4 things to know: Texas vs. Baylor
AUSTIN, Texas – Last week’s game against Iowa State felt like the nail in the coffin for Texas fans, but the Longhorns have a very big opportunity in front of them this weekend to not only keep their season alive, but also to prove to doubters that they are a good football team that just doesn’t have things go their way at times. Expect Texas to come out guns-hot this week, as last weekend’s road loss has now essentially given the Longhorns zero room for mistakes. They must win out.
Texas had a chance to win last week’s game after being down 20-7 at one point during the third quarter, but an offsides penalty by Malcom Roach on the final drive allowed Iowa State to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired. Texas will now travel to Waco to take on a 9-1 Baylor team that suffered their first loss of the season last weekend against Oklahoma.
If there was ever a time for this Longhorn team to bounce back and get a big win on the road, it’s this weekend against the No. 14 team in the country. Here are 4fourmain components of this Saturday’s game to watch out for as we approach the second to last weekend of the 2019 college football regular season.
1. Baylor defense
Texas is going to have to play their best offensive game of the year if they want to beat arguably the top team in their conference. If that doesn’t sound difficult enough, they will have to do so on the road against a very strong Baylor defense. The Bears’ defense is likely the toughest defense that Ehlinger and the offense will face all year, and that includes No. 1 LSU. Baylor’s defense has remained in the top half of the conference in total yards allowed throughout the season, as they’ve been a nightmare for opposing offenses. Against this brutally strong pass defense, the Longhorns will have to rely on the run game a little more this week. However, at the end of the day, this game will likely be won or lost by the quarterback.
2. Ehlinger on the road
In my article last week, I mentioned that Sam Ehlinger has struggled on the road. While his stats on the road are not “bad” per se, they are much better at home. Ehlinger has been unable to win games for this team when they travel outside of Austin, plain and simple. Three of their four losses this season have come on the road and they desperately need their Heisman-caliber quarterback to perform well on Saturday if they wish to finish the 2019 season on a high note.
3. High-powered Baylor offense
Not only will Texas have to play their best game on the offensive side of the ball, but Longhorns’ defensive line and secondary won’t necessarily have a cakewalk of a day either. Baylor ranks in the top five in the Big 12 in scoring, rushing and passing offense. However, Baylor has allowed more sacks (27) than any other team in the conference aside from the Texas Longhorns. Texas will likely have to hold Baylor under 40 points if they want to come out of Waco with a seven in the win column.
4. Malcom Roach
Expect the senior captain Malcom Roach to play with a chip on his shoulder this weekend. His offside penalty on a last-drive kick by Iowa State allowed the Cyclones to continue driving, and eventually kick the game-winning field goal as time expired. Had Roach not jumped offsides, Texas would’ve had a chance to drive down the field themselves with time on the clock. He was very somber when he talked to the media after last week’s loss but look for the veteran defensive end Malcolm Roach to do everything in his power to put last week behind him and finish his Texas career on a high note.
It is still November and the talk around the University of Texas campus is all about Texas Basketball. While I’m sure the fellow Longhorns on the football team are more than happy about their basketball team’s hot start, most of them are hoping to remind their fans that Texas still is a football school. While the vibes in Austin have certainly changed after Texas suffered their fourth regular-season loss, making that 10 straight seasons of four or more losses, the guys wearing the pads will do essentially everything they can this weekend to change the morale.
It is do-or-die for this very talented Texas football team. Win and their postseason hopes can live at least another week, or lose and they can wonder what could’ve been.
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