The Bears and Cougars meet tonight in a clash of nationally ranked teams. Both need their second win of the season to stay undefeated.
Baylor and BYU meet on Saturday night in a non-conference clash at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. These two teams met last season, with Baylor getting a 38-24 victory as favorites at home.
However, the number-nine ranked Bears beat the Albany Great Danes last week 69-10 to kick off the season and are now underdogs in this matchup on the road.
BYU started the season against the South Florida Bulls and took a 50-21 victory as favorites on the road at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
They held a 38-7 lead at halftime and were unstoppable on offense, rushing for 312 yards and going 7 for 13 in third down conversions. RB Christopher Brooks was the star on offense, rushing for 135 yards on 13 carries to lead the Cougars.
The Bears had a good season in 2021, finishing with a 12-2 record after beating Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl 21-7. As a result, they come into tonight’s game as one of the top-ranked teams in the country and hope to contend for a national championship.
Since their disappointing loss to TCU, they won their final five games of the season, beating eighth-ranked Oklahoma and number-five Oklahoma State to cap off the regular season.
The Bears lost a lot of key players after last season, including some players from their top defense, which was ranked tenth in the nation after giving up just 18.3 points per game.
Blake Shapen assumes the starting QB position this season after completing 72% of his passes in just 86 attempts in 2021. He also threw for five touchdowns and had no interceptions in three starts last year.
BYU’s high-powered offense didn’t have enough to beat the Bears last year. However, they’ll be returning many starters from last season’s team, which ranked 28th in the country, scoring 33.1 points per game.
Combined with the losses for Baylor on offense, things should be different for the Cougars this time, as they should have no problem handling the Bears’ defense.
BYU must establish the run right from the start in tonight’s game if they hope to be successful on offense. The Cougars weren’t that impressive on the defensive side of the ball in 2021, but they have many pieces returning and should be much improved this season. They hope a win in tonight’s game will move them up considerably in the national rankings.
The Bears are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, and the total has gone under in five of their previous seven games on the road. BYU is 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games, and the total has gone over in five of their previous six contests.
BYU is still the slight favorite, although they’ll be without their top two wide receivers in tonight’s game due to injury. This means the Cougars will have to rely more on their running game, which will be behind one of the country’s best offensive lines. Baylor has a tough opponent they must beat tonight if they hope to repeat as Big 12 champions again this season.
Godds Pick/Prediction: BYU wins, and the total stays under.