Even after a week off, the energy on campus surrounding Baylor football is still full of momentum as the Sam Houston State Bearkats come in to town.
“It is becoming a tough ticket. The great thing about college is you can really have a home field advantage. It helps us when opponents come in here, and they know they are walking into a tough stadium to play in. It’s going to be loud, and the student body is going to be involved,” said head coach Art Briles.
Tonight’s meeting of these two teams will be their fourth in history, with Baylor holding the 3-0 record over SHSU, with all meetings at Floyd Casey Stadium.
In recent years, Baylor fans have viewed this game as a warm-up before conference play begins. However, this year both teams have something at stake.
The 2011 Bearkats made an appearance in the NCAA Division 1 FCS Championship Game. After defeating Incarnate Word 54-7 last week, SHSU looks to maintain the respect earned last year with a win over Baylor.
On the other side of the field, the Bears have a winning streak to hold on to and individual player milestones to pass.
After last week’s 59-24 win over SMU, Baylor’s current seven-game win streak is the nation’s second longest active streak in the FBS, following new Big 12 rival TCU’s nine-game win streak. Baylor’s last loss was to then-No.3 Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Oct. 29, 2011.
In addition, Baylor has four players looking to cross milestones tonight.
Kicker Aaron Jones sits just two points behind Alfred Anderson for the all-time Baylor scoring record. Wide receiver Terrance Williams is just seven yards shy of 3,000 career all-purpose yards. Running back Jarred Salubi is 65 yards short of passing the 1,000-yard career rushing mark. And inside receiver Tevin Reese is two catches away from 100 career receptions.
Baylor is definitely the favorite this week, predicted to win by 25-30 points depending on the source, but the Bears will have to tighten up some loose ends in the offense and continue defensive pressure if they want the win to come as gracefully as expected.