BAYLOR VS. TCU PREVIEW: Bears seeking big-time W
Baylor hosts TCU on Saturday in the Bears' final home game of the season. Baylor is a 2-point favorite, but ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives the Horned Frogs a 53.5-percent chance to win.
Here are a few particulars:
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Charlie Brewer passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns before he was ejected in the fourth quarter against Iowa State. He also rushed for 72 as he helped the Bears cut the Cyclones lead from 20-0 to 28-14. But the Bears need to start faster on Saturday versus TCU.
WR Jalen Hurd once again carried a heavy load as he caught 5 passes for 81 yards and rushed 8 times for 46 more. That comes out to 9.8 yards per touch, but Hurd didn’t find the end zone. Baylor would like to change that last part against the Horned Frogs.
S Verkedric Vaugns has developed into a legitimate play-maker for the Baylor defense. He posted 13 total tackles with 1.5 TFLs at Iowa State.
WR Pooh Stricklin had his best game of the season at Iowa State as he caught 5 passes for 67 yards and a TD. That’s a big-time breakout considering his previous best outing was 2 receptions for 39 yards.
SERIES HISTORY: TCU leads the all-time series versus Baylor, 54-52-7. The Horned Frogs have won three straight and four of six since joining the Big 12 in 2012.
QUOTE TO NOTE: " To me, if somebody takes a shot at you, I would like for you to just say what’s next and play the next play. But, don’t hit him after the whistle. The next time you have a chance to go play against them, be physical. It’s a game that allows you to be physical.” – Baylor coach Matt Rhule on keeping his players from being baited into unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties.
KEY MATCHUP: TCU quarterback Mike Collins vs. Baylor secondary. Baylor is giving up 269 passing yards per game in Big 12 play. That number is boosted by Oklahoma’s 432 yards and West Virginia’s 396. But the Bears held Kansas and Kansas State to less than 150 passing yards in a pair of home victories. If TCU can’t generate more through the air than the Jayhawks or Wildcats did, it will swing the game in Baylor’s favor. So far in three starts, Collins has passed for more than 200 yards versus Kansas, Kansas State and West Virginia.
--QB Charlie Brewer was ejected under peculiar circumstances in the fourth quarter against Iowa State. He argued a spot with an official and, because the team had received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty earlier in the game, his arguing prompted what was ruled a second unsportsmanlike foul. However, he won’t be suspended for the first half against TCU.
--WR Denzel Mims caught just one pass for six yards against Oklahoma State. He said he was feeling sick on Saturday morning before the game. But he appeared to be healthy again in a productive game against Iowa State.
--CB Grayland Arnold has missed the last five games with an ankle injury. Rhule said last week that the team is looking into redshirting Arnold.
--LG Xavier Newman suffered a high ankle sprain in the win over Kansas and missed the next four games. He returned to action against Oklahoma State, but didn’t play at Iowa State.