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Lamar Cardinals vs. Baylor Bears Game Preview and Prediction

Seth Russell

Seth Russell

Both teams started the season with impressive wins last week beating their opponents by a combined score of 122-24.

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Baylor's defense showed some weaknesses in the first half against SMU before shutting them down in the third and fourth quarters. Any of those weaknesses will probably disappear as Baylor returns both Shawn Oakman and Orion Stewart from suspension. Lamar was able to score at will against an undermanned Bacone College.

Unfortunately recent history has not fared well for Lamar against Power 5 Conference opponents and Baylor is just about as tough of an opponent as they could schedule.

Lamar at Baylor

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: Fox Sports Net
Spread: N/A

Three Things to Watch

1. Will Shawn Oakman’s return matter?

Baylor’s All-American defensive end was suspended last week for unspecified violation of team rules. The Bears gave up 369 yards to SMU last weekend including 203 on the ground. The return of Oakman will inevitably mean that total will fall drastically.

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The question is, will the return of Oakman and safety Stewart really matter against a Cardinal team that is simply outmatched?

2. Lamar offense
While Bacone College wouldn’t be a match for many, Lamar still showed some impressive offensive ability. The Cardinals ran the ball by committee against Bacone to the tune of 264 yards. Lamar quarterback Joe Minden added another 170 yards passing including three touchdown passes.

Lamar has a good offense. Is it good enough to stay with the Bears? That is highly doubtful. However, Cardinal fans could see glimpses of hope.

3. Will Baylor take their foot off the pedal?

This is the million dollar question. Baylor is still facing ridicule for their weak non-conference schedule. The only way left to rectify this is to defeat these teams in a fashion to leave no doubt the Bears are a far superior team.

This is an unfortunate circumstance for Lamar who happens to be in the crosshairs of a potent offense and shutout defense. If Baylor coach Art Briles feels he needs to silence the critics and ensure these games against lesser opponents do not harm them in the future he may unleash the dogs.

Final Analysis

While Baylor may allow Lamar to score late this game will be out of hand by the end of the first half. Don’t expect to see many starters in the second half of this game unless Baylor head coach Art Briles feels he needs to make a statement. If that happens this could be an embarrassment that could leave hard feelings for some time to come.

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Prediction: Baylor 64, Lamar 7

— 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.