Week 13 – Baylor at Texas Tech

Posted Nov 23, 2012

Week 13 Fearless Prediction – Baylor at Texas Tech

Baylor (5-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-4) Nov. 24, 2:30, FOX

Here's The Deal: As the "thank you" baskets of mini-muffins are pouring in from South Bend, Tuscaloosa and Athens, Baylor has to keep the momentum going after destroying former No. 1 Kansas State 52-24 to ruin a national title dream and get back into the bowl chase. Left for dead at 4-5 with three tough games to go, now the Bears have to come up with a win either this week against Texas Tech - the game is being played in Arlington – or next week against Oklahoma State to get a 13th game.

While everyone is wondering where that performance by Baylor came from, Texas Tech is reeling in the midst of a second straight second half collapse.

Everything was great to start out last season with a nice 5-2 start and a huge win over Oklahoma, and then everything fell apart with five straight losses – including a 66-42 blasting from Baylor – on the way to a losing campaign. This year, things appeared to be different with a 6-1 start and a much-improved defense, but with three losses in the last four games – and needing double overtime to get by Kansas – closing out the regular season with a win could be a must to avoid a lot of rumbling and concern going into the bowl game.

Why Baylor Might Win: So where is it all going wrong for the Red Raiders? Run defense. The secondary hasn't been a prize, but it's the defensive front that's having real problems, getting steamrolled over by anyone who's making an honest effort over the last few weeks. Oklahoma State was able to rip off yards in chunks, and Kansas blasted the Tech tackles off the ball time and again on the way to 390 yards and two scores. Baylor butters its bread with a high-powered passing game ranking third in the nation, but the ground game can come up with big plays, too. Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk destroyed Kansas State, helping the Bears come up with 342 rushing yards and five scores, and they should have similar success against the Red Raiders.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Don't let Kansas State's colossal gag fool you; the Baylor defense is miserable. The Bears somehow saved their best performance of the season for the nation's top team, inexplicably allowing just 76 yards on the ground and picking of Collin Klein three times. The secondary hasn't managed to slow down anyone this year – and allowed 286 yards to Klein – and while there have been plenty of picks from the secondary over the last few games, it's going to be time to get wild. Remember, Baylor came into last week's game dead last in the nation in total defense, and left with the second-worst defense in America. Get ready for a huge day from …

What To Watch Out For: Seth Doege in his final regular season game. A bit off against Oklahoma State, throwing for just 230 yards with a touchdown and two picks, he should at least be able to replicate the fun of last year's 355-yard, three score performance against Baylor. With 35 touchdown passes and 3,575 yards, he's not bombing away as much as he was last year but he's making more big plays when they matter. It isn't his fault the team is struggling, but he might have to throw for 400 yards to win.

On the other side, Nick Florence continues to lead the nation in total offense. He threw two bad picks against Kansas State, but he also threw for 238 yards and two scores and ran for 47 yards and a touchdown. This week he'll be needed even more, but the running game will help balance things out like it did against the Wildcats. However, in the end, this is going to come down to which quarterback plays better.

What Will Happen: Baylor will stay hot. It's not going be the big performance of last week, but the offensive balance and explosion will offset a humongous game from Doege in what should be the wildest shootout of the weekend. It's the Texas Tech No. 1 passing attack vs. the Baylor No. 3 passing game – demand 900 yards of air show.

CFN Prediction: Baylor 48 … Texas Tech 45
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Baylor -2.5 O/U: 78
Must Watch Rating (5 – Beware of Mr. Baker, 1 – Life of Pi): 3