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Baylor Football

Baylor Schedule Analysis: Must Win, Toughest Matchup, Best Individual Opponents

September 8, 2020

2020 Baylor Schedule

Sep. 12: Louisiana Tech

Sep. 26: Kansas

Oct. 3: at West Virginia

Oct. 17: Oklahoma State

Oct. 24: at Texas

Oct. 31: TCU

Nov. 7: at Iowa State

Nov. 14: at Texas Tech

Nov. 28: Kansas State

Dec. 5: at Oklahoma


The Breakdown

Must Win: TCU on Halloween. Baylor has been in a couple of really ugly games against the Horned Frogs the last two seasons. That is what this rivalry has turned into—great defense and suspect offense. That can change this year, though, as Baylor should have the offensive capabilities to score more easily on TCU. But will the defense be able to play like it has the last two matchups? That will be a key question, but there is no doubt this game would be huge for Dave Aranda and the staff. This one is also huge because it comes in the middle of the toughest stretch of Baylor’s schedule, and a loss would have this team starring at a potential 5-5 record instead of 7-3.

Toughest Matchup: The last game of the year against Oklahoma is the easy answer to this one. The Sooners return a lot of firepower, including four out of five players along the offensive line. Baylor’s young defensive line is going to struggle against that group so they will have to mature significantly throughout the season for Baylor to have a shot. Oklahoma also has the most talent of any team in the league to go along with a track record of winning the conference every year since 2015. The good news is that this is the last game of the year and Baylor may be playing some of its best football under Dave Aranda at the end.

Most Intriguing: The road matchup against Texas will always be an intriguing one, but I am going to go with the Iowa State game. I think it could be the difference in Baylor making a run back to a conference title matchup or finishing fifth in the conference. These two have had some pretty crazy matchups ever since the thriller in Ames in 2016. The 2017 game was close throughout; 2018 featured the Charlie Brewer ejection, and last year was the crazy Iowa State comeback ruined by John Mayers. I don’t think these two schools or football teams like each other very much and Charlie Brewer will be looking for some revenge from 2018. Also, Brewer vs. Brock Purdy is just too fun of a matchup. Circle that game on the calendar, folks!

Best Offensive Player: Oklahoma State’s running back Chuba Hubbard had 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns last year. He is surprisingly back for the Cowboys as they look to make a championship run this season. The Bears beat OSU pretty good last season but Hubbard still got them for 171 yards and two scores in that game. He will be a key player to watch in a massive early-season Big 12 game. Hubbard may be the first running back off the board in the 2021 NFL draft.

Best Defensive Player: West Virginia defensive lineman Darius Stills is a name who comes to mind after he wrecked havoc on Baylor’s offense last year. He piled up three sacks and almost led the Mountaineers to a huge upset win in Waco last season. This year Baylor’s first road game of the season is a trip to Morgantown, where Stills will attempt to ruin the Bears season early. The Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year had 43 sacks, 12 for loss, and six sacks last season.

Final Thoughts: Baylor has a very interesting 10-game schedule that has quality opponents throughout due to a strong and balanced Big 12. Baylor needs to find a way to go 3-0 to start the season because the gauntlet comes from October 17th to November 7th. The Bears could lose all of those games against OSU, at UT, TCU, and at ISU so a hot start is a must. During the gauntlet if Baylor can find a way to go 2-2 that would be ideal. After that the Bears need to refocus by beating two teams they have more talent than: Texas Tech and Kansas State. If they do all of those things then I think they will be playing for a shot at a conference title on Dec. 5. The schedule shapes up nicely for a 6-7 win season which would be a great start to Dave Aranda’s head coaching career.

Tags: Football, Baylor, 2020
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Baylor Schedule Analysis: Must Win, Toughest Matchup, Best Individual Opponents

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