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Texas vs. Baylor: BON staff predicts a tough day for the ‘Horns

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The Longhorns are likely to suffer a fifth loss in six games.

NCAA Football: Texas at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Wescott Eberts — editor

Despite numerous losses on the offensive and defensive lines, not to mention the offseason scandal that rocked the program and cost Art Briles his job, Baylor has bounced back with an undefeated season to this point, playing better than expected on both lines.

This is a group that turns opponents over and inflicts negative plays. If Texas can run the football and reduce big plays in the Baylor passing game, perhaps Charlie Strong has a chance to start reversing his fortune.

However, with Strong's proven ability to lose close games or get blown out, it's hard to see this one ending in favor of the Longhorns for a second straight season.

Baylor 52, Texas 31

Cody Daniel — co-editor

A lot would have to go right for Texas to send Baylor back to Waco with its first loss, and given how things have played up to this point, it seems unlikely that a lot goes right against the Longhorns' toughest test of the season.

Baylor's offense has been among the most potent in the nation behind a lethal rushing attack and a quarterback who is undefeated as a starter in Seth Russell (14-0). The defense has done it's share of damage, too, consistently making plays in the backfield and emerging as one of the nation's elite in passing defense efficiency courtesy of eight interceptions.

This is a game that could get ugly in a hurry if Texas doesn't play a near-perfect game, and I don't see that happening.

Baylor 48, Texas 27

Robert Larkin — staff writer

This is one of those games that it seems the Longhorns always show up for under Charlie Strong. With their backs against the wall, extreme pressure on their head coach, and everyone doubting their ability, I believe we will see a motivated Texas team on Saturday.

However, motivation alone is not the deciding factor in a football game. It’s really hard for me to pick the Longhorns considering their woes on defense this year, especially in the secondary. Baylor isn’t a top ten team, but they’re going to challenge the Texas defense mightily all over the field and it could get ugly.

We’ll probably see another big game from D’Onta Foreman, but I predict an offensive drought for the Texas offense in the second half will swing momentum in Baylor’s favor.

Basically, I think we’re going to see this Texas team fired up and prepared to win, but it just won’t be enough. I expect a close game in the first half, but Baylor pulls away in a game that will signify the beginning of the end for Charlie Strong.

Baylor 41, Texas 27

Wes Crochet — staff writer

I can’t say I’m surprised Baylor is 6-0 right now because preseason I said an 8-0 run to start the season wasn’t out of reach for the Bears thanks to some help from their schedule. But I will say this Baylor squad looks a bit more focused and together than I had expected.

Then again, even with Briles gone, it must help still having all the same assistants on staff...

Both these teams like to run the ball a lot (Baylor and Texas rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the Big 12 for rushing attempts per game, respectively) and both have similar offenses given both are from the Briles tree, so the difference in this game could actually come down to the defensive side of the football more so than the offensive side.

Outside of X’s & O’s, though, you also have to wonder what the mental state of this Texas team is right now given where the 3-4 Longhorns sit at the moment.

With an opening line around 3.5 points in favor of the Bears, Vegas thinks this game will be close, and I don’t necessarily disagree. Vegas usually knows more than I do.

But after seeing Texas give up over 230 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against a Kansas State team it should have focused more on defending the run against, it’s hard to bet the ‘Horns will prepare and execute on scheme on defense that will be effective enough to win this game.

I’ll take Baylor in a game they win by about 10 points or so.

Baylor 42, Texas 31