Date: October 3, 2015
Time: 2:30 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys: Baylor Bears
Location: AT&T Stadium | Arlington, Texas
Weather: Mostly Sunny, High 89, Low 68
TV/Stream: ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 (complete channel listing via LSUFootball.net)
Radio: Broadcast Affiliates and TuneIn App
Vegas: Baylor opened as 15.5 point favorites, but that line has dropped to 14 to 14.5 (via OddsShark)
Last Week: Baylor demolished Rice, 70-17 (ESPN box score), behind a well-rounded offense and a Baylor defense that limited just 246 total yards.
Get caught up on all of the Big 12 action at LandGrant Gauntlet
What’s at Stake: This is Baylor’s first conference game of the year. Prior to the Rice game, they had an off week, and they tuned up against SMU and Lamar. Both of those games were obviously wins, but there was some criticism that Baylor in general didn’t see as on point (I didn’t watch a second of any of their games, just trying to give the general vibe). For Texas Tech, they don’t want to fall to 0-2 in the Big 12 conference and most Texas Tech fans knew that this three week stretch of Arkansas, TCU and Baylor would be incredibly tough and have come away with a win, a near-win (which is a loss) and now Baylor.
Three Key Players:
- QB Seth Russell (6-3/220): I don’t think that Russell has had the type of season thus far that many people expected. Not terrible by any means, just not as crisp or sharp as maybe some thought he might bust out of the gates. He did have his best game by far, completing 12 of 16 passes for 277 yards and 6 touchdowns, against Rice, where Baylor looked darn near unstoppable. For the year, Russell has completed 63% of his passes for 995 yards, about 330 yards per game, with 15 touchdowns and 4 interceptions (none of those INT’s were last week).
- WR Corey Coleman (5-11/190): For the year, Coleman has 17 receptions for 460 yards and 8 touchdowns. Coleman was just “okay” against Rice, where he caught 6 passes for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns, but I’d bet he didn’t play that much in the second half. Against SMU and Lamar, he was great, going for 178 and 1 TD against SMU and 182 and 4 TD’s against Lamar.
- DT Andrew Billings (6-2/310): Billings only has 12 tackles on the year, but of those 12 tackles, 5 of them are for a loss, which is terrific. He also has a forced fumble. Oakman gets a ton of the hype for the defense and I’ve written this a handful of times, but I’ll take Billings over Oakman because there just aren’t players his size that are as athletic as Billings is, I think he’s a special player.
Miscellaneous: Baylor was roundly criticized for it’s first two games against SMU and Lamar, largely because the wins were lackluster overall, but there was a big emphasis during their bye week prior to the Rice game about how they needed to be more focused and that’s exactly what happened . . . I thought that Baylor wouldn’t beat the spread against Rice (I can’t recall what it was, but it was heavy) because Rice runs the ball quite a bit and I thought they would control the clock quite a bit . . . that didn’t happen as Baylor pounced immediately on Rice and never let up . . . the offense was criticized more, but the defense wasn’t exactly playing up to par, but that also changed against Rice, where they limited the Owl running game to less than 200 yards . . . Rice, though, is fairly one-dimensional, although they did manage 5 sacks against a team that favors the run significantly more than the pass . . . Baylor allowed Rice to convert only 4 of 13 on 3rd down and Rice only completed 11 of 21 for 152 yards passing, while only allowing 94 yards on the ground . . .