Lone Star State rivals battle on Black Friday as Texas hosts Baylor in the regular-season finale for both programs as their Big 12 Championship Game aspirations have already faded. The Longhorns are fresh off an emphatic 55-14 win over Kansas to clinch their first winning record under Steve Sarkisian. Running back Bijan Robinson dominated with 243 yards rushing and four touchdowns to move up to No. 6 nationally in rushing yards.
Baylor was seconds away -- literally -- from beating rival No. 4 TCU in Week 12. However, the Horned Frogs kicked a fire-drill field goal as time expired to shock the Bears in Waco, Texas. Running back Craig Williams rushed for 112 yards in the win, while wide receiver Monaray Baldwin exploded for 123 yards. However, the Bears allowed a 12-yard run on a third-and-1 that could have iced the game. The loss dropped Baylor to 6-5 with four of the losses coming by a combined 21 points.
Texas holds a 79-28-4 all-time advantage in this rivalry, which dates all the way back to 1901. The Longhorns have won five of the past seven matchups, but Baylor won two of the last three, including a 31-24 decision in Waco, Texas, last season. Baylor running back Abram Smith rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown to negate Gerry Bohanon's two interceptions in the loss. Robinson was held to just 43 yards.
How to watch Texas vs. Baylor live
Date: Friday, Nov. 25 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium -- Austin, Texas
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Texas vs. Baylor: Need to know
Running for miles: Baylor and Texas rank among the most dynamic rushing teams in the country but embrace different strategies to get there. Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson is an All-American, and will be a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Robinson has rushed for 100 yards in seven of eight Texas games, including 200-yard performances in two of his last three games. Baylor doesn't have one dominant rusher, but Richard Reese, Craig Williams and Qualan Jones have each cleared 400 yards rushing and four touchdowns with Reese closing in on a 1,000-yard season.
Inconsistent quarterbacks: Five-star transfer Quinn Ewers was one of the highest-rated quarterbacks in the history of the rankings and the first perfect 1.0000 quarterback recruit since Vince Young. However, Ewers has been a liability in the second half of the season and has not completed more than 60% of his passes since Oct. 15. Similarly, Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen has been inconsistent in his first year as a starter. Shapen averaged more than 300 yards passing per game in his first three Big 12 games but has just one touchdown to four interceptions in his last four. Both of these defenses have been susceptible against the pass.
Big 12 implications: Texas is still technically alive in the Big 12 Championship Game race heading into the final weekend of the season. The Longhorns need to thread a needle by beating Baylor on Friday while hoping Kansas beats Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown. It's still an outside case, but a trip to the Big 12 title game in Year 2 of the Sarkisian era would be a significant step for Texas. The Longhorns have not played for a Big 12 championship since 2018 nor won a conference title since 2009.
Texas vs. Baylor prediction, picks
Oddsmakers have overvalued Texas all year despite a four-loss season, and that trend continues in the season finale. The Longhorns have only beaten one team by more than 8.5 points since the Red River Showdown: Kansas. Baylor is more than prepared to deal with Texas' athletes, even playing on the road in Austin. Prediction: Baylor +8.5
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