3 storylines to watch against Baylor

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Texas Longhorns Sports Stories
The Baylor defense is led by linebacker Terrel Bernard, the preseason All-Big 12 selection and fourth-team Athlon's preseason All-America who leads the Bears' defense with 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks (photo courtesy of baylorbears.com)

The time to perform, the time to earn a victory, the time to play as a team ... is now.

The Texas football team is on a two-game losing skid, but the Longhorns have a prime opportunity to overcome that hump and get back on track as they work toward getting back into the race for a Big 12 title when they host a Covid-impacted Baylor team Saturday in Austin.

Three storylines worth watching:

Can the Bears shake off the rust?
It is to be expected that Baylor will have some rust to shake off early. After all, the Bears have just two games under their belts. Following a loss to West Virginia, the Bears had a week off. But then, Covid-19 struck, with 28 active cases — 14 staff members and 14 players — on the team. Following the bye week, Baylor did not have enough players at certain positions, so the game against Oklahoma State was postponed to Dec. 12.

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Baylor has not played a game since Oct. 3, and has lost multiple days of practice due to the suspension of all football activities. Texas should jump out in front early on a Baylor team still looking to find its rhythm.

Baylor's defense among the Big 12's best
New Baylor head coach Dave Aranda is a defensive mastermind, having run the defenses at LSU, Wisconsin and Hawaii in recent years, meaning UT's offense may be in for a challenge.


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The Bears run a 4-3 defense, and with James Lynch gone, linebacker Terrel Bernard has stepped up. Bernard heads into Saturday's game with a team-high 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks. This could be the toughest defense the Longhorns battle all season. Baylor has allowed an average of 20.5 points per game, good enough for third-lowest in the conference. Texas has a solid passing attack, but will be without receiver Jordan Whittington, who suffered a hip flexor strain against Oklahoma.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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