BIG 12 Preview: Texas Longhorns vs Baylor Bears
WACO (AP) – A share of the Big 12 title is at stake for the winner as the Texas Longhorns travel to take on the Baylor Bears this weekend.
And, if No. 6 Oklahoma State loses earlier Saturday at home against No. 18 Oklahoma, Texas or Baylor will be the outright Big 12 champion and headed to the Fiesta Bowl.
It is the final game after 64 seasons at Floyd Casey Stadium, where the Bears are 5-0 against Top 25 teams the past three seasons and have won nine straight games since October 2012.
KEY MATCHUP: The running backs on a day when it’s going to be freezing cold and maybe wet. Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron both had 100-yard rushing games in the last game for the Longhorns, who lost Jonathan Gray to a right Achilles injury last month. Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin both returned from injuries last week with solid games at TCU. Seastrunk is the Big 12 leader with 109 yards rushing per game, and needs only 18 yards to become the first Baylor player with two 1,000-yard seasons.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Texas: DE Jackson Jeffcoat has 63 tackles, 19 for a loss, with 10 sacks, three pass breakups, three fumble recoveries, an interception and 16 quarterback pressures. The senior has 24 1/2 career sacks, with a career-high three his last game against Texas Tech.
Baylor: QB Bryce Petty is averaging 9.5 yards per play, on pace to break the NCAA record of 9.2 set by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan in 2006. Petty has thrown for 3,557 yards with 28 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has run for 11 more scores.
FACTS & FIGURES: Baylor has won 10 times for the third time in school history (1980, 2011), but has never won 11 games.
The Longhorns have 33 sacks their last eight games, the most in the FBS during that span. They had only two in first three games before changing defensive coordinators.
DE Chris McAllister’s 15 career sacks are tied for the most in Baylor history.
The Longhorns were also two-touchdown underdogs when they beat Oklahoma 36-20 in October.
Anthony Fera has made 15 consecutive field goals, tied for the longest streak in Longhorns history.
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