Bears vs. Horned Frogs: How Baylor matches up with TCU
Baylor offense vs. TCU defense
Baylor freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer continues to have some good moments as he hit 26 of 36 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 23-13 loss to Iowa State. Though Iowa State’s defense is good, TCU’s is better. The Horned Frogs have the stingiest defense in the Big 12 by allowing 310.6 yards and 15.1 points per game. TCU’s run defense has been particularly strong as it has allowed just 91 yards per game and 2.7 yards per carry. The Bears will have a hard time sustaining any drives.
Baylor defense vs. TCU offense
With starting quarterback Kenny Hill sitting out of last week’s 27-3 win over Texas with an injury, freshman Shawn Robinson did a good job managing the game. Robinson threw for just 85 yards but contributed 84 on the ground and was complemented by Kyle Hicks’ 81 yards rushing. Baylor’s defense has improved in recent weeks, holding its last three opponents to less than 400 yards apiece. TCU coach Gary Patterson has listed both Hill and Robinson as questionable for Baylor, which means third-string QB Grayson Muehlstein would start if they’re not ready.
Key matchup: Baylor running back JaMycal Hasty vs. TCU defensive line
With Terence Williams and Tristan Ebner nursing injuries, JaMycal Hasty has become Baylor’s featured back the past two weeks and has responded with 73 yards rushing against Texas Tech and 86 against Iowa State. The Horned Frogs will be geared up to stop him, and they usually get their man. Teams have had very little success running against TCU all season, and Friday’s game will likely be no exception for a Baylor running game that has struggled most of the season.
Baylor kicker Connor Martin continues to be a bright spot as he hit both of his field goal attempts against Iowa State, including a career-long 47-yarder into the wind. He’s nailed 18 of 21 field goals for the season while averaging 40.1 yards per punt after taking over for injured Drew Galitz. TCU’s Johnathan Song has hit all eight field goal attempts while Adam Nunez is averaging 39.5 yards per punt. TCU’s KaVontae Turpin is a superb return man who has averaged 15.3 yards on punt returns and 37.1 yards on kickoff returns.
Baylor’s long, painful season will finally end Friday at Amon Carter Stadium against a TCU squad that can clinch a spot in the Big 12 championship game against Oklahoma. The Bears have had difficulty beating TCU with good teams and don’t stand much of a chance with a one-win team. While the 9-2 Horned Frogs don’t have a great shot to make the College Football Playoff, they’re certainly in line for a premier bowl game.
— John Werner