|TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin struggled last week against Iowa State, throwing three interceptions. (US Presswire)|
TCU (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) at Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12)
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Network)
Spread: Baylor by 8
Watchability: When it comes to high-octane offense, most of the national attention gets heaped upon Oregon and West Virginia -- and with good reason, as both are staggeringly effective. But don't undersell Baylor, which has a senior quarterback and one of the nation's best wide receivers to go with coach Art Briles' uptempo scheme. TCU has historically played strong defense under Gary Patterson, so this game is worth at least checking in now and then to see that matchup.
Shining stars: TCU: DE Devonte Fields. In a game in which pressuring the quarterback will be key for the Horned Frogs, Fields provides a boost in that area. The true freshman is tied for the Big 12 lead with 9.5 tackles for loss and is second in the conference with 5.5 sacks. Baylor: WR Terrance Williams. The nation's leader in receiving yards per game (166.75), Williams has the combination of speed, size and physicality that makes him almost impossible to defend in a one-on-one situation. He lit up WVU in his last outing, finishing with 314 yards on 17 receptions, including 2 TDs.
Who could steal the show: TCU: QB Trevone Boykin. Left with the unenviable task of replacing suspended QB Casey Pachall, Boykin actually led the Horned Frogs' offense quite nicely when it came to moving the ball last week against Iowa State, as TCU managed 455 yards of offense. But his three interceptions proved too much to overcome. Baylor: QB Nick Florence. His last game was incredible -- a 581-yard, 5 TD effort at West Virginia -- but it was completely overshadowed by what WVU's Geno Smith did that day. Still, Florence is worth paying attention to: he leads the nation in individual total offense (434.5 yards per game), and when he avoids turnovers (he has thrown five interceptions) he is as effective as any passer in the country.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Much of the juice has been taken out of this matchup by the fact both teams lost their last game and fell out of the Top 25. Add in the suspension of Pachall, who entered a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after his arrest for driving while intoxicated last week, and it seems like the Horned Frogs will be fighting an uphill battle this season. It's little surprise the game hasn't sold out Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium.
Magic number for TCU: 15. Pachall's suspension meant an already young Horned Frogs team only got younger. Patterson has played 15 true freshmen this year, tied for the most in the nation with LSU and Ohio State. By comparison, TCU has only 11 scholarship seniors on its roster.
Magic number for Baylor: 9. The Bears have won nine straight home games, tied for the nation's seventh-longest active streak of home victories.
The game comes down to: Can TCU put together an effective offense without Pachall? The Horned Frogs weren't exactly lighting up the scoreboard even with their starting quarterback, and Boykin threw three interceptions last week against Iowa State. Given Baylor's offensive talent, TCU will have to score points -- and plenty of them -- if it hopes to compete.
Prediction: Baylor 41, TCU 24
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter. You can also follow C.J. (@cjmoore4) and Patrick (@patricksouthern).