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3 Things To Watch: Baylor-TCU

NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas Christian Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Terrel Bernard vs. Max Duggan - This is a matchup that will fascinate Big XII fans. On our side you have a linebacker who is making his case to be the defensive player of the year in the conference, while the Horned Frogs have a QB who has shown he can be an elite runner. Max Duggan will make his share of plays, but I’m putting the magic number at 3. The Bears defense cannot allow Duggan to escape what would be a sure tackle for a “backbreaking” play; that could mean being able to throw the ball away instead of taking a big sack, converting a long 3rd down on the ground, or avoiding defenders in the backfield and finding someone deep down the field. Those are momentum changers. If Duggan can make more than 3 of those “backbreaking” plays then the Bears might be in trouble. Last year, Bernard was able to get the better of the two. He intercepted a pass, got a sack that took TCU out of field goal range, and ended up with 19 total tackles.

2.) The Pressure on Charlie Brewer - I’m not sure the Baylor signal caller has had more pressure going into a game than this one. Beyond a few nice drives here and there the offense has struggled. In what some deem to be a practice season for 2021 anyway, and with a couple of young QBs with potential behind him, I think it’s natural for fans to want to see another QB in there. I’m not 100% there yet. I agree that preparing for 2021 should be a priority, but I’m glad that Charlie is still QB1 on the depth chart with a chance to prove he is that guy. Three games into a new offensive system with a decimated offensive line and spotty practice schedule may be a little premature. I’m old enough to remember Charlie bouncing back from his worst career game (West Virginia 2018) and leading the Bears to a comeback victory against Oklahoma State the very next week. If he silences the skeptics this Saturday that bodes well for a Baylor victory.

3.) The BU-TCU Game Atmosphere - I’m wondering if this game will have the same feel as years past. In my opinion the Baylor-TCU rivalry is the 3rd best in the conference, only behind the Red River Shootout and Bedlam. In recent history the game meant something to both teams. There were Big 12 and national implications and the coaches genuinely didn’t seem to care for each other Now, with a combined two wins from both squads and a near empty stadium, will the players come out with the same fire? Which coach will find a way to motivate his team?