Bears and Red Raiders Face Off

Two wins away from their second consecutive Big 12 title, the Bears go on the road up I-35 to face off against Texas Tech in Arlington. What do the Bears need to do to keep their Big 12 title dreams alive?

The Baylor Bears and the Texas Tech Red Raiders meet this Saturday afternoon in Arlington, TX at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears come into the game with hopes of at least a share of a second consecutive Big 12 title, while the Red Raiders are looking to finish their year.

The Red Raiders have one of the worst defenses in the Big 12, allowing the 3rd most points per game in college football at 40.6 points. They allow the 5th most yards rushing per game at 259.91 yards and over 5.2 yards per rush. Their pass defense is 96th in the nation at 249.6 yards per game passing. This is a team that has played awful defense for most of the year, and has gotten worse the past few weeks. The Red Raiders fired their defensive coordinator early in the season, and rumors have spread that their defense signals were shared with the opposition. Needless to say, nothing has gone right for the Red Raiders on that side of the ball.

Offensively, they have struggled with turnovers and penalties, but have had a much better rushing attack than the “Air-Raid” offense has shown in the past. With a 1,000 yard rusher to their credit, and some good depth in the back-field, this is an offensive attack that can move the ball on the ground or through the air.

MEDIA INFORMATION
Matchup 5/6/7 BAYLOR (9-1, 6-1) vs. NR/NR/NR TEXAS TECH (4-7, 2-6)
Date Sat., Nov. 29 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Location Arlington, Texas | AT&T Stadium (80,000)
TV ABC
Radio ESPN Central Texas | Sirius 117 | XM 199
Online Audio Listen Online
Live Stats Gametracker
Gameday Info Gameday Central
Ticket Info Tickets
Game Notes Baylor Notes | Texas Tech Notes
Twitter @BUFootball

Fun Stats of the Game

-Baylor has won 10 of its last 13 games played outside of Waco and is 5-4 at neutral sites under Art Briles.

-With a win, the Bears could even up the all-time series at 36-36-1.

-This is the 6th consecutive season for the Bears and Red Raiders to meet at a neutral field, 5th at Cowboy Stadium (now AT&T Stadium) and 1 at the Cotton Bowl.

-Baylor has won the last three matchups in this series

-The Bears have scored at least 50 points in each of the last three meetings (66, 52, and 63)

-The Bears have won the last three games by an average margin of 20 points

Key Matchups

-Baylor WRs versus Texas Tech Defensive Backs

This strength on weakness for the Bears and Red Raiders. The Bears have one of the most talented wide receiver groups in the nation. They are fast, agile, and can make all of the plays. Led by seniors Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood with Corey Coleman taking a larger role throughout the season, the Bears are at their strongest in a 4 or 5 wide receiver set.

Tech meanwhile might not have 4 or even 5 healthy cornerbacks for the game Saturday. Their depth has been annihilated late in the season at the safety spot, having to turn to a junior walk-on to take on a large role late in the Iowa State win last week. This is a secondary led by true freshman and walk-ons. The Bears should have a massive advantage in this area.

-Baylor Linebackers versus Texas Tech Running Backs

Led by Deandre Washington, the Red Raiders have some good talent in the backfield next to quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb. Washington is a big-play running back, who can hurt you out of the back-field. He averages 6 yards per carry, but that is carried by his big-play ability. He is the type of running back that will average 3 yards for his first 10 carries and then break a big 45 yarder on you.

His backup is Justin Stockton, a freshman out of San Antonio. Stockton is a bigger back, but might be an ever bigger big-play threat. He leads the team in rushing touchdowns and averages 8.25 yards per carry. The Baylor linebackers, Bryce Hager, Taylor Young, Collin Brence and Aiavion Edwards, will have to play great football in the open field. The Red Raiders will pass to set up the run, so the linebackers can’t get caught thinking pass on every down.

Analytical Breakdown

FEI Rank

11

88

F/+ Rank

10

105

S&P+ Rank

10

82

GE Rank

3

105

Sagarin

3

67

Massey

4

69

RealTime RPI

7

97

Team Rankings Rank

2

79

Average

6.25

86.50

The Bears are big favorites for the second week in a row, as they have risen into the Top-7 of rankings overall, while the Red Raiders are in the mid-80s on average. Texas Tech’s four wins this year have come against Central Arkansas, UTEP, Kansas and Iowa State. Those four teams have combined to win 9 FBS games on the year. This is a team that came into the year on the fringes of the Top-25 and have fallen like a stone throughout the season. The Bears meanwhile have risen back up to contention ever since their loss to West Virginia and are now solidly back in the Top-10.

Keys to the Game

1. Keep the Pedal Down – Look, the Texas Tech defense is not good at all right now. They are one of the worst run defenses in college football, and injuries have depleted their defensive secondary to a shell of itself. They are playing with backups, true freshman and walk-ons. This is a bad defense in every phase, and the results have shown that the last few weeks. The Bears should be able to move the ball with ease against the Red Raiders. The question should not be how good the Bears can be Saturday on offense, but how long they want to be great?

With possible the best offense in the nation going against one of the worst defenses in the country, the Bears will score points. They can’t settle for field goals and can’t help the Red Raiders out. They need to keep attacking and keep being aggressive at least until the game in no longer in doubt. Honestly, I hope the Bears keep attacking the entire game, but Coach Briles has been known to call off the dogs early to not embarrass anyone.

2. Survive Texas Tech’s Bowl Game – The Red Raiders have no official bowl game this year, as they only have 4 wins so far in 2014 with just 1 game to go. This is the last game of the season for the Red Raiders, so they will be treating this as their “bowl-game”. They even get to go on a little road trip and play on a neutral field. This is their big-game, one against a long-time conference and in-state rival. A game against a team that has beaten them up pretty well the last few years. A game where they have nothing to lose, so why hold anything back. The Bears will be playing against a cornered animal that is desperate with nothing to lose.

Last year, the Bears saw that same type of game against a TCU team playing out the string. Mind you, that was a much more talented Horned Frogs team (as we see from their play this year) and it was in Fort Worth. This can be a tricky game for some teams. The Bears just have to have that mindset that this is a team willing to do and try anything.

3. Don’t get caught look ahead - Look, let’s be real honest here. The Bears have a huge game next week, with Kansas State coming to Waco. With a win this week, that game is for the Big 12 championship. A 4-7 team that has not played well all year stands in their way. It would be very easy to mark this one in the win column even before it has been played. That is the way you get beat though. The Bears have to beat Tech before they can even have a chance to play for the Big 12 title. This is a dangerous offense, and as we have said before, they will come into this game with nothing to lose. The Bears can’t take this one for granted and just mark it up as a win and move on mentally to Kansas State. They have work to do in Arlington Saturday afternoon.

Predictions

Massey Ratings – Bears win 52-29

RealTime RPI – Bears win 45-7

TeamRankings.com – Bears win 52-28

Staff Predictions COMING SOON!


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