Baylor welcomes TCU To McLane Stadium

The Biggest game in the Big 12, even bigger than the Red River Rivalry between OU and UT. The Bears and Horned Frogs get together for the first time ever as two Top-10 teams.

For the first time in 110 meetings, the Baylor Bears and TCU Horned Frogs will get together as two Top-10 ranked teams. In the previous 109 meetings, the team share an identical 51-51-7 record, which is absolutely astonishing on so many levels. You literally cannot get more even in a long-standing game between two teams. TCU rocketed up the polls due to their upset victory over Oklahoma Saturday, and are looking for their 2nd Top-10 upset of the year.

MEDIA INFORMATION
Matchup 5/3 BAYLOR (5-0, 2-0) vs. 9/12 TCU (4-0, 1-0)
Date Sat., Oct. 11 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Location Waco, Texas | McLane Stadium (45,140)
TV ABC
Radio ESPN Central Texas | Sirius 91 | XM 91
Online Audio Listen Online
Live Stats Gametracker
Gameday Info Gameday Central
Ticket Info Tickets
Game Notes Baylor Notes |TCU Notes
Twitter @BUFootball

Fun Stats of the Game

-Baylor has won 12 straight games at home, and is 6-0 at home against the AP Top 25 the last two years

-The Bears have won 16-straight games played in the state of Texas

-Baylor is 21-1 in home games since 2011, with the lone loss coming against TCU is 2012

-TCU will be playing back-to-back games against Top-5 teams for the first time in school history

-Under Head Coach Gary Patterson, TCU is 15-14 against ranked opponents and 7-8 against Top-10 ranked teams

-The TCU offense is the most improved unit in the nation in yards per game from 2013 (+171.4 yards per game)

Key Matchups

-Baylor Running Backs against TCU Defensive Front

The Bears rushing game is linked to everything they want to do offensively. Texas put just 5 or even 6 men in the box and did a solid job in thee first half of slowing down the Baylor rushing attack. Against Oklahoma, TCU focused primarily on stopping the run, doing run blitzes and other defensive fronts designed to slow down the Sooner rushing attack. This plan did work to slow the run down, but it allowed quite a few big plays down field in the passing game.

With a much more explosive passing attack in Waco, the plan will probably change to something more similar to what the Bears saw last week against Texas. The Longhorns dropped their safeties deep and gave the Baylor offense looks that suggested a run play would be effective. This worked well for Texas, as their defensive front slowed down the Bears rushing attack very well in the first half, until tiring in the 2nd half.

The Bears will have to be much more effective running the ball against those run-friendly defensive fronts to try and force the Frogs into committing more players to the run game, thus allowing better play action and passing opportunities down the field.

-Baylor Linebackers versus Trevone Boykin

With Aiavion Edwards possibly out for this game, the Baylor end of this matchup is questionable from the start. Edwards has been a great asset to the Baylor defense, using his speed to track down ball carriers from sideline-to-sideline. In his place could be Taylor Young, a red-shirt freshman who has made a big impact in a reserve role so far in 2014, especially on blitzes. However, to say the Bears won't lose something with Edwards being out is incorrect. Not only will his loss hurt them in their base defense, but when they go to their 3-4 front, they will have to go father down the depth chart for that 4th linebacker, which has been Young.

The Baylor defense struggled with Iowa State QB Sam Richardson, especially on scramble plays. Boykin is faster than Richardson, and more explosive in the open field, though I don't know if he is as good of an overall running threat. Boykin can the jets on fast, especially if the Baylor defense struggles to contain him, as they failed to do several times against Iowa State, and even Texas. Boykin is their best run threat in the backfield, so the Bears defensive assignments will need to be sound all-around to to keep him contained as much as possible.

Analytical Breakdown

FEI Rank

19

3

F/+ Rank

9

7

S&P+ Rank

6

11

GE Rank

2

7

Sagarin

5

7

Massey

6

13

RealTime RPI

4

17

Team Rankings Rank

2

12

Average

6.63

9.63

This is by far the best team the Baers will have seen in 2014. If you were to have taken a look at TCU's ranks last week though, they would be been higher than Texas, but no where near the Top-10 ranking they see now. Such is the benefit of a Top-5 upset early in the schedule. The Horned Frogs are actually ranked higher than Baylor in two of the metrics, but trail overall by 3-spots.

Keys to the Game

1. Get Bryce Petty Comfortable

Make no mistake about it, Bryce Petty looked bad against Texas. He was uncomfortable in the pocket, though the pressure was not too bad at times. He was quick with his throws and was errant on way too many easy targets. If Petty plays like that against TCU, the Bears will lose for the 2nd time at home to TCU in three seasons. Baylor has to get Petty into a good rhythm and mindset with some simple throws that are in his comfort zone. The Bears did not try and stretch the field too much against Texas, but could have more success against a TCU defense that isn't as strong as Texas in the defensive backfield.

2. Win the "BIG" Plays

The big plays in this one should be pretty frequent, on either side of the ball for both teams. This not only includes the all-important turnover battle (which could be a key in every game, but man would that be boring), but also the game-changing type plays (like Baylor's blocked field goal for a touchdown, or TCU's interception returned for a touchdown). Both teams thrive on big plays, with the Bears offense and the Frogs defense being the usual candidates to supply them. The team that can edge the other in terms of the big plays it produces should have a massive advantage.

3. Be Ready for "stuff"

Yes, this is generic, but this is a rivalry game. There will be "stuff" like Gary Patterson making a scene, and probably a lot more talking after the whistle and some late hits. The Bears did an okay job against Texas of limiting the negative stuff, outside of a careless penalty by Orion Stewart. You can only imagine that the feisty Frogs, with two years of bad Big-12 energy ready to take out on the Bears, will bring everything they have to Waco. TCU Coach Gary Patterson has said they could have some trick or gadget plays ready for Baylor, something they did on a few occasions against OU. The Bears have to be ready to handle their emotions and the "stuff" that TCU tries to win this game.

Predictions

Massey Ratings – Bears win 38-28

RealTime RPI – Bears win 43-29

TeamRankings.com – Bears win 36-21

Staff Predictions COMING SOON!


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