HOW THEY MATCH UP
Baylor offense vs. Texas defense
With Charlie Brewer entrenched as quarterback, Baylor’s offense has averaged 525 yards, 35.5 first downs and 35 points in the last two games against Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Bears will face a Texas defense that ranks third in the Big 12 by allowing 24 points per game. The Longhorns are coming off a 48-45 win over Oklahoma, but they obviously had difficultly stopping the Sooners as they allowed 532 yards. Baylor’s offense isn’t as explosive as Oklahoma’s, but it’s improved as the season has progressed.
Texas offense vs. Baylor defense
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger looked shaky early in the season, but as he’s gained confidence the Longhorns’ offense has become more productive. Against Oklahoma, Ehlinger passed for 314 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 72 yards and three scores. Keaontay Ingram leads Texas’ running game while Lil’Jordan Humphrey has made 35 catches for 535 yards and four scores. Baylor’s defense has been burned by big plays the last two weeks as Oklahoma averaged 40.3 yards on six touchdown passes and TCU averaged 47.2 yards on four touchdown runs.
Key matchup: Texas QB Sam Ehlinger vs. Baylor secondary
Ehlinger’s numbers have improved throughout the season as he’s completed 65.3 percent for 1,499 yards and 11 touchdowns with just two interceptions. Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson have made four touchdown catches apiece. Baylor started two freshmen in the secondary last week as Kalon Barnes played cornerback and Christian Morgan played safety. They performed well against Kansas State as Morgan grabbed his first interception. But playing Texas in Austin will be a whole different level of intensity.
Baylor kicker Connor Martin had an uncharacteristically rough afternoon as he missed three of six field goal attempts, but hit the 29-yard game-winner with eight seconds remaining to lift the Bears to a 37-34 win over Kansas State. Freshman Cameron Dicker nailed the game-winning 40-yard field goal with nine seconds left to propel the Longhorns to a 48-45 win over Oklahoma. Baylor continues to have issues in kick and punt returns while Texas’ Brandon Jones is averaging 18.7 yards on three punt returns.
After a stretch where Baylor won four of five games in the series, Texas has bounced back to win the last three. The Longhorns are riding high with five straight wins after dropping the season opener against Maryland. Baylor is clearly improving and needs two more wins to become bowl eligible. Texas has much loftier goals after winning its first three Big 12 games, and is looking more like the team Longhorn fans expected when Tom Herman was hired nearly two years ago. It’s hard to imagine the Longhorns will suffer a letdown in Austin.