HOW THEY MATCH UP
Baylor offense vs. Kansas defense
It would be hard to find an offense with more missing parts than Baylor. With Zach Smith questionable with a shoulder injury, freshman Charlie Brewer will get his first start at quarterback. Wide receiver Pooh Stricklin might miss the rest of the season with a foot injury, leaving the receiving corps even thinner. Blake Lynch could see more time at receiver than cornerback since the Bears are so thin on offense.
Baylor defense vs. Kansas offense
Though the Bears dropped a 38-7 decision to Texas last week, the defense had a lot of good moments. Garyland Arnold stopped one Texas drive with an interception and defensive linemen James Lynch and Ira Lewis each collected a pair of tackles for loss. Kansas sophomore quarterback Carter Stanley is coming off a good performance as he threw for 418 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 30-20 loss to Kansas State. Wide receiver Steven Sims had a big game with nine catches for 233 yards and a score. A beat up Baylor defense will have trouble stopping the Jayhawks.
Key matchup: Baylor QB Charlie Brewer vs. Kansas secondary
Though the Bears are 0-8, Brewer has been a bright spot coming off the bench in recent weeks. After leading Baylor to 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter in a 38-36 loss to West Virginia, Brewer enjoyed some good moments against Texas as he hit 17 of 27 for 181 yards, including a 52-yard pass to Blake Lynch to set up the Bears’ only touchdown in the second quarter. Brewer will need to show he can play as well as a starter as he has as a reliever, which could be difficult on the road.
Baylor’s Connor Martin didn’t attempt a field goal last week, but he still ranks among the Big 12’s most accurate kickers by hitting 14 of 16 for the season. He’s averaged 42.8 yards per punt, but made a big mistake last week when he dropped a snap in Texas territory. Tony Nicholson is a dynamic return specialist for Baylor but is doubtful with an injury. Kansas’ Gabriel Rui has hit 10 of 11 field goals while punter Cole Moos is averaging 40.1 yards on 57 attempts.
The Bears come into this game in terrible shape physically with several key players out for the season. Though both teams are 0-5 in the Big 12, the Jayhawks played well in their last loss against Kansas State in Lawrence. The Bears played one of their worst games of the season in a blowout loss to Texas. Since Kansas fans probably won’t come out in force for this 11 a.m. game, the Jayhawks may not have much of a home field advantage. But as bad as both teams have been, somebody’s got to come out of this game with a win.