Horned Frogs Meet the Undefeated Baylor Bears
November 8, 2019
Into the final 33-1/3 percent of the football season. After eight games, the Frogs are 4-4. Some nice wins. Disappointing losses. Homecoming heroics against Texas. And injuries that have left the Frogs in patch-up mode this week as they prepare for Baylor.
Last week’s loss at Oklahoma State hurt. Literally.
The game against the Cowboys was a physical one that left the Frogs searching for depth when it was all said and done. The game cost the Frogs health at quarterback. Max Duggan hurt a hand, Michael Collins took some big hits on his way to being injured and Alex Delton left the team. The Frogs’ QB cupboard is suddenly bare. Word is that Duggan will give it a go and Georgia transfer Matthew Downing took the express elevator from the scout team end of the practice field to working with the first team. College football is the land of opportunity and that’s never more true than this week at TCU.
Opportunity for young players to step up and make plays. Opportunity to prove that this TCU team really is just 14 plays away from being a one-loss team. Opportunity to flex its defensive muscle and keep a battered offense in the game. Opportunity to take down a Top 10 team in a hated rival.
The Baylor-TCU series is a storied one. Saturday’s tussle will be number 115 between the two schools and the two have shared many-a historic moment through the years. 1899 was the first game: a 0-0 tie. There have been some good, some sad, some silly. TCU owned Baylor from 1964 – 71 when the Frogs rattled off eight straight wins. That 1971 win in Waco, Texas, was also the game in which TCU Head Coach Jim Pittman died of a massive heart attack on the sidelines during the game. Then there’s the game in 1980 when the Frogs were giving the 11th-ranked Bears, led by Mike Singletary a tussle. It was 7-6 in the 3rd quarter when the PA Announcer at Amon G. Carter Stadium decided he would announce that SMU had just defeated Texas in Austin, wounding the Bears’ biggest obstacle to the Southwest Conference crown. Baylor went on to win 21-6. The announcer was fired the next day. In the mid-90s, the Southwest Conference broke up. Baylor had Governor Ann Richards behind it and TCU didn’t. Baylor got in the Big 12 in 1996 and TCU was off to wander through the WAC, Conference USA and the Mountain West. The two schools didn’t play football against one another from 1996- 2005. Finally, in 2006, the series was rekindled and the Frogs have gone 8-3 vs. Baylor since.
This year’s edition of the Baylor Bears has been a surprise. Undefeated into this second week of November and on a roll. The defense is solid. A 3-3-5 scheme, adopted last spring, has netted huge results. BU is No. 1 in scoring defense in the Big 12 at 18.5 points per game, No. 2 in Rushing Defense at 122 yards per game and 3 in pass defense and No. 3 in total defense. They do a great job containing offenses and the linebackers are very fast. The secondary may be a little soft as they’ll be missing safety Chris Miller, who’s out for this game thanks to his third targeting violation this year.
Offensively, Baylor is loaded.
QB Charlie Brewer is a tough kid who keeps coming at you. The offensive line is athletic and has protected Brewer to the point that he’s completing 67 percent of his passes. Running backs JaMycal Hasty and John Lovett are working well, having strung together four straight games in which they’ve run for more than 100 yards per game combined.
To win this one, the Frogs have to:
- Get very creative on the offensive side.
- Be sound on the defensive side, limiting big plays.
- Defense and special teams have to be great and one of those units will need to score.
- Avoid turnovers; the Frogs are +3 in turnover margin in wins, minus-7 in losses.
Look for another storied battle tomorrow. We’re on the air on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 10 a.m. CT.
Kick ‘Em High!