until Texas vs Kansas

Thursday, November 3


Texas "at" Baylor Game Preview

Last week we sort of blew off Oklahoma State and it cost us. No, we’re not talking about the football team. We’re talking about us, here at All Things Longhorn. Well, the Cowboys got our attention very early, and we’re not making that same mistake twice. It’s hard not to say Baylor without snickering, but we’re going to do the full preview and (try to) take this team seriously.

First, a few fun numbers for you:

1995—the last time the Bears won two conference games in a season (they have one this year, at Iowa State)

300—points scored by Texas in its last six games versus Baylor

28—points scored by Baylor in its last six games versus Texas (C.J. Wilson should take note)

2—overtime losses by Baylor this year (Texas A&M and Oklahoma)

22—average points per game for Baylor this year

47—average points per game for Texas this year

2—Baylor conference rank in pass efficiency defense

1—Texas conference rank in pass efficiency defense

Even in Baylor’s best statistical category, pass efficiency defense, they’re bettered by the Horns. There’s simply no way to sugar coat this—Baylor is completely outmatched here. It’s a nice story that they’ve been competitive this year, but it’s a relative storyline. “Hey, Baylor doesn’t completely suck this year!”

Their defense is certainly improved, but their offense got shutout by a pedestrian Texas Tech defense and managed only 13 points against the woeful Aggies. Their best conference game was a fluky, double overtime game against Oklahoma that they wound up losing, 37-30.

The worst news of all for the Bears is that Texas stumbled a bit last week and has motivation coming out its ears to blow out Baylor. We do plenty of BCS breakdowns here at ATL, and we’re all well aware that these style points are becoming increasingly important. As Texas jostles with Virginia Tech for the #2 BCS spot, they must continue to impress human voters as their strength of schedule dips with their remaining schedule. After losing ground last week due to the bad first half versus OSU, you can bet Mack Brown will be interested in ringing up a big blowout versus Baylor this week. Add in the fact that Virginia Tech is playing a marquee game versus a Top 10 team this week, while all will be watching, and Texas finds itself in a must-blowout game. That’s a weird concept, but hey, the BCS is a weird concept.

The most interesting storyline for Texas will be watching who gets the bulk of the carries in the backfield this week. Mack Brown has expressed frustration with Jamaal Charles inability to stay on the field (he left last week’s game with cramps), Selvin Young is still banged up, and Ramonce Taylor is creeping into the mix. We’ll be watching closely to see if Charles can regain his early season form and to see if Taylor gets additional carries this week.

The other challenge for Baylor is the diversity of the Horns offensive attack this year. If the running backs are faltering, or the pass game isn’t clicking, Vince can gazelle his way to scores on his own. Young’s become such a multi-dimensional threat that it’s virtually impossible to shut him down. Simply put, he can beat you too many ways. Against Colorado, he was passing like John Elway. Against Oklahoma State, he was running like Michael Vick. Against Oklahoma, he did it both ways. The guy has just gotten too good.

Meanwhile, the defense has a lot to prove after the first half stumble last week. Gene Chizik and the defense pride themselves on their dominance, and while they shut OSU down in the second half, they’ll be out to dominate for four quarters this week.

As always, Baylor’s best chance to make a game of this will be to win the battle of turnovers and field position by a wide, wide margin. Field position has actually been one of Baylor’s strengths this year—in seven of eight games, they’ve averaged starting field position at the 30 yard line or beyond—but it would take a Villanova-esque perfect game for the Bears to win this one.

And don’t forget, this is only a half-home game for Baylor. Every year, without fail, the number of Burnt Orange faithful matches or outnumbers the Bear fans in attendance at Floyd Casey Stadium. Texas has a lot to prove this week, and I’m confident they will. Horns rout the Bears early and win convincingly, 51-10.


Texas will win with ease for the "home" fans dressed in orange.

Texas 35, Baylor 0.
You have struck upon/invented the perfect verb to describe how VY plays the game of football: gazelle.

Main Entry: ga·zelle
Pronunciation: g&-'zel
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s):gazelled /g&-'zeld/; also chiefly dialect gazelle; ga·zelled; ga·zell·ing
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from Arabic ghazAl
: to play masterful and graceful football on one's feet; to daunt and vault over an opposing defense with non-chalent nimbleness.
"Vince can gazelle his way to scores on his own."
I am heading up to the game tomorrow morning and will be dressed in burnt orange of course. I, like Travis, can't see Baylor putting up four tds. Texas is looking to make a statement opposite the VA Tech/Miami game. We can't afford to lose points in the human polls. We will lose points in the computers soley on quality of our last three opponents.

So, Texas runs through Baylor. I see Charles running like he did pre-OU and VY having another solid game on the ground. Texas scores early and often. Horns 42-13.
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