The Bears entered the season as Preseason favorites in the Big 12 after winning the conference championship in 2021. Now in its third season under head coach Dave Aranda, Baylor (6-4; 4-3 Big 12) is still alive in the hunt to return to the Big 12 Championship if it can get wins over its nearest conference mates, TCU on Saturday and the Texas Longhorns on Black Friday. Baylor moved on from starter Gerry Bohannon in the offseason, tossing the keys to offense to Blake Shapen. Shapen has displayed some moments of excellence while battling some injuries along the campaign, his 2,154 yards is good for 5th in the conference. Sure-handed Senior Tight End Ben Sims will be one to watch, as Shapen may look to find him in key short-yardage and red-zone opportunities. The Bears’ offense has been driven by the running game this season, with Freshman Richard Reese leading the way, including massive games against Texas State, Texas Tech, and Kansas. Craig “Sqwirl” Williams and Qualan Jones have also had big moments out of the backfield, while Taye McWilliams is listed atop the depth chart and may be returning to action for the first time since Week 2. Defensively the unit is strong as one would expect from a Dave Aranda squad, even if there is no single statistical standout from the group. No Bear defender has more than two interceptions, but Baylor is 2nd in the conference in the category.
The Horned Frogs are coming off a defensive battle in Austin to take the win over the Longhorns. Even with just 17 points in last week’s win, the Horned Frogs are still the Big 12’s top offense in total yardage and scoring. TCU QB Max Duggan has not had his best statistical performances in the last two games, but continues to do what needs to be done to win the games. His top target is Quentin Johnston, whose 71.6 yards per game is 3rd in the conference and his 31-yard TD last week proved to be the game winner. Kendre Miller leads the Horned Frog rush attack, scoring a TD in each game this season and running for 100+ yards 7 times. The TCU defense had its game of the year last week, stifling the Longhorn offense, holding it to under 200 total yards and all-world RB Bijan Robinson to under 30 yards.
While this rivalry always has sky-high stakes, there’s much more on the line than bragging rights this year as the Frogs look to continue its undefeated season and the Bears hope to stay in the Big 12 race while playing spoiler the way TCU did to the Bears in Fort Worth in 2021.
Join the conversation in the comment section below as we ride the game day rollercoaster together. Go Frogs!