BAYLOR VS. TEXAS TECH PREVIEW: All the chips on the table
Baylor and Texas Tech face off at AT&T Stadium on Saturday. The winner will go to a bowl game and the loser will be finished for the season. The Red Raiders are a 5-point favorite and ESPN's Matchup Predictor gives Texas Tech a 75.9-percent chance to win.
Here are some particulars.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Charlie Brewer struggled against TCU, completing less than half of his passes (14 of 29) for 163 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. The Horned Frogs also kept him from beating them with his legs as he rushed for just 54 yards on 18 attempts.
WR Jalen Hurd caught 4 passes for 68 yards against the Horned Frogs. That’s a decent day for a role player, but the Bears needed to lean on Hurd as their top play-maker.
LB Clay Johnston piled up 15 total tackles in the loss to TCU. He had 1.5 TFLs for 8 yards in losses and helped keep Baylor close to the Horned Frogs.
RB John Lovett gained 5 yards per carry as he rushed for 55 yards on 11 attempts against TCU. He turned the Oklahoma State game around for the Bears with a 75-yard run and could be a factor in helping Baylor gain momentum against Texas Tech.
SERIES HISTORY: Texas Tech leads the all-time series, 38-37-1. The Red Raiders have won the last two games in the streaky series. Prior to that Baylor won five straight to answer Texas Tech’s surge of 15-straight victories from 1996 to 2010.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think it’s fun to have a neutral site game and have something different. I’m sure our players enjoy playing in the Cowboys’ stadium. Anything to celebrate college football and bring some extra to it is fun..” – Baylor coach Matt Rhule on the series with Texas Tech being played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
KEY MATCHUP: Baylor QB Charlie Brewer vs. Texas Tech defensive backs. With the Red Raiders’ QB scenario unknown, the focus will fall on Brewer and whether or not he can energize the Bears’ offense. Turnovers, dropped passes and inefficiency on third down all hurt the Bears in their loss to TCU on Saturday. Although the Horned Frogs defense is ranked much higher in a multitude of defensive categories, the Red Raiders have a capable and improving group of cornerbacks and safeties. Texas Tech needs to limit big plays by Baylor’s Jalen Hurd and Denzel Mims and thus relieve the pressure on whoever is playing QB for the Red Raiders to simply outscore the Bears.
--S Chris Miller suffered a leg injury against TCU and is questionable for the Texas Tech game.
--RB JaMycal Hasty didn’t play against TCU. Rhule said he was medically cleared to play but held out for precautionary reasons due to an unspecified injury.
--CB Grayland Arnold has missed the last six games with an ankle injury. Rhule said two weeks ago 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.