College Football Game of the Week: Texas vs. No. 13 Baylor
This weekend, we have a classic Big 12 rivalry, as the Texas Longhorns head up to Waco to take on the Baylor Bears. Texas has dominated this series historically, as the Longhorns lead the all-time series 78-26-4, including four straight victories. However, these two teams have followed opposite paths to this point in the season. Baylor has been one of the nation’s surprises thus far, going 9-1, while Texas has been very disappointing. The preseason No. 10 team in the nation has struggled its way to a 6-4 season and a spot outside the top 25.
The Baylor passing offense, up to par with the usual Big 12 standards, is very strong. Charlie Brewer leads the attack through the air with north of 2,500 pass yards and 18 touchdowns. He will need to make use of the star duo of Denzel Mims and Tyquan Thornton in order to best utilize his arm power against the Longhorns.
Texas’ pass defense has been atrocious up to this point in the season and has played a big part in the Longhorns’ underperformance, ranking No. 125 in pass yards per game, allowing 305 yards through the air on average. Baylor needs to expose this weakness to secure a statement win this Saturday.
The rushing attack for Baylor has been more of a by-committee attack, and this nicely compliments the strong passing game. Upperclassmen John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty have recorded over 500 yards each, and both have four touchdowns. Though the passing game will be the key, a strong rushing game will also be important in keeping the Texas defense honest.
The Texas rush defense is not nearly as much of a weakness as the pass defense, but it is nothing to write home about either. Linebacker Joeseph Ossai has been the workhorse for the Texas defense with seven tackles for loss and two sacks. He will need to lead this defense against one of the tougher offenses that the Longhorns have seen all year.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Texas passing offense has been very potent, as it ranks No. 13 in total passing yards per game. Dual-threat QB Sam Ehlinger has been the reason that Texas boasts this highly ranked passing offense. With over 3,300 yards and 32 total touchdowns, Ehlinger presents a challenge that the Baylor defense is going to have to stop in order to win this game.
All in all, the Baylor offense is too pass-heavy for the depleted Texas secondary. Texas is going to need to have a complete turnaround in the secondary for this game to stay close. It’s hard to see that happening.
Prediction: Baylor 41, Texas 27
Caleb Schweiger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.