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Texas Tech Opponent Preview: Baylor Bears

The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play with a matchup against defending league champion Baylor at Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturday

The Texas Tech Red Raiders continue their Big 12 slate on Saturday when they host defending Big 12 champion Baylor at Jones A&T Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

The Red Raiders will be playing their second straight home game, having defeated West Virginia by the score of 48-10. The game marked the first home start for quarterback Behren Morton, and he and the Red Raiders piled on the Mountaineers all afternoon.

The Bears won last year’s matchup in Waco, 27-24.

Texas Tech (4-3, 2-2) needs two more wins to reach bowl eligibility in their first season under coach Joey McGuire, who was a Baylor assistant under both Matt Rhule and current coach Dave Aranda. More importantly, the Red Raiders need a win on Saturday to remain on the periphery of the race to get into the Big 12 Championship game.

Baylor (4-3, 2-2) has had its struggles as the league’s defending champion. Last season, the Bears went 12-2, won the Big 12 for the third time, and went on to beat Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl. 

But, like the Red Raiders, the Bears need a win on Saturday to stay within a game of second place in the league. Oklahoma State and Kansas State only have one Big 12 loss. Conveniently, the Cowboys and Wildcats play each other Saturday, too.

Be sure to stick with as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Bears throughout the week

Baylor Bears

Record: 4-3 (2-2 in Big 12)

Head coach: Dave Aranda

Aranda is in his third year as head coach at Baylor.

Offensive Set: Multiple

Defensive Set: 3-3-5

Offensive starters:

The Bears have settled in nicely with Blake Shapen in his first full year at quarterback. The Bears also now know they have a capable backup in Kyron Drones, who filled in well for Shapen after he was hurt in the West Virginia game. 

But, the Bears are built around the run, and back Richard Reese has 649 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Watch out for tight end Ben Sims, who leads the Bears with 25 catches, and future NFL offensive lineman Connor Galvin, who is putting together another All-Big 12 season.

QB Blake Shapen

RB Richard Reese

WR Gavin Holmes

WR Monaray Baldwin

WR Hal Presley

TE Ben Sims

LT Connor Galvin

LG Micah Mazzccua

C Jacob Gall

RG Grant Miller

RT Gavin Byers

Defensive starters:

The Bears probably aren’t happy with the defensive performance up to this point in the season. Baylor has given up at least 36 points in two of its last three games. The other game was last week’s win over Kansas, one in which the Bears had a big lead before the Jayhawks surged back. 

Still, this is an experienced unit led by nose tackle Siaki Ika, linebacker Dillon Doyle, and defensive back Al Walcott. All are capable of making big plays every week.

DE Cole Maxwell

NT Siaki Ika

DE Gabe Hall

JACK Garmon Randolph

MLB Dillon Doyle

WLB Matt Jones

CB Mark Milton

CB Lorando Johnson

STAR Al Walcott

S Devin Lemear

S Christian Morgan

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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