Shehan Jeyarajah, BearsIllustrated Contributor, Lariat Sports Editor, and DMN Baylor Blog Writer
Baylor will be missing plenty of pieces, but FCS opponent Northwestern State has no means of attacking any of the weaknesses. One week ago, NSU got into a shootout with Missouri State and allowed them to score 34 points and accumulate over 400 yards. This week? A lineup of Baylor backups will be enough to overwhelm NSU on both sides of the ball. The Demons will have no means of coping with Baylor's dominance on the line of scrimmage, severely limiting offensive opportunity. Defensively, Seth Russell could have a field day.
Score: Bears win 66-0
James Holloway, BearsIllustrated Contributor
It seems like the Bears can't go a week without a new injury occurring, this past week it was starting QB and Heisman hopeful Bryce Petty, All-American WR Antwan Goodley, Senior WR and punt returner Levi Norwood, and redshirt sophomore RB Devin Chafin's turn for the injury bug to bite them. So the Bears are seemingly going to send out Seth Russell to start his first collegiate game and play his first meaningful minutes as a Baylor's QB. Look for the Bears to use a watered down offensive playbook, that will probably greatly resemble the offense of RGIII's sophomore year. I believe that the Bears will run the ball a lot and will have three players over 100 yds rushing, Russell, Linwood, and Jefferson. Russell will throw a couple of pics, but will have more TDs than turnovers, including a long bomb to KD Cannon. In the Second half Baylor fans will get to see redshirt freshman QB Chris Johnson get his first extended play at QB and will show off his arm strength and improved mechanics. Meanwhile, the Baylor Defense will be just as stout as last week, but will not have a shutout this week.
Score: Bears win 48-3
Kevin Barrera, BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Recruiting Analyst
The Bears enter this game against Northwestern State a wounded group. With the news of Levi Norwood out for 3 weeks, the Bears have lost 6 of their top offensive playmakers. While this is inconvenient from a chemistry stand point, it does give Baylor fans a glimpse in to the future as Seth Russell, Johnny Jefferson, KD Cannon, and Davion Hall will get plenty of play time. The non-conference scheduled was a strong talking point in the summer, but it the weak non-conference schedule is seemingly a blessing now. Look for Coach Briles to change up the playbook and use more zone-read and quick passing plays to slow things down a bit for Russell. The defense will continue its dominance, which will take some pressure off of the offense, and the Bears will roll in their second game at the new McLane Stadium.
Score: Bears win 45-7
Tim Watkins, BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Publisher
The three times these two teams have played, the Bears have routed the Demons by roughly a score of 55-10. This Baylor team is by far the best that the Demons have seen, and it really isn’t even close. Northwestern State is an average FCS team, and they are playing a Top-10 Bears team, even though Baylor is weakened by the injuries at quarterback and wide receiver. The Bears will run the ball, run it a lot, and run it effectively. I am expecting 350+ rushing yards and 2 Bears over 100 yards rushing on the game. Defensively, the Bears are coming off of one of the best defensive performances ever seen in Waco, and especially the best in this century. The Demons are not as good offensively as SMU, though they might be more effective Saturday than anything the Mustangs could do (which was pretty much nothing). Look for the Bears rushing attack to really explode in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and set a few McLane Stadium records for yards and points.
Score: Bears win 66-3