Baylor Football: Will magical season continue at TCU in Week 11?

Baylor football travels to Forth Worth to tangle with the TCU Horned Frogs. What must the Bears do to come away with another Big 12 win?

The Baylor Bears travel to Fort Worth to tangle with TCU in Week 11. The Bears come into this game undefeated atop the Big 12 standings after narrowly escaping their Halloween night tilt with the pesky West Virginia Mountaineers. The Horned Frogs come into this game off a win as well.

This game’s all about expectations and perspective. Neither team expected to be in the situation they are in currently. This was supposed to be the big bounce-back year for the Horned Frogs who scraped together seven wins with paper clips, chewing gum and Scotch tape a year ago. This season, however, has had its ups and downs due to playing a freshman at quarterback for most of the season.

But Max Duggan has tremendous upside, and will be a force in years to come and you take your lumps most times with a true freshman quarterback.

The Bears were simply taking the next step. They had a good year two under head coach Matt Rhule, going 7-6 last season and winning one of the more entertaining bowls of last postseason. Saturday, the Bears look to continue their winning ways against a TCU squad that is figuring it out offensively and is always tough defensively.

Here’s more information on the game:

Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium
TV: FOX Sports 1
Stream: FOX Sports Go

Keys to Victory

If the Horned Frogs are going to win, they have to win upfront offensively. The Baylor Bears come into this game with one of the stingiest run defenses in the conference giving up 122 yards per game and only 3.4 yards per carry. That’s not good news for an offense that has three players with more than 70 carries and run at a 5.0 yards per carry clip.

The run game is the foundation of what the Frogs want to do offensively. TCU has to figure out how to win the line of scrimmage.

In addition, freshman Max Duggan needs to read his keys well when they use their option-read run game. He has to read the defensive end and know when to keep or pitch. Most importantly, offensive coordinator needs to scheme their best offensive player, Jalen Reagor to get as many touches as possible. He has more than twice as many receptions as the second leading receiver. They are going to need his home run speed in this game.

Much like the home team, the Bears rely on their run game as well. The TCU defense isn’t as dominant as prior years, but can come up with a big game when they need to–ask Texas. Baylor can’t be Charlie Brewer or bust offensively. Their complementary run game off the option has to be there. The defense has to respect the pitch to open the inside run for Brewer. He has to get the ball downfield to big play receiver Tyquan Thornton.

The Horned Frogs’ pass rush hasn’t been great this season, so Brewer should have time to throw.

Odds

Courtesy of The Action Network

Line: Baylor -2.5
Over/Under: 47.5

Prediction

To be completely frank, this game wreaks of an upset. The Horned Frogs are looking at their young talent, and saying to themselves, “We can’t win it this year, but we’re good enough to spoil it for someone else.”

The Big 12 is such a gauntlet as well. On the other side, the Bears played extremely tight against a game, yet undermanned West Virginia team. Also, the Baylor offense can disappear for stretches during a game — something the Horned Frogs can exploit.

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The Bears should play loose. They are playing with house money; they aren’t supposed to be this good this soon, but they are. If last week’s game is any indicator of how they handle success, they are in trouble in this one. Take the under, TCU mucks this one up and pulls the upset.

Final Score: Baylor 17, TCU 21