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Baylor vs. TCU Football Prediction and Preview

Baylor Bears vs. TCU Horned Frogs Football Prediction and Preview

The streaking Bears look to stay hot on the road against the reeling Horned Frogs

The upcoming matchup between the Baylor Bears and TCU Horned Frogs took a strange turn on Sunday when TCU and longtime coach Gary Patterson went their separate ways.

After losing three straight games, the coaching change may help the Frogs (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) pull out of a tailspin. It also could contribute to their season spiraling further out of control.

Either way, Baylor head coach Dave Aranda will try to keep his squad (7-1, 4-1) focused on potentially playing for a Big 12 title in December.

Here’s what to watch when these teams square off on Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth.

No. 12 Baylor at TCU

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: FOX
Spread: Baylor -6.5

When Baylor Has the Ball

The Bears have seen their offense take off in the last three games, averaging 38 points per contest. In a 31-24 victory over Texas last week, Baylor relied on a rushing attack that hammered out 5.5 yards per carry and three scores. Abram Smith led the way with 145 yards on 20 carries.

The success of the Baylor rushing attack offset a bad day through the air. Quarterback Gerry Bohanon played his worst game of the season, completing 17 of 30 attempts for 190 yards and zero touchdowns. He also tossed two interceptions, giving him three picks in the last two games. That's something to watch going forward.

Based on what we've seen so far from the TCU defense, another big game is in store for the Baylor offense. The Frogs are giving up 5.3 yards per rushing attempt, so look for decent numbers from Smith and backfield cohort Trestan Ebner.

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When TCU Has the Ball

A downturn from the TCU offense has played a role in the team's recent losing streak. The Horned Frogs have scored 19 and 12 points in losses to West Virginia and Kansas State, respectively. Baylor isn't the team to try to get the O back on track against.

The Bears rank second in the Big 12 in points allowed per game at 19.4. They owe much of their success to the fact they are giving up 6.9 yards per pass attempt, which also ranks second in the league. Baylor excels in creating turnovers, too, generating 13 through eight games.

It would help TCU's cause to get stud running back Zach Evans back on the field. Evans has missed two of the Frogs' last three games with a leg injury. Sophomore Kendre Miller has carried the load admirably, but he lacks Evans' strength.

Final Analysis

Nothing about this matchup sounds promising for a discombobulated TCU team playing under interim head coach Jerry Kill. It's hard to find any areas where the Horned Frogs have an edge over a streaking Baylor team.

Could Kill use backup quarterback Chandler Morris to give his offense a jolt? Morris stepped in for Max Duggan in TCU's dismal 31-12 loss to Kansas State last week, completing nine of his 14 passes for 111 yards. He also chipped in 38 rushing yards on eight carries.

Don't be shocked if the Bears play a little flat early in this game. Although they're surging, the Bears are catching TCU in a road trip between matchups with Texas and Oklahoma.

The final score may be tighter than expected, but Baylor will still head back to Waco with a win.

Prediction: Baylor 28, TCU 23

Podcast: Week 10 Predictions, CFB Playoff Rankings Debate and Conference Expansion News

— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is the founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.