Baylor finds itself playing in the state of Texas on Saturday when the Bears face Texas Tech at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and being in the Lone Star State is a good thing for the nation’s sixth-ranked team. The Bears aim for their 20th victory in a row in games played in Texas and, more importantly, remain in contention for a berth in the four-team college football playoff. Texas Tech snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 34-31 victory at Iowa State, but will face its biggest challenge of the season in slowing a Baylor offense that leads the nation in scoring and total offense.
Baylor senior quarterback Bryce Petty averages nearly 400 yards passing per game, engineering an offense that has topped 600 total yards five times in 10 games. For all the attention focused on when the Bears have the ball, their defense is also a critical component to Baylor’s success, ranking in the top 30 nationally in total defense and scoring defense. Texas Tech’s upset hopes likely rest on a big day from junior running back DeAndre Washington, the first Red Raiders’ player to rush for 1,000 in 16 years.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Baylor -24.5
ABOUT BAYLOR (9-1, 6-1 Big 12): The Bears continue to post huge offensive numbers, scoring 20 or more points nine times in the first half, scoring 60 or more in four games this season and leading the nation in touchdowns of 25-plus yards (18) and 40-plus yards (15). Petty has plenty of options at his disposal, including sophomore running back Shock Linwood (23 yards shy of 1,000) and sophomore wide receiver Corey Coleman (124.4 receiving yards and nine touchdown receptions). Senior middle linebacker Bryce Hager, who led the Big 12 in tackles two seasons ago, has 51 stops in his past five games.
ABOUT TEXAS TECH (4-7, 2-6): Freshman quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the first signal-caller in school history to throw four touchdowns in consecutive games, passing for 328 yards last week in his third consecutive start. Washington rushed for a career-best 186 yards last week, giving him 1,038 on the season as the Red Raiders rushed for 272. Texas Tech linebacker Pete Robertson ranks second in the Big 12 with 10 sacks.
1. Baylor has led by double-digits for 62.3 percent of its games, the highest percentage in the nation.
2. Baylor and Oregon are the only two FBS offenses to rush for 30-plus touchdowns and pass for 30-plus TDs this season.
3. Texas Tech holds a narrow 36-35-1 lead in the all-time series, but Baylor has won the past three meetings.
PREDICTION: Baylor 47, Texas Tech 21