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The Baylor Bears host the Texas Longhorns Saturday in a matchup featuring two teams that came up just short the prior week. Baylor blew a 28-3 lead to Oklahoma to see its perfect season come to an end in stunning fashion. Texas' own comeback effort came agonizingly close Iowa State hit a game winning field goal as time expired to win 23-21. Both teams still have a to play for, especially Baylor, who can make the Big 12 title game as long as it doesn't lose its next two games.
For Baylor head coach Matt Rhule and the Bears, Saturday offered up as disappointing a loss as imaginable. Leading by three touchdowns at halftime, Baylor couldn't put Oklahoma away. The Bears offense was shutout in the second half and the defense let Jalen Hurts have his way. Texas found its in the near opposite position after scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to take a 21-20 lead with 5:37 to go. The Longhorns ultimately let a tremendous performance by quarterback Sam Ehlinger go to waste as the Cyclones drove down the field for a last second, game-winning field goal.
Longhorns look to spoil Baylor's runThe Texas Longhorns deserve credit for their resiliency against Iowa State, as they came back from a 20-7 fourth quarter deficit only to see their 21-20 lead vanish with a Cyclones game-winning field goal. The loss encapsulated the Longhorns program in recent years: competitive but ultimately falling just short of its goals. Texas is back at it Saturday against Baylor in what could be a high scoring matchup. Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger is coming off a three touchdown performance against ISU in which he threw no INTs for the first time since the Red River Showdown.
Ehlinger is likely to be without key receiving target Collin Johnson, who suffered a hamstring injury against Kansas State. Johnson was the second leading receiver behind senior Devin Duvernay, who has 1,017 receiving yards. The Longhorns are not much of a running team, but sophomore back Keaontay Ingram should get around 15 carries. He scored two touchdowns against KSU.
The Longhorns defense is a beaten up unit that ranks in the bottom three teams in both rushing and pass defense. Head coach Tom Herman said earlier in the week that multiple guys on defense are playing through injuries. Sophomore defensive back Anthony Cook is expected to miss the game with an injury he suffered against Iowa State. Texas allows over 294 yards through the air so any more absences to an already struggling secondary could be significant. Senior defensive back Brandon Jones has a team-high 70 tackles as well as two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Baylor seeks rebound win after devastating loss to OUThe Baylor Bears likely never had a realistic shot at the College Football Playoff, but any long-shot chances went out the window with their stunning 25-point collapse against Oklahoma last week. Despite the game being played in Waco, Baylor looked lost on both sides of the ball in the second half. As much heat as the defense rightfully deserves, the offense takes some of the blame for committing turnovers on the first and last drives of the half.
Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer threw two touchdowns against the Sooners but its his late fourth-quarter interception that will be hard to forget. Brewer needs to hold a short-term heading into this Saturday, when he faces a Texas defense that ranks among the worst in the Big 12 at stopping the pass. Brewer's favorite target is senior Denzel Mims, who has 10 touchdown catches on the year. Mims got banged up late in the OU loss but is slated as probable for Texas. Baylor has two running backs with over 500 yards on the ground: John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty.
The Bears defense leads the conference in points allowed per game (23) despite its second half struggles against Oklahoma. Baylor has the top pass defense efficiency in the league as well as a Big 12-best 24 sacks. Junior defensive tackle James Lynch's 8.5 sacks ranks 13th in the country. Junior cornerback Grayland Arnold has four interceptions as well.
- Bears are 7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Bears are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in November.
- Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on covers.com, are:
- Longhorns are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games after allowing more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Longhorns are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a ATS win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This line opened somewhere between Baylor favored by 4.5 to 6 points and hasn't budged much over the course of the week. The Bears are coming off a devastating loss to Oklahoma which could be a motivating factor Saturday. Plus it's senior day in Waco, and Baylor is facing its long time in-state nemesis. What makes the Bears a strong pick, in my opinion, is their balance running and passing. They rank in the top 45 nationally in both categories, while Texas' pass and run defense is among the worst in the Big 12.
Prediction: Baylor Bears -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
This smells like an old fashioned Texas state shootout. Baylor and Texas both have prolific passing quarterbacks who are willing to throw a pick here or there in order to go down the field regularly. The Bears have one of the top pass defenses in the Big 12, while the Longhorns sit near the bottom. Additionally, Texas is playing without a few key secondary members. Expect this one to go over.
Prediction: Over 59.5