NCAA Preview: Baylor At Rice

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No. 21 Baylor (2-0) at Rice (0-2), 8 p.m. Friday (ESPN)

Line: Baylor by 30

Series Record: Baylor leads 48-30-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Baylor is looking to be 3-0 for the sixth straight season, which would be a first in program history. The Bears start conference play Sept. 24 against Oklahoma State, so they have to be careful about not looking ahead. Rice is trying to avoid a 0-3 start for the second time in three seasons.

KEY MATCHUP

Baylor QB Seth Russell vs. Rice secondary. Russell has thrown for 424 yards and six touchdowns while completing almost 60 percent of his passes in the first two games. Russell will likely be able to find success against a Rice secondary, which has surrendered 618 passing yards and three touchdowns in two games. Quarterbacks have completed 30 of 41 passes against the Owls.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Baylor: RB Shock Linwood has rushed for 156 yards in two games this season and needs 48 yards to break Walter Abercrombie’s school rushing record of 3,665 yards. He also needs two rushing touchdowns to break the Baylor school record for rushing touchdowns.
Rice: QB Tyler Stehling has thrown for 383 yards and one touchdown in the first two games and leads the team in rushing with 17 carries for 81 yards and another score. But Stehling has thrown three interceptions and has completed just 39 of 68 passes.

FACTS & FIGURES

Baylor has won seven straight in the series of former Southwest Conference rivals and hasn’t lost to the Owls since 1992. … The Bears own a 26-20-2 record in the series in Houston and have won eight of the last nine in Houston. … Rice hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent since October 11, 1997 when they beat No. 21 BYU, 27-14. . Baylor S Orion Stewart was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with eight tackles and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, against SMU. . Rice P Jack Fox is averaging 44.8 yards on 12 punts in the first two games.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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