After exciting wins, Baylor, Texas Tech put momentum to the test

After securing momentous victories last weekend, Baylor and Texas Tech will see whose provided more of a spark when the teams meet in Waco, Texas, on Saturday in a Big 12 Conference matchup.

The Bears (2-3, 1-1 Big 12) trailed UCF 35-7 in the third quarter last Saturday before scoring the final 29 points of the contest to complete the biggest comeback in program history. Caden Jenkins’ 72-yard scoop-and-score following a fumble pulled Baylor within 35-33, and Isaiah Hankins provided the game-winning points with a 25-yard field goal with 1:21 left to play.

“I think this is something we can start with and run with,” Bears coach Dave Aranda said. “… This has been the team all along. We’ve had to get through a lot of our own stuff and out of our own way to bring what happens on a Tuesday practice to a Saturday.”

Texas Tech had to find a similar formula against Houston last week, although a dominant second half lacked the drama that unfolded in Orlando, Fla.

The Red Raiders (2-3, 1-1) scored the game’s final three touchdowns to cruise to a 49-28 victory in Lubbock, Texas, holding the Cougars to zero points and 124 total yards of offense following the break.

Running backs Tahj Brooks and Cam’Ron Valdez led the charge for Texas Tech, as they combined for three scores and 212 yards on the ground.

“He is really driven right now,” Red Raiders coach Joey McGuire said of Brooks. “He has such great vision and great feet and sometimes he can stop his feet and make moves, but sometimes you’ve just got to get the dirty yards and get behind your pads.”

The uptick on the ground comes at a perfect time for Texas Tech as it prepares to face a Baylor defense that has allowed 184 rushing yards per game, the highest average in the Big 12.

The Bears are likely to lean more on their aerial attack with veteran quarterback Blake Shapen, who passed for 293 yards and a TD against the Knights.

“Blake brought a lot of energy to that game and the coming back from (28) points down shows a lot of character in that team,” said McGuire, who once served as associate head coach under Aranda.

Shapen should have some opportunities against a Red Raiders defense that has allowed the second-most passing touchdowns in the Big 12 (nine).

Baylor is seeking a third straight victory against Texas Tech following a 45-17 win last season.