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Keys to the Game: TCU vs. Baylor

Can the Horned Frogs avoid a three-game losing streak?

NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas Christian Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU football team hasn’t lost three straight games since 2013. The Horned Frogs will need a victory over the unranked Baylor Bears on Saturday in order to avoid falling on the wrong side of history.

TCU will be taking the field this weekend without a trio of wide receivers. Al’Dontre Davis, Dylan Thomas and now Te’Vailance Hunt have all reportedly entered the transfer portal. The Horned Frogs will also be without top corner Noah Daniels, offensive lineman Wes Harris and tight end Artayvious Lynn, who suffered a season-ending injury in practice this week.

Despite thinning out in some areas, TCU still has the talent to compete with any team in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs will face a 1-2 Baylor team coming off a loss against Texas, but the Bears will have running backs Trestan Ebner and John Lovett, who reportedly opted out of the season before having their minds changed earlier in the week.

Last season’s matchup went into triple overtime, with the Bears squeaking out a 29-23 over the Horned Frogs despite an unbelievable touchdown reception from Hunt, who will likely depart from the TCU program with the video below as his career highlight.

Here are three keys to the game for the Horned Frogs this weekend.

Knock Brewer Around

Quarterback Charlie Brewer has played effective football thus far, tossing six touchdowns and two interceptions over Baylor’s first three games while completing 65.4 percent of his passes. Brewer has been sacked nine times, however, meaning the Bears are allowing three sacks per game at the moment. TCU will need Ochaun Mathis and true freshman Khari Coleman to build on their recent performances and get after Brewer this weekend.

Unleash Taye Barber

It’s about time the TCU offense established a No. 1 playmaker who quarterback Max Duggan can count on for consistent yards over the field and down the sideline. That player should be Taye Barber, who leads the Horned Frogs in both receptions (19) and receiving yards (212) over the first four games. Barber is the team’s veteran receiver and the most consistent contributor in the receiving corps. He’s been quiet against the Bears in his career, however, totaling only one catch for 14 yards last season. He’s due.

Play with Passion

This is supposed to be a rivalry game for the Horned Frogs, and this team needs to show some real energy this weekend in order to have any chance of turning this season around. Barber said this past weekend that seeing the Blair Conwright drop in the end zone hurt the team’s spirits. That’s a problem for a young football team that hasn’t had the best start to its season. The Horned Frogs need to show resiliency this weekend, particularly against a rival opponent that badly needs a win to stay relevant in the Big 12 Conference as well.