FORT WORTH (AP) – All No. 10 TCU has to do to get into the Big 12 championship game is beat one-win Baylor at home on Friday.
While simple enough in theory, the Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-2 Big 12, No. 12 CFP) aren’t looking ahead a possible rematch against No. 3 Oklahoma.
“Anybody thinks this is a one of those checkmark games … it will not be like that,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “I expect to get gadgets, I expect to get a blowout game plan from them. From reverses to double passes, to everything you can think of in this ballgame. They don’t have anything to lose.”
TCU is heavily favored in the regular-season finale, a year after a 62-22 win in Waco that was the Frogs’ most lopsided in the rivalry that dates to 1899.
“The Big 12 championship, it’s a big deal. Right now, we’re just thinking about Baylor and trying to get through that game,” said TCU senior cornerback Ranthony Texada, who returned an interception for a touchdown in last year’s game. “We have to take them very serious.”
Baylor (1-10, 1-7) is wrapping up its first season under coach Matt Rhule, a transition year when quarterback Charlie Brewer is among 11 true freshman starters this season. The Bears have had 33 freshmen or sophomores start games.
Rhule told his team this week that it has been a tough year, a hard year. He also talked about how much they have grown as a group.
“This is one last opportunity for us to look and see how far away we are from getting to where we want to be,” Rhule said. “We’d like to be TCU at some point in terms of where they are. We’d like to be Oklahoma. We’d like to be in the contention for the Big 12 championship game. … We’ll play our hearts out.”
Some other things to know in the most-played series for both schools, which TCU leads 53-52-7:
TCU has held its last five opponents, and seven overall this season, without a point in the second half. That includes two weeks ago at Oklahoma, which beat the Frogs 38-20.
“We don’t think about it on the field. We just play,” said Texada, acknowledging that feat as “impressive” only after being asked that specifically.
Patterson still wants his team to do a better job getting started in games.
“We’ve got to come out of the chute,” he said. “Once they settle down, they play.”
Kyle Hicks was TCU’s leading rusher and top pass-catcher last season, but was hampered by injuries the first half of this season. With him getting healthier, and running back Darius Anderson now out injured, Hicks is coming off a season-high 22 carries last week. Hicks last year ran for a career-high 192 yards and five touchdowns against Baylor.
“For us to have a chance to win the last two games and go into the bowl game, it’s going to be important that he’s able to go do what we need to do,” Patterson said of Hicks.
Brewer and TCU true freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson won Texas Class 6A high school state championships only 11 month ago. Brewer will start his fourth consecutive game for Baylor, though Robinson was questionable after the Horned Frogs’ 27-3 victory at Texas Tech last week in his first career start.
TCU’s Texada and Baylor’s Raleigh Texada, both cornerbacks, are brothers. Ranthony is a senior, and Raleigh is a redshirt freshman. Baylor QB Brewer’s sister goes to school at TCU, and she has worked in the past with the Horned Frogs football program.
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