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Baylor vs. Texas GAME DAY/Open Thread -- Links, Notes, Tweets, Game Time

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Baylor goes for 7-0 in Austin today against our hated neighbors to the south.

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8/6 BAYLOR (6–0, 3–0) at NR/NR Texas (3–4, 1–3)
Oct. 29, 2016 | 2:30 p.m. CT
Austin, Texas | Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119)

TV: ABC
Listen | Gametracker Gametracker | Game Notes Notes

OPPONENT: Texas Longhorns
ODB GAME HUB: Baylor Bears vs. Texas Longhorns 2016
MEET THE PRESS: Baylor @ Texas
FIRST LOOK: Baylor vs. Texas
PODCAST: It's Texas Time!
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Texas Longhorns
MEDIA GUIDE: 2016 Texas Football Media Guide (Click here for roster)
LAST MEETING: 23–17 Texas | ODB Game Hub
LAST GAME: L; K-State 24–21 Texas
SB NATION BLOG: Barking Carnival and Burnt Orange Nation
SPREAD: Baylor –3.5 (Open: Baylor –2)
TV COVERAGE: ABC, 2:30 p.m. CST Saturday
WEATHER FORECAST:
Clear, high of 88° (wunderground puts game time temp at 85°)

SBNation.com Texas Preview
baylorbears.com Preview
Bears vs. Longhorns Coverage

UNIFORM: Grey-white-grey

CHANGES IN AUSTIN?

We won't know for sure how permanent or lasting some of these changes are, but BarkingCarnival is reporting that six different former Texas starters will be riding the bench today, at least when the game start.  Those players:

CB Davante Davis

CB Holton Hill

LB Malik Jefferson

LB Anthony Wheeler

OG Patrick Vahe

WR John Burt

Having not followed the vagaries of Texas's depth chart all that closely in recent weeks, I don't know how much of this is "new" information.  But it seemed worthy of note, regardless.  Of the names listed, the obvious biggest are Malik Jefferson, who spent most of the second half last week against K-State on the bench, and Patrick Vahe, who was one of Texas's best OL early in the season.

ADVANCED STATS:

Category

Baylor (6-0)

Texas (3-4)

EDGE

Overall F/+ Rk 13 (35.7%)
50 (7.0%)
BAYLOR
Overall FEI Rk 18 (.146)
58 (.020)
BAYLOR
Overall S&P+ Rk 11 (17.6)
45 (5.2)
BAYLOR
Field Position Advantage --
-- n/a

Raises a lot of questions about why that 3-point spread isn't bigger.  I don't have a good answer for you other than that Vegas doesn't quite trust the Bears.

THOUGHTS ON THE GAME:

I don't have many.  One of the reasons Baylor may not be a bigger favorite in this game is probably the matchup of Texas's rushing offense, which is obviously very similar to our own in scheme/design, and our rushing defense, arguably the weakest unit on our team.  Texas will attempt to establish the run with D'Onta Foreman early and build on that success to make their true freshman QB more comfortable and give him easy looks. If I was Sterlin Gilbert, I'd pound Baylor with Foreman early and then try to beat us over the top with Devin Duvernay, arguably their best receiving threat already, repeatedly.  Of course, Texas has seen that work before against other teams before intentionally going away from it, so who knows.

Offensively, Baylor will likely have plenty of opportunities for success against a reeling Texas defense that doesn't appear to do anything well except rush the passer, and despite that, they're still 105th on passing downs according to S&P+.  To counter that single threat -- the pass rush -- Baylor will rely on Seth Russell's escapability in the pocket and the running game to keep the offense ahead of schedule and continue to mix things up to confuse an already-hapless Texas defense.

I have tremendous faith that our offense, led by Seth, Shock Linwood, and KD Cannon, will be able to score what should be enough points to beat Texas.  I'm predicting something around 40, maybe more.  What I don't know is how we'll react if we can't stop Texas's own offense, particularly the running game.  If Baylor can get out early and take that aspect away somewhat by building a lead, forcing Shane Buechele to beat them rather than letting Texas run its stolen offense to full effect, things should be a lot easier.   We've all seen what this defense can do when we man up across the front and basically tell the opponent "We don't think you can keep up every single drive."

My Prediction: Baylor 42, Texas 31

LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS:

Baylor vs. Texas 2016: Start time, live stream, TV schedule, and 3 things to know - SBNation.com
The Bears are trying to stay unbeaten, and the Horns are trying to break a fall.

10/29 college football schedule: TV times, live streams, and the best games to watch - SBNation.com
A full schedule for your Saturday, with TV and streaming info, all arranged in order of watchability. That's a subjective combination of stakes, quality, competitiveness, and what else is on at the time.

College football rankings: How Week 9’s top 25 schedule can change the Playoff picture - SBNation.com
Let’s keep track all weekend long of how the rankings are set to change. This list will be updated as each score goes final.

College Sports: Why Baylor-Texas has become state's most intense rivalry, and 2016 edition will be more heated than ever | SportsDay
Get news, scores and schedules on the Dallas Cowboys, Mavericks, Stars, and Texas College & High-School Football teams from the Dallas Morning News.

Baylor expects a battle, fireworks against Longhorns - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
The Baylor defensive players see a reflection of their own offense when they look at the Texas Longhorns.

John Werner’s college picks: Bears won’t get past desperate Longhorns - WacoTrib.com: Baylor Bears Football
Both Baylor and West Virginia are favorites to stay unbeaten, but it will take monumental efforts against opponents that were ranked earlier in the season but badly need wins now.

College football predictions and picks, Week 9: Figuring out Baylor at Texas - CBSSports.com
Brady Quinn shares his best bets for the week, including three road favorites

Big 12 football: Can Texas run on Baylor? | News OK
Baylor football has come out of hiding only once all season. And the Bears were up to the task. Baylor beat OSU 35-24 on Sept. 24 in Waco. Other than that, the Bears' five victories have come against a meager nonconference slate and the Big 12's resident weaklings, Iowa State and Kansas. Baylor, ranked eighth, isn't going way up in class Saturday, but it does play at Texas, which offers an intriguing matchup. Baylor is admittedly light on the defensive line. And the Longhorns like to ram the ball with hard-running tailback D'Onta Foreman. "We are kind of undersized up front," Baylor coach Jim Grobe said. "We've got six kids in those three positions that we're going to try to use on a regular basis.

TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS TWEETS:

Honestly, not that many out there today. See you guys at 2:30!  If you are traveling to the game now, be safe!