After a tough loss to West Virginia about a month ago, it looked as if the Baylor Bears might be completely out of the playoff race. However, the Bears are back up to No. 7 in the latest polls with a chance to win their second straight conference title with two more wins. On the other hand, the Texas Tech Red Raiders are looking to finish with a respectable 5-7 record after losing seven of their last nine games.
Baylor has one of the best offenses in the entire nation, ranking fourth in passing yards per game and first in the entire country in points per game. Bryce Petty has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and he should be on the radar of Heisman voters everywhere. The senior quarterback has passed for 2,683 yards, 23 touchdowns and just five interceptions while completing 58 percent of his passes. Sophomore wide out Corey Coleman leads the team in receiving with 47 catches for 871 yards and nine touchdowns while freshman stud KD Cannon has 41 catches for 761 yards and six scores. Shock Linwood leads the solid run game with 977 yards and 13 touchdowns as Johnny Jefferson is second on the team with 433 yards and three touchdowns.
Texas Tech also has one of the best passing offenses in the nation but that hasn’t really translated into many points, ranking 66th nationally. The Red Raiders had been led by sophomore quarterback Davis Webb for most of the season, but freshman Patrick Mahomes has taken over as the starter in Webb’s absence due to injury. Mahomes has been solid, passing for 949 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions in parts of six games while Webb had 2,539 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions before he got hurt. No matter who the quarterback is, Jakeem Grant leads the team in targets, catching 62 passes for 783 yards and six touchdowns. Bradley Marquez is second on the team with 691 yards and a team-high seven touchdown catches on 59 receptions. Junior DeAndre Washington leads the run game with 1,038 yards and just two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Red Raiders have been as close to pathetic as any team can get this year. Texas Tech ranks just 126th in points allowed and 125th in total yards allowed per game. Baylor, on the other hand, has been much more effective, ranking 27th in points allowed and 18th in total yards allowed per game. If there was ever such thing as a huge mismatch, this is it.
Baylor will travel to AT&T Stadium to take on the Red Raiders at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 29. The game will be broadcasted on ABC and ESPN2.
PREDICTION: Baylor 56, Texas Tech 21
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.