When/where: 2:30 p.m. Saturday at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas
TV/radio: Fox Sports 1; KCSP (610 AM)
The series: Baylor leads 11-4
The line: Baylor by 35
What’s at stake
Kansas will look to break a 40-game losing streak away from Memorial Stadium when it faces Baylor on Saturday. The Bears are 7-0 all time against the Jayhawks in Waco.
Cheers if …
KU’s passing offense builds on progress from its previous game. Though KU had four turnovers in a 24-23 home loss to TCU last week, its offense was impressive late, as quarterback Ryan Willis completed 15 of 22 passes in the second half for 230 yards as the Jayhawks nearly pulled off the upset. Iowa State had some success against Baylor in passing for 261 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-42 loss on Oct. 1. If the Jayhawks aren’t able to pass against the Bears, they’ll likely have little shot at keeping Saturday’s game competitive.
Jeers if …
KU fans are scanning their TV Guides for something else to watch by the end of the first quarter. This game has been non-competitive lately, as the Bears have won the last six games against the Jayhawks by an average of 38 points. That includes last year’s 66-7 drubbing in Lawrence, as Baylor played its backup quarterback in the second quarter and had most of its starters exit the halftime locker room without shoulder pads.
Jesse Newell’s pick: Baylor 55-7
KU’s defense proved it could stop the pass a week ago against TCU, but it’ll have a much tougher challenge this week going up against Baylor’s run-heavy offense and overpowering offensive line. The Jayhawks have had problems stopping the run thus far, ranking eighth in the Big 12 while surrendering 4.6 yards per carry. Add in that Waco has been a city of horrors for KU lately — the Jayhawks have been outscored 126-21 their last two trips there — and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where KU keeps this one close to the fourth quarter.
Three things about Baylor
1 Baylor is the only FBS team to start 5-0 each of the last four seasons.
2 The Bears, who had a bye last week, have won six straight games following an off week by an average of 33 points.
3 Baylor is the Big 12’s top rushing team, averaging 290 yards per game and 5.8 yards per carry.
KU defensive line vs. Baylor’s offensive line: KU defensive coordinator Clint Bowen opened meetings this week by asking his defenders to raise their hands if they believed Baylor was primarily a passing offense. Most did. The reality is that Baylor’s success this year has mostly come from its running game and by a front line that likes to physically overwhelm opponents. Bowen was happy with how his defensive line held its ground against TCU a week ago, but this promises to be the biggest test for the Jayhawks’ defensive front line thus far.