#3 Baylor Bears vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Saturday – October 10 – 11:00am CT
Memorial Stadium – Lawrence
This Saturday, Baylor is traveling to Lawrence, Kansas for a game against the Kansas Jayhawks. This will be the first Big-12 road game and Baylor has occasionally struggled on the road in conference play. However, this is the 0-4 Jayhawks, who are coming into this game following a 38-13 loss against 2-2 Iowa State. Baylor meanwhile is coming off a dominating win over the Texas Tech and here is a look back at what happened last Saturday against the Red Raiders.
On offense, Baylor demonstrated all of the reasons why they haunt the dreams of defensive coordinators. The Bears had nine offensive possessions in the first half, and scored touchdowns on seven of them. In the first quarter, Baylor scored 28 points for a 28-14 lead using balanced play-calling that consisting of 13 run and 12 pass plays. Through the rest of the game, three full quarters, Baylor would only call 12 more passing plays. Holding a two TD lead, Baylor turned to the run game and drove the Texas Tech defense back with the break-away speed of RB Shock Linwood. Linwood carried the ball 20 times for 221 yards and two TDs, setting career bests for total yards in a game and for longest run with his 79 yard TD run on the opening drive. Baylor ended the game with 368 rushing yards on 52 run plays. QB Seth Russell also got into the run action, and carried 12 times for 83 yards and two TDs. In the passing game, Russell put up good numbers, going 15-23 for 286 yards and four TDs with one interception. On the receiving side, WR Corey Coleman continued to light up the scoreboard with three TDs as he racked up 110 yards on seven catches. Jay Lee also had a good day with his 120 yards on just three receptions.
On defense, it was obvious, early on, that Texas Tech’s Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury was going to throw everything at Baylor, on every possession. Tech played with a lot of passion, attempted trick plays, went for it on 4th down in situations you’d normally punt, but nothing they tried was enough. Baylor was able to shut down Texas Tech’s run game forcing Tech to rely on the passing game. Unfortunately for Baylor, in the passing game, Tech’s QB Patrick Mahomes is really good. Mahomes lit up the Bears for 415 yards and three TDs through the air. Even, with a knee injury, Mahomes nimbly evaded the Bears blitz, and was not sacked in the game. However, the Bears were able to apply pressure to him and that pressure caused mistakes as the Bears picked off two of Mahomes passes. Additionally the Baylor defense recovered two fumbles and converted the four turnovers into 14 points. In the end, Baylor’s defense did what they needed to do to turn the tide. With turnovers and key stops they kept Tech out of the end zone enough to ensure the Baylor victory.
Looking ahead, Kansas is coming off a loss to the Iowa State Cyclones. The winless Jayhawks are 0-4 with losses to FCS South Dakota State University, Memphis, Rutgers, and Iowa State. If that wasn’t bad enough for the Jayhawks, injuries have devastated them, and the fourth string QB Ryan Willis will be starting against Baylor. It is probably safe to conclude that the hapless Jayhawks are the “deer in the headlights” of the 18-wheeler that is the Baylor offense…
What to look for when Baylor has the ball
- The biggest problem for Baylor is going to be taking this game seriously. Kansas is in the midst of a serious losing streak and it may be hard for the Bears to get up emotionally for this game. While Kansas has little chance of beating Baylor, a lackluster performance could affect the perception of the Bears. It will be up to Art Briles and the coaching staff to make sure the Bears are focused and ready to take care of business.
- For WR Corey Coleman, RB Shock Linwood and QB Seth Russell, this is a chance to pad their stats. There are tough games coming up in the Bears future, and this is the kind of game that can be used to bulk up resumes. All three Bears are getting attention for post-season awards, and a good performance against the luckless Jayhawks, will help to boost their portfolios.
- This game should be another chance for some serious playing time for Jarrett Stidham and the Baylor second team offense. If the Baylor starters do what they’re supposed to do, the odds are high that the second team is on the field starting on the second possession of the third quarter.
What to look for when Kansas has the ball
- The biggest weakness of the Baylor defense is still the pass defense. This game is another opportunity for the Baylor CBs Orion Stewart and Chance Waz to improve upon their technique. Behind them, Taion Sells and Terrell Burt should also get some serious playing time, which will certainly benefit the Bears when they face off against West Virginia the following week.
- Just as with the offense, there are defensive players that are looking to give a boost to their resumes. Shawn Oakman and Andrew Billings are both getting serious looks from the NFL. This is a chance to put a few extra highlight reel moments on their resumes. Oakman still needs one more sack to take sole possession of Baylor’s sack record, and needs just five more tackles this season to hit 100 in his career.
Prediction: Baylor 70, Kansas 14