If you missed the TCU vs. Texas Tech game last week you missed a high scoring affair and a dramatic ending. But don’t worry, there is a very good chance you will see something very similar this weekend in Arlington.
Baylor comes into the game behind an offense that is scoring at will. Likewise Texas Tech has shown its offensive firepower. Defensive stops should be at a premium and records have a chance of being broken in what may be one of the most interesting displays of offensive firepower all season.
College Football Podcast: Week 5 Preview with Andy Staples
Baylor at Texas Tech
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: ABC
Spread: Baylor -17
Three Things to Watch
1. Can Baylor Make History?
Never in the history of college football has a team surpassed 700 total offensive yards in four straight games. The Baylor Bears have the opportunity to do just that this Saturday in Arlington. The Bears are currently leading the nation averaging 767 yards per game.
So is the feat attainable? Texas Tech is currently ranked 122nd in the nation in total defense allowing 556.3 yards per game. They allowed 750 total yards against TCU last week. There is a very real chance Baylor sets an NCAA record this weekend.
2. Patrick Mahomes
The Texas Tech quarterback was injured during the first quarter of last week’s game versus TCU. He finished the game with a knee brace (left knee) but it definitely affected his mobility.
Kingsbury still has Mahomes listed as day-to-day. If he is able to play this weekend you can expect the Raiders to try to establish the run first, much like they did against TCU when they ran the ball 39 times. Obviously Mahomes’s immobility takes away an important aspect of the Raiders offense. Baylor may test Mahomes's ability to get outside the pocket by blitzing early.
3. Can Texas Tech Stop Baylor’s Offense?
The short answer to this question is probably not. Baylor is on pace to have one of the most prolific offenses in the history of college football. Texas Tech allowed Trevone Boykin and TCU to throw for over 500 yards last weekend. Baylor receiver, Corey Coleman, is also averaging 27 yards per catch this season, a stat that is absolutely absurd.
Even if Texas Tech is able to take away the passing game Baylor has already surpassed 1100 yards on the ground this season. Of the backs that have at least 20 carries this season only Terrence Williams is averaging less than 8 yards per carry, and he is still at 7.4.
I’m not saying Texas Tech’s defense is bad, I’m merely saying stopping Baylor’s offense may be next to impossible. Pay attention to the defensive schemes Texas Tech’s defensive coordinator David Gibbs draws up this week. Taking chances is the best, and possibly only, way to contain the Bears.
There is no doubt this will be a shootout. If either defense can hold the other team’s offense to under 40 points they should hold their heads high.
The mobility of Patrick Mahomes may be a wildcard in this game. Although the Raiders should be able to run the ball against the Bears who are allowing just over 156 yards per game on the ground, Mahomes will need to throw the ball in order to keep up with Baylor.
Baylor should pull off the victory here but not by the score the spread suggests. This isn’t the same Texas Tech team from last season. They have the ability to stay in games against marquee opponents as made evident against TCU last week. The only problem is Baylor is more dangerous than TCU and that will show this Saturday.
Prediction: Baylor 56, Texas Tech 49
— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.