Baylor is the lone undefeated team left in the Big 12 after surviving a scare from West Virginia but is looking at a rough finishing stretch that includes a visit from Oklahoma on Nov. 16 and a date with Texas the following weekend. Another big test is Saturday, when the 10th-ranked Bears visit a TCU team looking for a signature win.
Baylor was ranked 12th in the initial College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, behind a pair of two-loss SEC teams and one-loss Oklahoma, and coach Matt Rhule is trying to keep his players away from any talk about the playoffs. "It is all unchartered territory for our team, so I keep going out and saying my way is to not pay attention to any of that," Rhule told reporters. "It is to just focus on this week and us. Some other people have a different way. You are young, it's exciting and people are talking about you. Which way is working better? How about we do it my way and how about we make my way our way. And we have a lot of older guys who are doing that." The Horned Frogs are the last team to beat the Bears - a 16-9 triumph at Baylor on Nov. 17, 2018 - and remain capable of beating a team like Texas at home but losing at Oklahoma State. "We're just good enough we can beat anybody we got in this league, and we're just good enough we can get beat by anybody in this league," TCU coach Gary Patterson told reporters after the 34-27 loss to the Cowboys last week. "You can't make the mistakes we made on defense. Probably gave them 200 yards, 300 yards on guys just not doing their jobs."
TV: Noon ET, Fox Sports 1. LINE: Baylor -2.5
ABOUT BAYLOR (8-0, 5-0 Big 12): The Bears are averaging 36.1 points but showed they can win with their defense after holding West Virginia to 219 yards - 64 in the first half - in last week's 17-14 triumph. "They are a tough, resilient group," Rhule told reporters of his team. "We are still learning that it's OK just to play defense and not worry. If the offense is not clicking, it doesn't matter, keep playing defense. Had a fourth quarter shutout, which is important to us." Baylor's offense was less impressive against the Mountaineers, but quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for a pair of TDs and is up to 14 touchdowns and three interceptions on the season, with each of the three picks coming in an overtime victory over Texas Tech on Oct. 12.
ABOUT TCU (4-4, 2-3): The Horned Frogs go into the weekend with some uncertainty at quarterback after starter Max Duggan was knocked out in the fourth quarter of last week's loss with a finger injury and backup Mike Collins (abdomen) was injured on the final play of the game. "I think Max will play," Patterson told reporters. "You guys should quit listening to Twitter so you see how that all goes. We won't know until Saturday. We'll find out more (Tuesday) because he hasn't practiced, so we'll see how all that goes." Duggan threw three of his four interceptions last week but is a big part of the ground game as well and led the team in rushing in each of the last three contests.
1. TCU QB Alex Delton is leaving the program after arriving as a fifth-year graduate transfer this season.
2. Baylor special teams recorded nine blocked kicks in the last 13 games.
3. The Horned Frogs own a four-game winning streak in the series.
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