Texas Tech is 5-6 on the year, and the team is currently mired in a four-game losing steak. During their recent run of futility, the Red Raiders have been outscored by 190-60 margin. Last week's loss at Missouri was actually the closest of the foursome, as it ended in a 31-27 final. Tommy Tuberville's team is 3-2 on the road this year, with its signature win being a 41-38 upset of Oklahoma in Norman back on October 22.
Baylor took care of the same Sooners last Saturday, 45-38, winning for the first time ever in 22 tries against Oklahoma. As a result, the Bears find themselves with a 7-3 record, which includes a 4-3 mark in Big 12 play. A win here and next week at home against Texas, would solidify their place in a significant bowl game. A win over the Red Raiders would also give BU its first-ever five win Big 12 slate, and its first four-game win streak since winning five straight to begin the 1991 season. The last time the Bears won four straight conference games was a six-game stretch in 1986-87.
Texas Tech leads the all-time series with Baylor, 36-32-1, and the Red Raiders are 15-0 against the Bears since the formation of the Big 12 Conference. BU last topped Tech back in 1995.
Texas Tech isn't quite the explosive offensive team we've seen in years past, but the Red Raiders are still quite formidable. Tech is averaging 33.1 ppg behind an aerial attack that generates 340.2 ypg and picks up better than 10 yards per pass play. QB Seth Doege is the latest in a long line of successful Red Raider gunslingers, as he has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 3,644 yards, 25 TDs and only eight INTs this season. Eric Ward has been the guy who has benefited the most from Doege's exploits, having caught 68 balls for 649 yards and nine scores. The Texas Tech ground game has accounted for 18 TDs, but with just 132.8 ypg, opponents typically don't have to worry about that form of attack, and instead turn their attention to stopping the pass.
The Red Raider defense is giving up nearly 250 ypg rushing, and foes have scored 28 TDs on the ground in averaging 36.8 ppg. Pressure at the point of attack has been the team's Achilles' heel, as it has posted just 14 sacks despite logging 68 TFL. Cody Davis is the team leader in total stops with 81, 63 of which have been unassisted, but the defense has come up with only five INTs and allows nearly half of its enemy's third-down conversion attempts to be successful.
Doege threw for one score and ran for another, but it wasn't enough as the Red Raiders couldn't complete the comeback in last week's four-point loss at Missouri. Doege wound up with 315 passing yards on 37 completions, nine of which went to Darrin Moore (88 yards, one TD), and Aaron Crawford led the rushing attack with 70 yards on 14 totes (5.0 ypc).
The Red Raiders know they are down to their last out, as a loss this week will keep them from a bowl game. Doege is confident his team will rise to the occasion, "We're going to do everything we can to be prepared, excited. Whatever we need to do to figure out how to win this game, we'll do it. I think the team realizes that, and I think we're excited about it."
From a defensive standpoint, Tech limited Mizzou QB James Franklin to 172 passing yards, although he did throw a couple of TDs. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders couldn't keep Franklin under wraps on the ground, as he rushed for a career-best 152 yards and two scores, averaging 7.6 ypc along the way. Davis logged 10 tackles in the game, while also forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass.
Baylor has its own standout QB in Robert Griffin III, and the junior has taken his game to another level this year, completing 72.9 percent of his passes for 3,572 yards, 33 TDs and only five INTs. If that weren't enough, he also ranks second on the team in rushing with 550 yards and five scores. Terrance Ganaway paces the club with 949 yards and 12 TDs, averaging 5.8 ypc in helping the Bears churn out 203.0 ypg on the ground. Kendall Wright is far and away the leading receiver for the team, grabbing 89 balls for 1,281 yards and 10 TDs, while Terrance Williams has scored nine times and Tevin Reese another seven.
The BU defense has clearly been the team's weakest link this year, as foes are scoring an average of 36.2 ppg -- just behind the 40.8 ppg the Bears average themselves. Foes have used a balanced attack to keep Baylor at bay, rushing for 213.7 ypg and 22 TDs, while passing for 259.2 ypg and 25 scores. Mike Hicks leads the unit with 82 tackles, and he is one of three Bears to record at least 80 stops on the year.
Griffin III was brilliant in last week's win over Oklahoma, throwing for a school-record 476 yards and four TDs. He added a team-high 72 rushing yards to his impressive stat line, further cementing his legacy as one of the best the Big 12 has even seen. Wright had a monster game thanks to his QBs effort, hauling in eight balls for 208 yards and a score.
"Just another day at the office for Robert," Baylor coach Art Briles said after the OU game. "He's been doing that for three or four years. When the ball's in his hand, he's going to make good things happen, because he's very intelligent, very passionate and very gifted."
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears bent often but refused to break as Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, a sensational performer in his own right, threw for 447 yards, but did not have a TD pass. The two teams combined for more than 1,200 yards of total offense, and BU's Sam Holl was credited with more tackles than any other defender on either squad, tallying 16 stops. Hicks and Elliot Coffey both finished in double figures as well with 12 tackles apiece.