Week six for the Texas Tech Red Raiders is Duffey remastered vs Bears re-visioned. Baylor has a statistically lethal defense with the gumption to prove it, and Texas Tech is back on the horse with a revitalized and potent offense. It’s BUTT Bowl time and who better to get the green and gold perspective from than Kendall Kaut of our SB Nation sister-site Our Daily Bears?
(Jeramey Gillilan) Hey Kendall, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for our readers. Year three in Matt Rhule’s tenure with the Baylor Bears is accompanied by its strongest start at 5-0. They have notched big wins over Iowa State and Kansas State, sitting now at the precipice of bowl eligibility. What’s the mood/expectation for Baylor fans going forward?
(Kendall Kaut) I think most Baylor fans expect to win at least eight games. The goal now is to try and sneak into the Big 12 title game. If Baylor fails to do that, it’s still a productive season relative to preseason expectations, but when you find yourself with a chance, you hope to take it.
(Jeramey) I love this game because Texas Tech and Baylor are equal in their head-to-head record at 38 a piece (1 tie you probably remember in 1930). How does this game fit into Baylor’s goals for the season? Has Texas Tech been a circled game on Baylor fans’ calendars or is it just another stepping stone for you guys?
(Kendall) With Baylor 5-0, this is a must-win to continue the goal of making the Big 12 title game. Baylor and Texas Tech’s historical rivalry makes this a big game, but most fans were focused on the Iowa State game preseason because of the chippiness of that game last season, plus the belief Baylor could make a big run with that win; while I think most Baylor fans are cognizant that Texas Tech could certainly beat Baylor, this game isn’t quite as exciting as Baylor-Texas Tech is in basketball.
(Jeramey) Baylor is 25th in the nation for total offense with one of the better quarterbacks in the Big 12 at the helm. Can you tell us a little more about Brewer and the supporting cast around him?
(Kendall) Brewer is a very solid quarterback capable of leading big drives. His only limitation--and why he was available for Matt Rhule to flip in December of 2016--is his arm strength. Brewer sometimes misses the deep ball or fails to hit those throws. But he’s been money on intermediate routes and can run RPO’s that destroy defenses.
(Jeramey) On the other side of the ball Baylor has been, by the numbers, one of the best defenses in the nation. I mean you guys are holding teams to an average of 16 points a game… that’s wild. What/who has paved the way for this insane upward trend?
(Kendall) Baylor switched to three down defensive linemen, and all are playing extremely well. Bravion Roy is a monster up front. James Lynch had three sacks in Manhattan, and former Texas A&M lineman James Lockhart has been a force in the backfield. While other parts of the defense have been good, the line has controlled games and allowed Baylor’s defense to make a monumental leap.
(Jeramey) I don’t doubt that you guys were watching the Texas Tech - Oklahoma State matchup at the Fox Sports special 11am slot. What about the Red Raiders gives you some pause going into this Saturday? Alternatively, where do you see the Bears matching up very well with Tech?
(Kendall) I think Texas Tech’s big play potential. Baylor’s done a much better job limiting those plays this season, but Texas Tech probably has more big play passing potential than anyone Baylor’s played. I think Baylor’s passing offense will give Texas Tech some problems, especially with how talented Denzel Mims and Tyquan Thornton are at wide receiver.
(Jeramey) The line for the game opened at 10.5, dropped to 9, and (for now) it is back to 10 points in Baylor’s favor. Homecoming in Waco, bowl game eligibility on the line early in the season, and now you’ve got a Texas Tech team with a lot of momentum strutting in. How do you feel about this game, what are the keys for Baylor to win this game?
(Kendall) The Bears should win this game. I think Matt Wells is an excellent coach and will get it going in Lubbock. But Baylor’s defense is exceptionally good, and I think Texas Tech was a little lucky with turnovers against Oklahoma State. This is not a foregone conclusion, but I’m fairly confident Baylor will win.
I’ll say Baylor wins 38-17.