Week 8 – Baylor at Texas

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Game Analysis – Baylor at Texas

Baylor (3-2) at Texas (4-2) Oct. 20, 8:00, ABC

Here's The Deal: Last year, Baylor and RG3 blasted away on a lifeless Texas team in a 48-24 statement after coming up with a 30-22 victory over the 2010 Longhorns. However, in a series that started in 1903, and has traditionally been the Longhorn Invitation, the Bears have never won three in a row. This might be the time when Texas is ripe for the picking.

It has been a rocky week for the ultra-talented Longhorns after losing a shootout to West Virginia. The defense failed to show up against Oklahoma in a 63-21 blasting that wasn't even that close, and now the hot seat on Mack Brown has been cranked up with concerns that the program has topped out. He has the talent in place, but he's not doing much with it. However, even with all the problems and all the issues, with Kansas coming up next there's a chance to turn things around in a hurry and get back into the hunt for a BCS game, but it's going to take a 180-degree turnaround on D.

Baylor isn't exactly the team to get healthy against defensively.

The Bears aren't very good, especially defensively, but they can put up numbers in bunches and don't have a problem putting up massive passing numbers. The nation's leader through the air averaging close 400 yards per game, the Baylor air attack will push and press the struggling and beleaguered Texas back seven. However, the defense will give it up just as quickly. On the plus side, with Iowa State and Kansas up next, and with the last three games at home, there's a chance to go on a nice run with a few more defensive stops per game.

Expect lots and lots of points, no defense, and a lot of fun on the way to a wild statistical showdown. It won't be Baylor–West Virginia, but the numbers should be off the charts.

Why Baylor Might Win: Bombs away. Texas isn't stopping the run, the pass, or anything any offense wants to do. The Bear passing game that leads the nation in passing efficiency should be able to torch a Longhorn secondary that can't tackle and allows average plays turn into home runs. The run defense isn't much better despite all the pressure coming from the front four. The Longhorns got destroyed by Oklahoma for 343 yards and six touchdowns, however, while Baylor will want to run a little bit, it's going to make its most noise through the air. OU threw for 334 yards, West Virginia didn't have any problems, and Oklahoma State cranked out 301 yards and two scores. Set the bar at 325 passing yards and 500 yards of total offense for the Bears, however …

Why Texas Might Win: The Texas offense should be able to roll at will. The attack didn't work against Oklahoma with a pathetic 74 rushing yards and with the passing game sputtering and coughing from the start, but the Longhorns put up 404 yards or more in the other six games and did whatever they wanted to keep things moving. As mediocre as the defenses on the schedule have been, Baylor's is worse, ranking dead last in the nation in yards allowed and second-to-last in pass defense. There's no pass defense, no stops against the run, and lots and lots of big plays allowed. The Longhorns should be able to run and get the offensive line into a lather from the start. The passing game should be able to produce, but there's a chance Texas rumbles for 300 yards or more on the ground and hangs on to the ball for around 40 minutes. Baylor might have a quick-strike attack, but it needs the opportunities and it'll give up a few turnovers. Texas simply has to accept that this will be a shootout, and if it's patient, in the end the numbers will be on the right side.

What To Watch Out For: Just how hurt is David Ash? There was an erroneous report this week that he'd be out with an injured wrist, but he's expected to fight through the pain and get back on the field. However, he's hardly 100%, and with running back Malcom Brown still hurting with an ankle injury, and with top linebacker Jordan Hicks out with a hip injury and star end Jackson Jeffcoat gone for the year with a torn pec, the injuries are mounting. The struggling D has to find a way to contain Terrance Williams, the nation's leader in receiving yards per game and with two touchdown grabs in each of the last four games. Last week he only caught three passes, but he scored twice and rolled for 163 yards.

What Will Happen: Baylor will put up a ton of yards and lots and lots of points, and it still won't be nearly enough. Texas will come out and play far better than it did over the last few weeks as the offense rolls at will to overcome another mediocre day from the underwhelming defense.

CFN Prediction: Texas 48 … Baylor 31
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Texas -10.5 O/U: 80.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 3