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Texas Tech heads to Waco as they look for 2nd straight win versus Baylor

Texas Tech seems to have gotten back on track against Houston last week, at least somewhat. Baylor is also coming off their first conference victory after a win in Orlando against UCF, so both squads are looking to build up some momentum.

The Red Raiders were dominant after the first quarter against Houston really, and their offense looked much improved. Baylor got a key piece back and was able to comeback after being down 35-7 against UCF, coming out with a 36-35 win in Orlando.

Baylor is led by returning QB Blake Shapen, who helped lead the Bears to a win last week with 293 passing yards and a TD, along with a rushing TD as well. Shapen had been hurt in the Texas State game in Baylors opener, and this was his first game back in action. Last season, Shapen threw for over 2700 yards as well as having 18 TDs and 10 INTs. Shapen isn’t much of a rushing threat as he has never broken 100 yards in a season and only has 5 career rushing TDs. Shapen has a lot of work in front of him to turn this Baylor season around, as the offense was extremely lackluster in his absence, and looked to be on that path against UCF before the insane comeback.

Baylor really has a 3-headed monster in the backfield taking carries. The group is led by sophomore Richard Reese, who has taken 45 carries for 225 yards and 2 TDs this season. Reese last year ran for over 900 yards and 14 TDs.

Behind Reese is Oklahoma State transfer Dominic Richardson. Richardson has taken 46 carries for 197 yards this season. Last year at OSU, Richardson took 149 carries for 543 yards and 8 TDs. Richardson has caught at least 2 passes in every game this season as well.

Along with those guys, Baylor has a tough freshman RB in Dawson Pendergrass that has ran for 164 yards on 35 carries and has 2 TDs so far this season. Pendergrass has also been a threat in the receiving game with 2 catches over 20 yards this season.

On the receiving end, Baylor has really spread the ball around. There are 5 pass catchers with over 100 yards for the Bears this season, and that has been led by Junior WR Monaray Baldwin. Baldwin has caught 12 passes for 278 yards and a TD this year.

Tight End Drake Dabney is leading the Bears in receiving TDs this season with 3. Dabney is a really large threat in the middle of the field and can make tough catches in the redzone.

Defensively, Baylor has been really bad this season. They’ve let up at least 30 in 3 out of 5 games this year, including 42 points to Texas State and 38 in a loss to Texas. The defense showed promise against an abysmal Utah offense, but really haven’t been able to get off the field in a majority of their games this year. Texas really just shredded the secondary in their matchup. Texas State also nearly threw for 300 yards against this Baylor defense as well. There is a lot of opportunity there on the offensive end.

Texas Tech should have a really good chance to add another victory in Waco this week if they play their brand of football. Joey McGuire has not been able to win many games on the road since becoming head coach of Texas Tech. Does that turn around this weekend? Who knows. My Prediction? Tech 38-Baylor 27.

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