Stock Up: Jordan Hicks
Fifth-year senior linebacker Jordan Hicks, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week, was dominant against Kansas, recording 15 sacks and an interception. Even he acknowledged that it was probably the best game of his career. He is leading a Texas defense that is 11th in the nation in tackles for loss and eighth in sacks. This week will be a bigger challenge as he will have his hands full with Baylor’s big offensive line, which is just one of two lines in the nation that has yet to allow a single quarterback sack this year. But with Baylor’s dynamic passing game lurking behind the line, Hicks will need to put pressure on redshirt senior quarterback Bryce Petty to keep him out of his rhythm, so look for Hicks to really push the issue up front.
Stock Down: Kent Perkins
With all the injuries, suspensions and dismissals on the offensive line, sophomore Kent Perkins made the transition to tackle. With Baylor’s defensive line playing incredibly well, albeit against sub-par teams, Perkins may struggle Saturday. Baylor is fifth in the nation in tackles for loss and second in sacks. That’s not a good sign for a line that has replacements all over, and Perkins may take the bulk of the blame
Stock Up: Duke Thomas
After spending a week on the wrong end of this list, junior cornerback Duke Thomas came back with arguably the best game of his career against Kansas. With Quandre Diggs on the other side, Kansas tried to pick on Thomas, who was torched for a game-winning touchdown against UCLA the game prior. But Thomas was up to the challenge, recording two interceptions and helping Texas record its first shutout since early 2012. With Baylor’s top offense coming into town this week, Thomas will certainly give up more catches and won’t have nearly as clean of a game. But, if he can slow them down even a little and make a play here and there, it could give Texas a chance. If there’s one game where it helps to come in with confidence, this week’s would be the one.
Stock Down: Malcolm Brown
Since his two touchdown performance against North Texas to start the season, Brown has been inefficient. He’s averaging less than 48 yards per game while being a non-factor in the passing game. When former quarterback David Ash went out, many looked to the former five-star recruit to carry the offense, but he hasn’t lived up to the expectations. Part of the reason for his inefficiency is the rebuilt offensive line, which has struggled to get a push. Unfortunately for Brown, the offensive line isn’t going to turn it around overnight, and, with Baylor’s sixth-ranked run defense coming into town, things do not look bright for Brown at this point.