TCU Horned Frogs at #17 Baylor Bears
Saturday, November 5, 2016, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
McLane Stadium – Waco, Texas
Opening Line: Baylor -10
Current Line: Baylor -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 70
Current Total: 68 1/2
Opening Money Line: Baylor -380 / TCU +315
Current Money Line: Baylor -300 / TCU +250
The Big 12 will come down to four teams, but it is extremely unlikely that one of those four will be considered for one of the playoff spots. Oklahoma leads the way at 6-0, with Oklahoma State at 4-1. Baylor and West Virginia entered play last week at 6-0 overall and 3-0 on the road. Both teams lost on the road however. You might notice one notable name missing from that list are the Texas Christian Horned Frogs. Well, TCU is 4-4 and 2-3 in conference, tied with Texas and Texas Tech for fifth. TCU travels to 6-1 Baylor Saturday in a key match-up.
The series between Baylor and TCU is tied at 52-52-7, but TCU leads 26-24-1 in Waco. The Horned Frogs won last year 28-21 in double overtime at home.
TCU is coached by Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs have home wins over South Dakota State 59-41 and Iowa State 41-20, plus road wins at SMU 33-3 and Kansas 24-23. TCU lost at home to Arkansas 41-38 in overtime, Oklahoma 52-46 and Texas Tech last week 27-24 in overtime. TCU also has a road loss at West Virginia 34-10. The Horned Frogs are 1-7 ATS and the total is 4-4 this season. TCU was a 9.5 point favorite against Texas Tech and the total was 87. Only a narrow one point win over lowly Kansas has prevented a four game losing streak.
Jim Grobe is the interim coach for Baylor. The Bears have home wins over Northwestern State 55-7, SMU 40-13, Oklahoma State 35-24, and Kansas 49-7, plus road wins at Rice 38-10 and Iowa State 45-42. The Bears lost at Texas 35-34 last week. Baylor is 2-5 ATS and the total is 1-6. The Bears were 4 favorites against Texas and the total was 75.5.
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TCU is outscoring teams 35-30 this season. TCU is #36 nationally in scoring. The Horned Frogs average 488 yards per game on offense including 321 passing and 167 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are #24 in total offense and #14 in passing nationally. TCU allows 410 total yards on defense including 260 passing and 150 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are -3 in turnovers with 14 giveaways. TCU averages 71 penalty yards per game and opponents average 40 yards per game. The Horned Frogs are 57/128 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 67/146. TCU has forced 31 sacks and allowed 17 this season. The Horned Frogs are 34/41 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns and opponents are 32/35 with 19 touchdowns.
Quarterback Kenny Hill has thrown for 2,450 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and also has 245 yards on 69 carries with 7 touchdowns. The transfer from Texas A&M has found a home in Fort Worth but needs to cut down on the interceptions. Foster Sawyer has taken a few snaps as well.
Running back Kyle Hicks has 104 carries for 597 yards and 7 touchdowns and has 31 catches for 340 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with an ankle injury. Trevorris Johnson has 28 carries for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns. Derrick Green has 32 carries for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. Shaun Nixon is out for the season with a broken leg.
Receiver Taj Williams has 31 catches for 593 yards and 4 touchdowns. John Diarse has 24 catches for 360 yards and a touchdown. Jaelen Austin has 15 catches for 225 yards and 5 touchdowns. Desmon White has 21 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. KaVontae Turpin has 20 catches for 235 yards. He is probable with a knee injury. Ty Slanina has 15 catches for 135 yards. Five defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Baylor is outscoring teams 42-20 this season. The Bears are #11 in scoring and #20 in points allowed nationally. Baylor is averaging 560 yards per game on offense including 261 passing and 299 rushing yards. The Bears are in the top four nationally in total and rushing offense. On defense, Baylor is allowing 353 yards per game including 179 passing and 173 rushing yards. The Bears are in the top 30 nationally in total and pass defense. Baylor is +6 in turnovers with 16 takeaways. The Bears average 72 penalty yards per game and opponents average 38 per game. Baylor is 67/138 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 48/125. The Bears have forced 18 sacks and allowed 10 this season. Baylor is 32/41 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns and opponents are 19/24 with 13 touchdowns. The Bears had not allowed a point in the fourth quarter this season until last week when Texas scored 9 to pull off the upset.
Quarterback Seth Russell has thrown for 1,696 yards with 18 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 73 carries for 440 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a concussion. Zach Smith has thrown for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Terence Williams has 103 carries for 623 yards and 8 touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. Shock Linwood has 94 carries for 567 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a hamstring injury. JaMycal Hasty has 52 carries for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 3 catches for 26 yards. Running back Johnny Jefferson is out for the season for personal reasons.
Receiver K.D. Cannon has 35 catches for 561 yards and 6 touchdowns. Blake Lynch has 20 catches for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chris Platt has 16 catches for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ishmael Zamora has 18 catches for 272 and 4 touchdowns. Four defensive players are listed on the injury report.
TCU is 13-6 ATS against teams with winning records, 1-4 after a straight up loss, 1-5 after failing to cover, 0-5 in conference games, and on grass, and 0-4 overall. The underdog is 5-0 ATS in this series recently. TCU is 4-0 ATS against Baylor overall and 4-1 in Waco.
Baylor is 8-2 ATS after gaining more than 450 total yards, 29-11 at home, 5-2 after a straight up loss, 3-7 in conference games, 4-10 overall, 3-8 after rushing for ore than 200 yards, 2-7 after allowing more than 450 total yards, and on grass, 1-4 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, and in November.
Baylor still has hopes of a Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl berth. However, they should not take TCU lightly. The Horned Frogs are clearly in a rebuilding year but still dangerous. This should be a high scoring game as most Big 12 contests are, but I like Baylor to pull away late.