Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Baylor Bears and the Texas Longhorns.
Friday, November 26, 2022; 11:00 a.m. CT; DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium; Austin, Texas
TV: ESPN (Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Quint Kessenich)
Radio: Baylor Sports Network (John Morris, J.J. Joe, Ricky Thompson); Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)
Records: Baylor (6-5, 4-4); Texas (7-4, 5-3)
Rankings: Baylor unranked; Texas ranked No. 23 (CFP Top 25)
Last Week: TCU 29, Baylor 28; Texas 55, Kansas 14
Series History: Texas leads 79-28-4
Last Meeting: Baylor 31, Texas 24 (2021)
Favorite: Texas (-8.5)
Fun Fact: With a win and a Kansas State loss, the Texas Longhorns will earn a Big 12 Championship berth against TCU.
RB Craig Williams, RB Richard Reese
Just like in 2021 with Abram Smith and Trestan Ebner, the Baylor Bears have a two-headed rushing attack that has produced down the stretch. Craig “Sqwirl” Williams and Richard Reese have combined for 1,438 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. These two will definitely be a fixture of the Baylor offense against Texas this week and will have a tough task in facing one of the Big 12’s better rushing defenses.
S Al Walcott
Baylor’s leading tackler with 70 stops on the year, senior safety Al Walcott is a do-it-all defender for the Bears in 2022 and has been a leader for Dave Aranda’s defensive unit in 2022. Walcott has recorded one sack, five PBUs, one interception, and one forced fumble on the year. He moves around a lot on the field and will regularly be tasked with dealing with both Bijan Robinson and Xavier Worthy in this game.
RB Bijan Robinson
Like Texas, the Baylor Bears have been solid against the run in 2022, but they haven’t yet had the pleasure of facing who I believe to be the best pound-for-pound ball carrier in the country: Bijan Robinson. Robinson has turned 229 carries into 1,401 yards (6.1 ypc) and 16 rushing touchdowns this season, plus he has added 19 receptions for 314 yards and two scores as a pass catcher. Expect him to be leaned on early and often in this game.
LB Jaylan Ford
Jaylan Ford is my vote for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and he certainly has earned that title if he is to win it. Ford leads Texas in tackles (96) and is second in the conference in that statistic, is second in the conference and first on his team with three interceptions, and is tied for the conference lead in both forced fumbles (3) and fumbles recovered (2). Ford is the heart of the Texas defense and is a big reason for the turnaround on that side of the ball.
Will Baylor’s recent road success show up again? The Bears are 3-1 on the road in Big 12 play this season, and 1-3 at home. Now, with a road trip to Austin to end the season, the Bears are no longer playing for a Big 12 Championship bid but could be playing for bowl superiority with eight teams set to make the postseason. A tough challenge awaits them as Bijan Robinson is coming off a monster performance and will be looking to build upon that.
Speaking of Bijan Robinson, can he replicate his success from last week on the ground? Asking him to turn 25 carries into 243 yards and four touchdowns against Baylor might be a tall task, but he does provide a challenge that Baylor has yet to see this season, outside of perhaps K-State’s Deuce Vaughn. Against him, the Bears surrendered 156 total yards and a score.
PREDICTION: TEXAS 31, BAYLOR 23
I like Texas to win this game with a Big 12 Championship berth potentially on the line. Quinn Ewers has struggled of late, but his running back has picked up the slack and more than made up for the lapse in offensive production (outside of TCU). Give me Bijan on the Longhorns to pull away late and put all the pressure on K-State to win a play-in game against KU in the Sunflower Showdown.