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Baylor (5-5) vs. Texas Tech (7-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 24, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Cowboys Stadium (105,121) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: FOX. Home Record: Baylor 4-1, TTU 4-2. Away Record: Baylor 1-4, TTU 3-2. Neutral Record: Baylor 0-0, TTU 0-0. Conference Record: Baylor 2-5, TTU 4-4. Series Record: Texas Tech leads, 36-33-1.
GAME NOTES: After a shocking upset of the nation's top-ranked team last week, the Baylor Bears will try to become bowl eligible in the regular season finale against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a Big 12 Conference showdown at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
After a fast 3-0 start to the season, Baylor fell from the national ranks by losing five of its next six games. The Bears' season was saved last week however when they hosted No. 1 Kansas State and won in convincing fashion, 52-24, sending shock waves through the college football world in the process.
Texas Tech was one of the hottest teams in the nation through the first seven weeks, compiling a 6-1 record with signature wins over West Virginia (49-14) and TCU (56-53 in OT). Since then however, the Red Raiders have under- performed, losing three of four, most recently to Oklahoma State last week, 59-21.
These two teams have played each other very tight over the years, with Texas Tech holding a 36-33-1 series advantage, which includes a 2-1 mark in neutral- site affairs.
Whatever struggles Baylor has endured this season, very little blame can be put on the offense, as it ranks sixth in the nation in scoring (43.6 ppg) and second in yardage (565.6 ypg). The unit was able to torch K-State to the tune of 580 yards as it led by 11 points at halftime and never looked back.
Nick Florence has been given free reign to throw the ball all over the field this season, and he's responded well by completing more than 61 percent of his passes for 3,429 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Although Florence was impressive last week (20-of-32, 238 yards, two TDs, two INTs), the biggest reason the Bears were able to pull off the upset was due to a fantastic rushing attack. Lache Seastrunk (185 yards, TD) and Glasco Martin (113 yards, three TDs) each gashed the Wildcats defense, and the two have combined for 1,201 yards and 14 scores on the season.
Florence's top target has been Terrance Williams (1,519 yards, second in the nation), who has caught 82 passes with 11 touchdowns. The Biletnikoff Award finalist averages 18.5 yards per reception, which is the tops in the nation among receivers with at least 50 catches.
While the Bears can put points up on anyone, conversely, the defense hasn't done much to stop the opposition, allowing more than 500 ypg and nearly 38 ppg.
Bryce Hager has a team-high 99 tackles to go along with three sacks and two forced fumbles. Joe Williams has three of the team's 13 interceptions.
While not as potent as Baylor, the Texas Tech offense (37.1 ppg) is more than capable of putting up fireworks of its own, although it has scored 24 points or less in three of its last four games.
Seth Doege has been one of the few quarterbacks in the nation who has been better than Florence, as he ranks fourth in the nation in completion percentage (.700), third in yards (3,575), and tied for second in touchdown passes (35).
Darrin Moore (68 receptions, 762 yards, 11 TDs) and Eric Ward (66 receptions, 861 yards, 10 TDs) have shared the duty as Doege's top receiving threat this season with great success. It was Moore's turn last week with nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown.
The running game often takes a back seat to the aerial attack, but Kenny Williams (690 yards, four TDs), Eric Stephens (402 yards, five TDs) and SaDale Foster (391 yards, three TDs) have all impressed in the backfield.
The Red Raiders defense (30.0 ppg) has crumbled down the stretch. After allowing just 16.3 ppg over the first six games, they have given up a whopping 47.8 ppg over the last five.
Cody Davis is the team-leader in both tackles (84) and interceptions (three). The big plays have simply not come for the Tech defense, as it has forced just nine turnovers and logged 15 sacks through 11 games.
With two powerful offenses and suspect defenses, this one has all the makings of a another Big 12 shootout. Baylor will be riding high after its upset victory, and it will use that momentum to gain bowl eligibility.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 55, Texas Tech 52
11/21 10:53:24 ET
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