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Kansas (1-7) at Baylor (3-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m. (et)
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 Lawrence.
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 turnovers (11-1).
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.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 63, Kansas 31
10/31 10:40:26 ET