Things are looking up in Waco, as the No. 18 Baylor Bears have been surging with four consecutive victories to save their season and lock up a postseason berth in the process.
They will now host the No. 25 Texas Longhorns on Saturday, who are also looking for back to back victories after squeaking by Texas A&M, 27-25 their last time out.
Longhorns v Bears
Venue/Stadium: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
Time/Date: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 3, 2011
College Football Odds From: Betonline.com
Spread (ATS): Baylor -2.5
After scoring 17 third-quarter points, Texas needed a Justin Tucker 40-yard field goal with time expiring to outlast bitter rival Texas A&M and move in to the top 25.
The Horns’ rode their defense while struggling offensively to eke out the win, and will need to do better to keep up with the Bears who outscored Texas Tech 66-42 with its high-scoring offense that scored early and often while piling up 617 yards and 38 first downs.
Meanwhile, Texas’ offense struggled to roll up 237 total yards while completing just 4 of 17 third down conversions. They also turned the ball over twice, and were hit with 10 penalties for 70 yards, but still managed to escape with the win.
The Longhorns never got its running game going either, tallying up less than 100 yards, mainly relying on the passing of backup quarterback Case McCoy. McCoy, who has been nothing more than consistent after starter Garrett Gilbert went down with a season ending shoulder injury, was solid however, and made no mistakes, going 16 of 27 for 110 yards.
But the game changer in this one was the Horns’ defense, which although surrendering 328 yards, limited the Aggies to 5 of 17 on third down while forcing four giveaways and returning a pick for a score.
That defense will have its hands full with the Bears, but could capitalize on Baylor’s inability to hang on to the football. Something that could have cost them a win against Tech.
Although BU’s offense looked pretty good against the Red Raiders, it wasn’t a perfect performance, with the offense fumbling five times and losing two while the team was tagged with eleven penalties for 110 yards.
Still the Bears survived behind an all out ground assault that rolled up 360 yards on 79 tries, with Terrance Ganaway rushing 46 times and a season-high 246 yards with a pair of four yard scoring runs.
Backup quarterback Nick Florence came in to continue the onslaught late in the first half, and put up three touchdowns in place of the injured Robert Griffin III who started the game going 7 of 11 for 106 yards and a TD before calling it a day.
Defensively, the Bears gave up a whopping 444 yards and forced four turnovers while returning a pick 90 yards for six.
Matt’s Prediction: Baylor 39, Texas 19- The key in this one will be if a the Longhorns’ struggling offense can score enough against a weak Baylor defense to keep up with the Bears’ high octane offense. If not Baylor will run away with this one. This is defiantly set up to dispel that the old adage of “offense wins game, but defense wins championships.” If Baylor can limit its turnovers, look for them to win this shootout at home.
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