Baylor ranks near the top of the Big 12 in scoring offense, scoring defense and turnover differential — all indicators that point to why the Bears are undefeated halfway through the season. If the Longhorns are to pull out a win against such a well-rounded squad, they’d be best served to pull a page out of the Kansas State playbook.
In the Wildcats’ win over Texas last weekend, Kansas State kept an explosive Longhorn offense off the field by controlling the clock and running the ball effectively. The Wildcats totaled 234 yards on the ground and held a 17-minute advantage in time of possession. Following the same formula would be to Texas’ benefit this Saturday.
If there’s a weakness to be found in the Baylor defense, it’s in its front seven. The Bears are giving up nearly 160 yards on the ground, and recently gave up over 200 rushing yards to Iowa State. Texas needs to take advantage of this hole in the Baylor defense, run the ball effectively, and take control of the game clock.
At this point in the season, the Longhorns cannot rely on their defense to make stops. By running the ball effectively, the Longhorns keep a Baylor offense averaging nearly 45 points a game off the field. If Texas can turn long drives into touchdowns, then they have a chance at coming out victorious.
Texas Loses If:
One reason that Baylor has been so successful this year is that their defense has been able to generate drives for their offense. The Bear’s defense has forced 14 turnovers this year, good for second in the Big 12. More often than not, the Baylor offense is going to turn those extra possessions into points.
The Bear’s defense is scattered with playmakers that are capable of making big plays. Senior safety Orion Stewart has been a premier ball hawk this season, and leads the Big 12 with four interceptions. Senior defensive back Patrick Levels leads the conference with three fumbles forced and three recovered.
Additionally, the Bears have been good at not turning the ball over themselves. The squad has only turned the ball over eight times this season. Senior quarterback Seth Russell has been efficient with the football, and has only tossed four interceptions through six games.
The Longhorns fall to Baylor if they lose the turnover battle. The Baylor defense prides itself on forcing turnovers, and Texas will have a hard time keeping up with the Bears if the Longhorns award them with extra possessions.