biggest unknown in Waco, flying around the field with undersized playmakers, yet really laboring to stop the Cyclones three weeks ago.
What to Know About Texas
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to read the tea leaves on Texas, which was led by Sterlin Gilbert’s offense in the early going, but has had problems scoring the past two weeks. D’Onta Foreman is a constant on the ground, and quarterback Shane Buechele keeps maturing. However, the attack is misfiring on third downs. To its credit, the defense has been picking up more of the slack since Strong began calling plays. Still, playing Iowa State and Kansas State isn’t the best simulation for Baylor’s playmakers, like Linwood, running back Terence Williams and wideout KD Cannon.
Offense: Baylor. Texas is pretty good, but the Bears have the veteran quarterback and superior depth at the skill positions.
Defense: Baylor. Until proven otherwise, the nod goes to the Bears, which lead the Big 12 in pass efficiency defense and are No. 3 nationally in yards per play allowed.
Special Teams: Baylor. Texas is once again having issues on special teams. Baylor boasts dangerous return men and strong-legged punter Drew Galitz.
Coaching: Push. This category belonged to the Bears before Art Briles’ ouster. Both teams feature up-and-coming offensive coordinators, Texas’ Gilbert and Baylor’s Kendal Briles.
Intangibles: Baylor. The Bears have the greater motivation, for protecting the perfect season and for exacting revenge for last year’s loss to the Horns.
Matchup To Watch
The Baylor O-line vs. the Texas pass rush
So far, so good on the new-look Bear offensive line, which has surrendered the second fewest sacks in the nation. However, the Longhorns rank second in the Big 12 with 25 sacks, spearheaded by Breckyn Hager and Naashon Hughes, who line up at the hybrid Fox position.
Baylor at Texas Betting Odds
Spread: Baylor -3
Over/Under: No line as of post
Baylor at Texas Prediction
Texas is once again trending in the wrong direction, and at a bad time to be hosting well-rested Baylor. This isn’t the same Bear team from the height of the Briles era, but Baylor is still loaded with diverse skill talent that’s going to be a handful for the inconsistent Longhorn defense. And while the Bears’ defensive numbers are being overstated by poor competition, Phil Bennett is coaching a group that has the speed and tenacity, particularly in the back seven, to force Buechele into questionable decisions and costly turnovers.
Baylor at Texas Score Prediction: Baylor 37, Texas 28