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Baylor vs. TCU -- GAME DAY -- Notes, Links, TV Schedule, Game Time

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The day we've been waiting a year for is finally here!

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
at
7/7/10 BAYLOR (9–1, 6–1) at 15/16/18 TCU (9–2, 6–2)
Nov. 27, 2015 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Fort Worth, Texas | Amon G. Carter Stadium (45,000)

TV: ESPN
Watch | Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes

OPPONENT: TCU Horned Frogs
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs 2015
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor vs. TCU
FIRST LOOK: Baylor vs. TCU
OURDAILYPODCAST:
w/ Amy Pagitt!
PREDICT THE SCORE:
Baylor vs. TCU
ADVANCED STATS POST:
Baylor vs. TCU
SB NATION BLOG: Frogs O’ War, at right
SPREAD: Baylor –1.5 (Open: PK)
TV COVERAGE: ESPN, 6:30 p.m. CST Friday
WEATHER FORECAST: Cold, wet, & windy, high of 60° (wunderground puts) game time temp at 47°)
BAYLOR UNIFORM: WHITE-GREY-WHITE

The Big News:

Sophomore QB Chris Johnson will make the first start of his Baylor career today in a game that will be cold, rainy, and ultimately a ground-and-pound battle.  Johnson will be asked to lead the high-flying Baylor offense into Fort Worth against a team that would love nothing more than to play the spoiler here and end any chance at a third-straight Big 12 title OR the College Football Playoff.

On the other side, we have to assume at this point that Trevone Boykin will play considering he missed the last game and has apparently practiced all week.  How well he will play coming off the injury and without WR Josh Doctson is an open question and almost impossible to predict.

At this point, the weather report has the game time temperature around 41 degrees and falling throughout the game, with rain continuing throughout the day today before lessening up a bit as the game gets going.  Relatively strong winds (about 15 mph) will be out of the north virtually all day, and those winds will not be obstructed by Amon G. Carter's structure because of the NW-SE alignment of the field.

Oh, and it's a grass field that has been getting near-constant rain since about this time yesterday.  It's going to get NASTY out there, is what I'm saying. After about a quarter, we may not know whether we're playing in a football stadium or the Stockyards.

Advanced Stats:

Take a gander while you've got a chance over at Peter's Advanced Stats post this week. I'll give you the highlights below.

Category

Baylor (9-1)

TCU (8-2)

EDGE

Overall F/+ Rk 7 (44.9%)
17 (31.5%)
Baylor
Overall FEI Rk 8 (.195)
15 (.159)
EVEN
Overall S&P+ Rk 6 (18.7)
23 (11.8)
Baylor
Field Position Advantage 65
39
Frogs

These stats are remarkably similar to those from last week against Oklahoma State, which had Baylor favored slightly in the advanced stats but the home field potentially making a difference.  It didn't end up playing out that way because of the way Baylor's defense performed on the road, but the stats would have this game looking similar, at least at the start.

Thoughts on the Game:

I really do feel like the outcome of this game will be all or mostly dependent on which team runs the ball most effectively.  With relatively strong winds (at least strong enough to make a difference), a drenched field made of natural grass, and rain likely during the game itself, we're probably not going to see a lot of aerial fireworks.  That plays directly into Baylor's favor due to our running game, offensive line, and defensive line, and it could help limit the impact that having Boykin back could have for TCU.

  • Stop Trevone Boykin's Legs: If things play out as I expect and the passing games are less of a factor due to the weather, TCU will have to rely on Aaron Green and Trevone Boykin to move the ball on the ground.  Green is a solid runner that can make us pay if we don't control the line of scrimmage, but he doesn't scare me the same way a healthy Boykin would or does.  It will be interesting to see if any lingering effects from his ankle injury limit his production/ability.
  • Make Things Easy for Chris Johnson: We all saw how Chris' heroics last week coming off the bench.  I don't expect things to be as easy for him this week, even after practicing/preparing as the #1 starter.  Whatever you think about him, Gary Patterson is a terrific defensive coach who has probably devoted the last five days of his life to complicating that of Chris Johnson, and my guess is that he'll succeed at least somewhat.  To counteract that, we need to make things as easy for him as possible with a strong running game and easy reads.
  • Start Quickly: Baylor plays its best games when it starts fast and never looks back, putting pressure on the opposing team to keep up.  If we can get out on TCU tonight in bad conditions, we can change the entire complexion of the game.
  • Run the Dang Ball: I'm including this one to highlight the significant mismatch between Baylor's rushing offense and TCU's rushing defense.  Baylor has the #4 rushing offense by success rate, meaning we rarely move backwards on running plays, and TCU has the #69 defense by the same metric.  The numbers are about the same in power success rate, but stuff rate is where you see things really take off.  There, Baylor is the #3 team in the country whereas TCU is a lowly #117.  That will be tremendously important.

With all of TCU's injuries and the way the weather is likely to impact this game, I like Baylor to keep things moving forward on the road and end the regular season with a perfect road record for the first time under Art Briles.  The absence of center Joey Hunt, in particular, will be dearly felt by the Frogs as they try to keep Andrew Billings out of the backfield on every play.

My Prediction: Baylor 42, TCU 31.

LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS:

Baylor vs. TCU: Time, live stream, TV schedule and 3 things to know - SBNation.com
This is the Texas battle we've been looking forward to all season.

Baylor Bears, TCU Horned Frogs meet again on Black Friday - College Football Nation Blog- ESPN
Last season's 61-58 slugfest will be hard to top, but both Baylor and TCU still have much at stake as they meet Friday night.

Carlton: A lot must happen for Baylor to make the playoff, beating TCU would be a start | Dallas Morning News
Breaking down what No. 7 Baylor needs to happen to get back into the College Football Playoff hunt:
-Baylor must beat No. 19 TCU on Friday
-No. 11 Oklahoma State must knock off No. 3 Oklahoma.
-No. 9 Stanford defeats No. 6 Notre Dame on Saturday.
-Preferably, either No. 4 Iowa (Nebraska) or No. 5 Michigan State (Penn State)

College football: No love loss for Baylor and TCU - South Bend Tribune: Football
FORT WORTH, Texas — Both No. 7 Baylor and No. 15 TCU are banged up, with injuries to key players and coming off recent losses that kept their much-anticipated rematch from being the de facto Big 12 championship game many had expected.

Hate, vandalism and Big 12 titles: Inside the ancient feud, bad blood between Baylor and TCU | Dallas Morning News
Feel the disdain Friday night in Fort Worth when TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears gather in the name of football. This is the 111th meeting between the programs, moreover it's the rematch that's been anticipated since Baylor's 61-58 comeback victory last year in Waco.

Best College Football Bets: Easy picks on Baylor-TCU and Bedlam - CBSSports.com
Jerry Palm is back with his best college football bets for Friday and Saturday, college football's Rivalry Weekend. From Baylor-TCU to Bedlam, you may want to listen to the man who's on a roll.

Everything you possibly need to know about rivalry week, from the Iron Bowl to Bedlam - SBNation.com
Your team's got something special to play for, whether it's a national title shot and state bragging rights or just the chance to end your season on a winning note. Here's the guide to every game, with stats and emojis.

How Week 13's changing the College Football Playoff rankings picture, updated all weekend - SBNation.com
Notes on what each committee-ranked team is up to this rivalry weekend, updated as each goes final. All times ET, all games Saturday unless noted.

What rivalry? Bears treating TCU normally (so they say) - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
The Baylor players sound like a well rehearsed choir when they say there’s nothing special about playing TCU.

How the Bears match up vs. TCU - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
Baylor offense vs. TCU defense

TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS

That's what we call the "smart money" coming in.