HOW THEY MATCH UP
Baylor offense vs. TCU defense
Baylor’s offense has been productive most of the season by averaging 36.1 points per game, but it clearly wasn’t at its best in a 17-14 win over West Virginia. Baylor’s offensive line had trouble all night as the Mountaineers collected eight sacks. The Bears will need much improvement up front against a TCU defense that is the Big 12’s stingiest by allowing 324 yards per game. Linebacker Garret Wallow ranks second in the Big 12 with 10.4 tackles per game with 12 tackles for loss while Ross Blacklock is a premier defensive lineman who has 3½ sacks.
Baylor defense vs. TCU offense
The Bears have played superb defense all season, and are coming off one of their best games as they held the Mountaineers to 219 yards, including just 14 on the ground. TCU’s offense has improved as freshman Max Duggan has gained more experience at quarterback while Jalen Reagor is a talented, versatile receiver. But Duggan’s status is questionable Saturday after he injured his throwing hand late in the Horned Frogs’ 34-27 loss to Oklahoma State.
Key matchup: Baylor receivers vs. TCU secondary
Baylor’s receiving corps is one of the team’s strengths with senior Denzel Mims and rising star Tyquan Thornton leading the way. But TCU’s secondary will be one of the best Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer will face this year. The Horned Frogs rank second in the Big 12 in pass defense by allowing 195.6 yards per game with a league-low 53 completion percentage with 10 interceptions. Brewer will need good pass protection and some creative play calling to have a good day.
The Horned Frogs will try to find numerous ways to get the ball to Reagor, and one of those is on punt returns as he leads the Big 12 with an 18.4-yard average and a touchdown on 13 returns. Jonathan Song has been almost perfect by hitting 15 of 16 field goals while Jordy Sandy is averaging 36.9 yards per punt. Baylor’s special teams had some good and bad moments against West Virginia, giving up Winston Wright’s 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown before Bravvion Roy blocked Casey Legg’s 48-yard field goal.
This rivalry has become more bitter as the years have passed, especially since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012. After Baylor’s epic 61-58 win in 2014, the Horned Frogs have won the last four games, including last year’s 16-9 win last season at McLane Stadium. The Bears have a lot riding on the game as the Big 12’s only unbeaten team at 8-0 with a showdown against Oklahoma coming up Nov. 16 at McLane Stadium. They won’t overlook a 4-4 TCU team.