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TCU vs. Baylor: Preview and Prediction

TCU and Baylor mascots

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our TCU vs. Baylor preview and prediction.

Game Info

11:00 a.m. CST, Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, November 9th, AmonG. Carter Stadium

TV: Fox Sports 1 (Brian Custer, Robert Smith)

Radio: WBAP 820AM (TCU-Brian Estridge, John Denton); Baylor Sports Network (John Morris, J.J. Joe); Sirius 137, XM 200

Opening Line: Baylor -2.5

Fun Fact: The Horned Frogs’ four straight victories over the Bears represent their longest winning streak in the series since a run of eight straight from 1964-71.

 

Key Players

Baylor Bears

RB JaMycal Hasty

Hasty had been the leader in the backfield for the Bears in recent weeks with a combined 224 rushing yards the last two games against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. Against WVU he averaged 5.5 yards per carry after going for a 9.1 ypc clip against OSU. TCU’s running defense may not be what it’s been in recent seasons as Chuba Hubbard became the first player ever to rush for 200 yards against a Gary Patterson-coached team. On the road in a rivalry game, getting the running game going will be key and Hasty will be a big part of that.

LB Terrel Bernard

Bernard has filled the role of Clay Johnston, who went down for the season a couple of weeks ago with an injury. Through two games in the starting role, Bernard has 19 tackles, nine solo, one sack, one fumble recovery two tackles for loss. He’s led the Bears in tackles in each of the past two games and has allowed this BU defense to remain one of the best in the conference since its leader went down.

TCU Horned Frogs

WR Jalen Reagor

He’s he most explosive player on the Horned Frogs, by a long shot, and OC Sonny Cumbie is finally figuring out how to get him the ball. He had his best game of the season last week against Oklahoma State, with seven catches for 128 yards. Also, Reagor scored both of TCU’s touchdowns in last year’s 16-9 win at Baylor. He had a 65-yard catch and run for the Horned Frogs’ first touchdown, before he ran for a 37-yard touchdown on a 4th-and-1 reverse for the game’s go-ahead score with 2:02 left in the third quarter.

LB Garrett Wallow

Linebacker Garret Wallow ranks second in the Big 12 and tied for ninth nationally with 10.4 tackles per game. His team-best 83 stops are more than double the next-closest Horned Frog (Trevon Moehrig, 41). Wallow has 12.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He’s become the heart and soul of the TCU defense this season.

 

Key Storylines

Baylor Bears

The Bears need to stop the run against TCU’s third- ranked rushing offense in the Big 12 and force true freshman Max Duggan to beat them. If the Horned Frogs get the run game moving and then find a rhythm with Duggan and Reagor, that will be trouble for a Baylor offense that has been inconsistent at times. Forcing Duggan to throw will then let Baylor’s front seven, which has the most sacks in the conference, to get behind a TCU offensive line giving up the third-most sacks in the Big 12 this season.

TCU Horned Frogs

The Horned Frogs need to protect the ball. TCU is -4 in turnover margin this season, which is the second-worst mark in the conference, only ahead of Kansas. Baylor has been really good in this department, tied for first in the conference. But if TCU wants to pull off the win at home, they need to win the turnover battle. They’re +3 in turnover margin in their wins this season, making them -7 in losses.

Prediction

Baylor 24, TCU 17

The Bears got the scare they needed last week against West Virginia and had extra time to prepare for this game against TCU. Also, Baylor will looking to be avenge last season’s 16-9 home loss to the Horned Frogs. I know Gary Patterson has traditionally owned Baylor, but this is a different Baylor team Matt Rhule is working with. In some of the key statistical categories, Baylor should fare very well. The turnover margin mentioned above drastically favors Baylor, who also has a top three run and pass defense in the conference. The TCU offensive line was shaky last week against Oklahoma State and now has to face a much better front seven in Baylor. The Bears will win and remain undefeated.

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