FACTS & STATS: Site: Floyd Casey Stadium (50,000) -- Waco, Texas.
Television: FSN. Home Record: KU 1-4, Baylor 2-1. Away Record: KU 0-3, Baylor
1-3. Neutral Record: KU 0-0, Baylor 0-0. Conference Record: KU 0-5, Baylor
0-4. Series Record: Baylor leads, 7-4.
GAME NOTES: A couple of struggling teams are set to square off at Floyd Casey
Stadium, as the Baylor Bears play host to Big 12 foe Kansas this weekend.
Kansas nearly upset Texas last week but ultimately lost in the final seconds,
21-17. The Jayhawks have not beaten a FBS opponent since topping Northern
Illinois last September, a span of 18 games. They beat FCS school South Dakota
in the season opener and have since dropped seven in a row.
Baylor has also fallen on hard times with losses in four consecutive games
after starting the season 3-0. Last week, the Bears were on the wrong end of a
35-21 final at Iowa State. Despite boasting one of the nation's most
productive offenses, the Bears remain winless in Big 12 play.
Baylor leads the all-time series, 7-4, and has won all five meetings in Waco.
The Bears pulled off a 31-30 comeback victory over the Jayhawks last year in
Kansas and Texas were deadlocked at 14 with nine minutes to play in last
week's matchup. The Jayhawks surged ahead on Nick Prolago's 29-yard field goal
with 2:28 remaining in regulation, which capped a 14-play, 61-yard drive that
lasted more than seven minutes. However, those two and a half minutes proved
to be plenty for the Longhorns, who marched right down the field for the game-
winning touchdown. The loss spoiled a productive day by KU running back James
Sims, who ran for a game-high 176 yards on 28 carries. Quarterback Michael
Cummings was far less efficient, finishing with a meager 39 yards on 3-of-9
passing in addition to taking two sacks. Look for KU coach Charlie Weis to
continue feeding Sims, who has averaged 124.4 rushing yards in five games
since being reinstated from a three-game suspension.
Clinging to that three-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Kansas allowed
the Longhorns to march 70 yards down the field to set up the game-winning
score with 12 seconds remaining. The game-winning drive included an 18-yard
completion on fourth down and a 39-yard gain to the Kansas 3. Still, it was a
valiant effort for a Jayhawks defense that entered the game ranked 89th in the
nation in scoring defense, allowing 31.4 ppg. UT's first drive of the day
netted a touchdown, although the Longhorns did not score again until the
fourth quarter. In between, KU notched a pair of interceptions and forced five
punts. Unfortunately, the Jayhawks seemed to tire as the game wore on, and
they ultimately wilted at the most critical juncture.
Baylor's high-powered offense has recorded 23 touchdown drives that lasted
only two minutes or less, including 14 that lasted a minute or less. The Bears
lead the nation in passing (395.7 ypg) and rank third in total offense (569.4
ypg). Their scoring average of 44.1 ppg ranks seventh in the country. Nick
Florence threw for 426 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa State, although
thanks once again to their porous defense, it wasn't enough to put the Bears
into the win column. Florence leads nation in total offense (414.1 ypg) and in
passing yards (378.9 ypg), while he ranks sixth in passing efficiency (166.6).
Terrance Williams leads the nation with 171.9 receiving ypg and 20.1 yds
per catch. He is fourth with 8.6 receptions per game.
The latest player to carve up Baylor's defense was Iowa State quarterback
Steele Jantz, who set career highs with 381 yards passing and five touchdowns.
Jantz also tied a school record with 36 completions in the game. The Bears
rank last in the nation in total defense (553.7 ypg) and are allowing a
ridiculous 42.7 points per game, which has forced the offense to try and win
shootouts on a weekly basis. One positive to emerge from last week's loss is
that Baylor's defense did manage to force two turnovers after registering zero
turnovers in their first three league contests. Still, it marked the first
time in Art Briles' tenure that Baylor lost a game when forcing two or more
Not surprisingly, turnovers have been the key behind Baylor's up-and-down
season. The Bears are +6 in turnover margin during their three wins, but -11
in the four losses. Look for the Bears to get back into the win column in
front of their home crowd, although KU's Sims will almost certainly rack up
plenty of yardage on the ground.