Underperforming Longhorns take on No. 8 Baylor Bears this weekend
After the firing of coach Art Briles and the sexual assault allegations against the school, Baylor wasn’t expected to be the usual powerhouse this season. Yet, they’re unbeaten (6-0, 3-0 in the Big 12). The Texas Longhorns, on the other hand, have disappointed many a fan this season – not to mention Charlie Strong has likely lost his coaching job – with their 3-4 (1-3 in the Big 12) performance.
The Baylor-Texas rivalry is intense – there was even a fist fight last year – and there’s no reason to expect this year to be any different. But those are outside distractions, something the teams will try to block out.
“We just have to focus on the next win, the next game, so it’s huge anyway you look at it,” Baylor linebacker Aiavion Edwards said. “We’re trying to focus on taking care of business and going down there and getting a win. After playing here, and playing in the Big 12, you respect all the teams. [Texas is] the next team up.”
Let’s take a look at the two teams. The Bears average 549.2 yards of offense (third most in the conference and fourth nationally) while allowing just 320.3 yards per game (best in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in total defense). The Longhorns have been inconsistent on defense all season; they’ve missed tackles, had trouble getting turnovers, and made negative plays. Last week’s loss to Kansas State should have been a solid win for the Longhorns, but the pieces just didn’t come together.
Baylor’s definitely the stronger of the two teams, but then again, they haven’t had a terribly difficult season so far – facing teams like Rice, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Kansas. This weekend’s matchup with Texas will be the real test of how solid the Bears are. Pretty convinced they’ll pass that test, though.