With their hopes of a Big 12 championship all but gone, Texas will have to find other motivation as they finish up the regular season. The Longhorns will play their final road game of the season in Waco on Saturday against a Baylor team coming off a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma. The Bears are unlikely to be feeling sorry for themselves though, as a win over the Longhorns clinches a spot in the Big 12 title game for Matt Rhule’s squad. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Baylor offense:
Junior Charlie Brewer is the engine that makes the Baylor offense go. The Lake Travis product has had a very good season and is one of the top quarterbacks in the Big 12. Brewer has tossed 18 touchdowns on the year compared to just 5 interceptions while also adding 9 rushing touchdowns.
Brewer has gone through stretches this season where he has struggled, but overall he does an excellent job of distributing the ball to Baylor’s playmakers and making plays with his legs when he needs to. Oklahoma did a nice job in the second half last week of crowding throwing lanes and jumping routes, something the Longhorns will have replicate if they hope to slow down Brewer and the Baylor offense.
John Lovett and JaMycal Hasty will basically split touches in the running game. Both backs are averaging just over 6 yards per carry and have registered 4 touchdowns.
Junior Trestan Ebner will also see some time at running back. Ebener is sort of a jack-of-all-trades for the Bears, lining up in the backfield and at receiver. He is very explosive and has the ability to take it the distance anytime he touches the ball.
Another week, another dangerous receiver the Texas defense will face. This week, it is Denzel Mims. The senior over 750 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season, including a 2 touchdown performance last week against Oklahoma. In addition to Mims, the Longhorns will also have to keep an eye on Tyquan Thornton (613 yards on the season) and RJ Sneed (386 yards on the season.
The Bears are led by two seniors upfront on the offensive line, center Jake Fruhmorgen and guard Sam Tecklenberg. One time Texas commit Xavier Newman occupies the other guard spot. The unit as a whole has been good in the run game and serviceable in the passing game. Brewer is having to scramble around a little more than he would hope, but the Baylor coaching staff also does a nice job of masking any issues by getting the ball out quickly to negate any protection breakdowns.
It’s tough to know what the mindset of Texas will be heading into Saturday’s game. The Longhorns pretty much have nothing to play for now and that can be a dangerous thing. The Texas defense has shown signs of life over the past few weeks, but the Bears are well-coached and will surely have a good game plan. If Texas shuts down the run early and forces Brewer to do it all himself, they will give themselves a good chance of hanging around for much of the afternoon.
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