FACTS & STATS: Site: Kyle Field (82,500) -- College Station, Texas. Television: Versus. Home Record: Baylor 2-0, Texas A&M 3-0. Away Record: Baylor 1-1, Texas A&M 0-1. Neutral Record: Baylor 0-0, Texas A&M 0-0. Conference Record: Baylor 0-0, Texas A&M 0-0. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 64-30-9
GAME NOTES: Two teams will open their Big 12 schedule this Saturday afternoon when the Texas A&M Aggies host the Baylor Bears from Kyle Field. After opening the season with a 27-0 setback to TCU, the Bears have won three straight games, including a 34-21 victory over Buffalo this past weekend. The Bears have not fared well in Big 12 openers, posting a meager 3-8 ledger. Next on the schedule for Baylor will be a home matchup with Colorado. As for the Aggies, they suffered they first setback of the season this past week, losing to Miami, 34-17. After this weekend the Aggies will next battle the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. This will be the 104th meeting between Baylor and Texas A&M on the gridiron. The Aggies have dominated the series, posting a 64-30-9 edge and that includes the team's 10-1 mark over the Bears since the start of the Big 12. On top of that the Aggies have not lost to Baylor at Kyle Field since 1984.
For the Bears to be successful offensively the team must rely heavily on its passing attack which is producing 309.2 ypg. Overall the Bears are averaging 410.8 ypg and that has led to a solid 27.5 ppg. In the recent win over Buffalo, the Bears produced a more balanced attack. The team posted 256 yards through the air, but the ground game shockingly shelled out 229 yards on 42 carries. Quarterback Bryan Szymanski had an outstanding outing. Not only did the signal-caller lead Baylor with his arm, but he also led the team with his legs as well. In the victory, Szymanski threw for 172 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 91 yards and another score. Szymanski has done extremely well thus far, throwing for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns against just six interceptions. His main target has been Justin Akers, who has grabbed 19 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. In the win over Buffalo, Akers was the top option, collecting seven passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.
The defense for Baylor has done a commendable job to this point, surrendering 23 ppg, while allowing just 379 ypg. The team's biggest issue on the season has been its inability to stop opposing team's passing attacks, as the defense is being torched for 263.5 ypg through the air. The struggles against the pass continued this past week, as the Bears allowed 276 passing yards against Buffalo, but despite the lackluster effort Baylor was victorious. The team was able to force five turnovers in the contest, and also used three sacks to its advantage. Baylor has done a solid job on the season in forcing miscues as the team has caused nine turnovers thus far.
Unlike their counterpart, the Aggies do not possess a stellar passing attack. Instead Texas A&M has used its tremendous ground game to post victories, averaging an outstanding 246.8 ypg. Overall the unit is producing 393.5 total ypg and that has led to a whopping 39 ppg. Unfortunately for the Aggies their ground attack was shut down by Miami this past week, which is why the team suffered a 17-point setback. Quarterback Stephen McGee led the ground game with 39 yards and one score, while Mike Goodson tallied 28 rushing yards. McGee and Goodson have been a tremendous tandem thus far, as McGee has rushed for 302 yards and three scores, while Goodson has posted 275 rushing yards and two touchdowns. McGee has not had nearly the same success through the air, throwing for just 537 yards and two scores. The signal caller has completed just 54.6 percent of his passes and has also thrown two interceptions.
At the opposite end of the field, the Aggies have had a tough time defending the pass, allowing 243 ypg through the air. Overall the unit is being abused for 388 total yards per contest and that has led to 25.0 ppg. In the setback to Miami, the Aggies once again had trouble against the pass, allowing the Hurricanes to throw for 275 yards. The defense was able to force three turnovers in the contest, but finished the game with only two sacks. The Aggies have had trouble pressuring opposing QBs, recording just five sacks in the first four games. Against the Hurricanes, the defense surrendered only 18 first downs, but allowed Miami to convert on 5-of-6 red zone chances. Misi Tupe had a sensational game, collecting 10 tackles along with one sack.
This should be an interesting matchup, as the two teams match up extremely well against each other. Baylor should be able to move the ball through the air against Texas A&M, but despite its shortcomings against the pass, Texas A&M is a much better team and should be able to grab a victory at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 34, Baylor 17
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