Watching every BU game and seeing several of the UT games, along with looking at the statistics, I feel good about us walking out of McLane with a W on Saturday. I won’t drill down into the analytics as I’ll leave that to the guru (and my friend) Travis Roeder. I do see the math is on our side and being a simple Bear, I would like to give you 4 areas our Bears are greater than UT which will equate to a victory for BU.
#1 Baylor’s OL > UT’s DL
Maybe the biggest surprise of the season is how well our offensive line is playing. After 7 games we are the best rushing team in the Big 12, and that’s after facing the top 3 rushing defenses in the conference. We did hit a bump in the 2nd half against ISU and the OSU game. But, we got back on track and ran all over WVU and a ranked BYU team. UT’s rush defense can be taken advantage of as they are just ahead of TCU and KU in defending the run. They are currently giving up 214 yards rushing per game. There should be some nice holes open up for our backs to take advantage of. It could get particularly ugly as we keep the UT D on the field and they become gassed.
#2 Baylor’s D > UT’s O
Admittedly I have respect for UT’s offense, in particular running back Bijan Robinson. They are a high scoring team that definitely gets more than their fair share of yards. Currently they are the top ranked offense in the Big 12. That’s all well and good, but they’re about to face a BU defense that is ranked just behind OSU and ISU defenses. Also, the Bears are 2nd in the Big 12 in sacks and first in interceptions and will get after you. The scariest part of this for the whorns is that defensively we are just hitting our stride. After giving up nice rushing numbers to ISU’s Hall and OSU’s Warren (2 incredible backs), we bounced back and totally shut down all of the WVU rushers and BYU’s Allgeier. Allgeier already has almost 900 yards for the season, but could only muster up 33 against us. Our D should hold down UT enough for our O to outscore the whorns.
#3 Baylor’s RB’s > UT’s RB
No argument that Robinson is a great back and can cause headaches. But, he’s the workhorse for UT. I’ll take our two headed monster of Smith & Ebner over him in this matchup. We probably won’t totally contain Robinson, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a Baylor back is the leading rusher for the game.
#4 Baylor’s QB > UT’s QB
Don’t take it that I’m saying Casey Thompson isn’t a good QB. He is. I think GB will have a better game both passing and rushing. Thompson will be running as well, as he’ll be scrambling for his life from our defenders. I’m very impressed with GB’s arm strength, QB IQ, and game management. He’s seen better defenses and should do well against a UT secondary that is giving up 268 yds per game.
As always, I’ll be dropping my game prediction and score on Friday. See you at McLane!