Texas vs. Baylor | Horns Illustrated Game Preview

Texas TEAM SHOP

Swoops-Texas-Baylor

Texas will face it's toughest challenge of the young season when they take on the Baylor Bears at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium this Saturday. 

(Also Read: Horns Could Turn Around Season by Turning the Tables on Baylor)

Baylor is the No. 7 team in the nation, so for obvious reasons, Texas is an underdog. However, Charlie Strong sounded a bit surprised by the spread, "What's the spread? A couple of touchdowns? Wow. They're something," Strong laughed. "But they deserve every bit of it."

Texas vs. Baylor Game Details 

 

When: Saturday, Oct. 4, 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas

TV: ABC

Austin radio: KVET 98.1/1300

SiriusXM satellite radio: XM 202; Sirius 117; Internet 969; Spanish 550

Last meeting: Dec. 7, 2013; Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas

Last meeting outcome: Baylor 30, Texas 10

Opening spread: Baylor (-13), per OddsShark.com

 

On Defense

 

Bryce-Petty-Horns IllusratedIt must be said that a quarterback is only as good as his offensive line and Baylor has a good one. The Baylor front 5 has yet to allow a single sack all season and leads the nation in tackles for loss allowed.

With that in mind, stopping Bryce Petty (and their offensive line) will be priority number one.  The early Heisman candidate is one of college football's best quarterbacks and hard to stop once he gets in a rhythm.

Luckily, the Longhorns defense has done a good job getting after the quarterback this season. Malcom Brown and Hassan Ridgeway lead the Longhorns with 6.5 combined sacks, and the team is tied at No. 6 nationally in total sacks.

 

On Offense

 

This one seems easy ... just score more points than the other team. Well, that is easier said than done against a potent Baylor attack. Sure, Texas will need to put up points, but controlling the clock with the running game and short passes will be key. The last thing you want is to get in a shoot-out with Baylor.

Staying on the field is important, but also easier said than done against a Baylor team with the No. 7 defense in the nation (total defense), but as our friends at The Bleacher Report point out:

"It's no secret Baylor had a cupcake nonconference schedule, and the Iowa State game proved the Bears will surrender points.

The Bears gave up 339 yards to the Cyclones—roughly 1.5 times more than the average total yards they surrendered to nonconference teams—and 28 points, which is more than the combined number of points scored by nonconference opponents."

 

Key Players

 

Tyrone Swoops: Go ahead and file this one under the "Obviously Andy" section, but can you think of anyone (on offense) more key to a potential Texas victory than Tyrone Swoops? I can't. Baylor is likely to play stingy run defense while daring Texas to throw it. This will give Swoops a chance to make some throws. Let's hope that he continues to show the same good progress he has from game to game.

Is it just me or do you feel like this guy is about due for a breakout game? (crossing my fingers)

 

Cedric Reed Baylor TexasCedric Reed: Go ahead and file this one under the "Needs to Show Up" section. We all know that Cedric Reed can be a great defender, but his season has not started the way that many (including Mel Kiper Jr.) thought it would. If Texas is going to stop Bryce Petty, Reed is going to be a big part of it.

Reed knows how good the Baylor front 5 is, and he sounds ready for the challenge.

"I just learned they haven't gave up any sacks," Reed said Monday. "I'm ready to go play. It's very confidence-boosting going into this game knowing that."

 

Quotes from the Coaches

 

"It's a big test this week. It's really an unbelievable football team. I look at Baylor, and they're the No. 6-ranked team in the country, No. 1 in scoring offense and total offense. They just generate points. It's almost like watching a video game." - Charlie Strong on facing an explosive Baylor offense 

"They've always played good defense and this year is no exception. They're very well coached, fundamentally sound, and they play at a high level. And they play with a lot of confidence. That's something we've always seen from Texas, and Coach Strong and his staff have done a great job of keeping that tradition alive and maybe even expanding on it."

-Art Briles on the Texas defense, via BaylorBears.com

 (Article Sources - Bleacher Report, ESPN, BaylorBears.com)

What do you think?

James Schleicher

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.

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