No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs (4-0 SU, 4-0 ATS) vs. No. 5 Baylor Bears (5-0 SU, 4-0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date and Time: Saturday October 11th, 2014. 3:30PM EST
Where: McLane Stadium Waco, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: TCU +8.5/Bay -8.5
Over/Under Total: 67
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Two of the top teams in the Big 12 square off this Saturday in Waco when the no. 9 TCU Horned Frogs meet the no. 5 Baylor Bears for a 3:30pm (EST) kickoff at McLane Stadium. TCU made a big splash in the Big 12 last week with their upset over no. 4 Oklahoma 37-33. The Horned Frogs vaulted from the no. 25 spot in the polls to inside the top 10 this week and suddenly find their selves in the midst of the early season Big 12 Championship talk. This week that talk comes to fruition as the Horned Frogs get their shot at the defending Big 12 Champions and undefeated Baylor Bears.
Gary Pattersons TCU defense has played extremely well this season which has been a big catalyst towards the teams impressive 4-0 start. The Horned Frogs defense currently ranks 7th in the FBS holding opponents to just 13.5 points per game. Patterson will need his defensive guys to play a flawless game this week as they go on the road against the nations best scoring offense in Baylor. The Bears are averaging 51 points per game and 343 passing yards (8th in FBS) per game. TCUs statistically strong defense did not exactly shut down Oklahoma last week as they allowed 461 total yards and 33 points. Therefore it will be interesting to see how that defense stacks up against an even better offense in just a weeks turnaround.
Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight was able to move the ball fairly well against TCUs defense and it will be interesting to see if Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty can do the same. Petty is regarding by many as the best passing quarterback in the Big 12. Pettys statistics may not be as great as a few other Big 12 quarterbacks but that is because Baylor has allowed sophomore Seth Russell plenty of playing time early this season once games have gotten out of hand. Still, Petty has completed 60% of his passes with 9 touchdowns and just 1 pick. Baylors offense is very balanced with their passing attack that is averaging 343 yards per game and with a strong rushing attack that has averaged 247 yards per game. Running backs Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson have combined for just less than 800 yards on the ground with 11 touchdowns through the first 5 games. Its that type of offensive balance with the run and the pass which has made Baylor nearly unstoppable on offense.
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Still, Baylor has much more talent that just a flashy offense. The Bears defense has been equally dynamic ranking 5th in the FBS giving up just 12.4 points per game. Baylors defense completely shut down Texas last week in a 28-7 victory. The Bears defense did not give up the touchdown until garbage time with 2 minutes to go in the game and it marked the 3rd time this season they have given up a touchdown or less in an entire game.
This Saturday Baylors defense looks for similar results as they put their focus towards TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin. Boykin leads the TCU offense in rushing with 260 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground and has been pretty solid with his arm tossing 10 touchdowns with just 2 picks. Boykin has been great this season and it will be interesting to see if Baylor can come up with a way to frustrate TCUs junior quarterback. Remember it was not the TCU defense that won the game last week against Oklahoma but rather the TCU offense. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if the offense can emulate that success again this Saturday on the road in Waco.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am a firm believer of Baylors talent on both sides of the football but I am a bigger believer of Gary Patterson. TCU is normally a safe bet in these heavily anticipated games and that is because Patterson typically has a great game plan. I expect TCU to contend in this game and think the 8.5 spread is just a bit too much. Take TCU +8.5!