TEXAS TECH vs BAYLOR
This breakdown was completed by Russ Morris and Ethan Nieporte.
The two rivals come into the weekend after dominating performances last Saturday. Baylor beat the breaks of K-State and the Red Raiders dominated the OSU Cowpokes. Texas Tech makes its first ever trip to McLane Stadium and their first trip to Waco since 2007. From 2009-2018 the series had been played at neutral site but on Saturday, and since the formation of the Big 12, the series will return to campus-campus play. This is the 78th all-time meeting between the two and only the 14th time the either school is ranked in the top 25 prior to play. The series is currently tied 38-38-1. Both Baylor and Texas Tech enter the week with highly praised offenses, ranked in the top 20 nationally in terms of total offensive production, and have respectable defenses with both in the top 35 in total defense and will force you to turn the ball over. On paper the matchup is even, but the key will be Texas Tech response to a big win last week. How the Red Raiders enter another hostile environment will be key coming off a big win at home.
#22 Baylor Bears 5-0: Big 12 (2-0)
The Baylor Bears stay at home for their homecoming this weekend after two impressive victories in conference play the past two weeks. The Bears won a thriller over Iowa State 26-23 and destroyed a rebuilding Kansas State team 35-12. Their win over ISU is very impressive considering the motivation the Cyclones had after their loss to Iowa. Baylor out disciplined Iowa State, which might be the key to beating them besides obvious defensive strategy. Charlie Brewer is a very underrated QB in the Big 12. He might be consistent at times, but he is a decent scrambler and can extend drives. Denzel Mims is another highly praised receiver. He is tough, elusive, and very explosive in open field, while also very aggressive in the red zone/end zone. John Lovett is their featured back. While he is very explosive in open space, he is a tough “between the tackles” type of runner. He averages 115 yds per game and looks to score every time he’s out there. The key to the Red Raiders’ success this Saturday will be containing these three guys. How they go about this will be key.
Texas Tech Red Raiders 3-2: Big 12 (1-1)
For the first time since 2007, Texas Tech travels to Waco to take on #22 Baylor. This is the third straight top 25 opponent the Red Raiders have faced and look to win consecutive games against a top 25 opponent for the first time since 2012. The Red Raiders are coming off an impressive victory over Oklahoma State 45-35 (the score does not reflect the type of game that was played). The defense recorded seven sacks and five turnovers, which is the most by a Red Raider team since 2009 against Kansas. Jett Duffey, Jordyn Brooks, and Trey Wolf earned conference honors this week. Big 12 offensive player of the week, defensive player of the week, and special teams player of the week. Jett, though, continues to earn national recognition, with the Davey O’Brian player of the week.
Tech will be without Adrian Frye again this week, day-day, Jack Anderson is out for the year with an upper body injury, and Rico Jeffers will miss the first half with the penalty towards the end of the game last week. As mentioned before, this Baylor team is really disciplined and have completely bought in to what Matt Rhule has going on down there. Baylor has earned every right to be considered a sleeper pick at the start of the year. The Bears don’t make little mistakes often. Although since it is a rivalry game, expect both teams to be a little more aggressive. The keys for Tech this week will be the defense forcing Baylor to make mistakes and commit turnovers, and the offensive line MUST give Jett time to go through his progressions and protect him better. Jett must improve off his game last week and not make mistakes. There will be opportunities to make plays with his legs this week. Tech’s chances are very good this week. This should be an interesting game. Wreck’Em!!
On the Saddle Tramp side of things, we don't have much to report. With next week being "Hell Week" for us, we are trying to find the balance of homework and sleep. We'll be sure to keep you updated on everything Saddle Tramp!