Last Saturday, when Baylor quarterback Nick Florence addressed a room full of media after Baylor’s game against TCU, he said the team’s goal this year is to be the Big 12 Champions.
He also said playing the way they did that night was definitely not going to help Baylor achieve that goal.
The Bears’ next bump in the road on their way to that goal is a visit to Austin to take on the Texas Longhorns.
“[We] certainly need to go down and start out in a good way and get a good taste in our mouth to begin with, without question,” Baylor head coach Art Briles said.
Much like Baylor, Texas faced a rough loss last weekend when they played University of Oklahoma in the annual Red River Rivalry and lost 63-21. Now, both teams will be competing to see who can make the quickest turnaround and get their season back on track.
“Really, it’ll be the first team who recovers mentally and physically the fastest that will win this game,” Baylor safety Sam Holl said. “I think the way they played against OU, obviously not how they wanted to play, so, like I said, whatever team recovers the fastest will win.”
In this league, with all the crazy things that happen each week, it is easy to look at results and judge based off one game. For Baylor, Texas’ loss to OU may seem like a weakness they can capitalize, but Florence knows better than to assume.
“They came off a big loss too, so they’re going to have a lot to prove themselves, but ultimately we have to worry about ourselves, and they’re going to come out ready,” Florence said. “It’s a big game for them, it’s a big game for us, so you got to execute well.”
Baylor has won the last two meetings between the two teams, with the Longhorns famously claiming they were not going to let RG3 win the Heisman on them. Well, we all know how that turned out.
Now that Baylor is a real contender against Texas instead of fans just assuming it was a loss on the board for the Bears, tension is high and Baylor is expected to bring home a win and get back on track. However, even Briles knows the fight will be a tough one.
“They always are going to be and always have been a really, really solid football team,” Briles said. “They’ve lost to West Virginia, they’ve lost to University of Oklahoma…they may have cut themselves a little bit, but they’ve go band aids and they can stop the bleeding.”
With a league that holds so many unexpected results from week to week, one would be foolish to try and predict who will come out on top between Baylor and Texas. But, one thing is for sure. This game is critical for both teams in deciding who can turn their season around and who sinks to the bottom of the Big 12. --Savannah Pullin