Big 12 rivals Texas and Baylor will take to the field one final time to end the regular season on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Both teams have an outside shot at being invited to a BCS bowl game with a win, and the winner would end the season as the Big 12 champ if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma.
Baylor had put together a perfect season through nine games and appeared to be a lock to win the conference. But the Cowboys dismantled the Bears on Nov. 23 to move ahead in the standings and set themselves up for a Fiesta Bowl bid.
Texas appeared to be a lost cause through the first three games of the season, opening with a record of 1-2. But rather than wither and die under heavy scrutiny, head coach Mack Brown has gotten his team to respond with wins in seven out of eight games coming into Saturday's contest.
The Big 12 doesn't feature a championship game, but the title is on the line nonetheless. Here's a look at when and where you can catch the action, along with injury reports for both teams, an examination of the game's biggest key to victory and a final verdict.
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 72 points
- Spread: Baylor (-15)
Texas Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Daje Johnson||RB||Prob Sat - Suspension - 12/2/13|
|Chet Moss||FB||Ques Sat - Suspension - 12/1/13|
|Tevin Jackson||LB||Ques Sat - Knee - 12/1/13|
|Sheroid Evans||CB||Ques Sat - Undisclosed - 12/1/13|
|Josh Cochran||T||Ques Sat - Shoulder - 12/1/13|
|Johnathan Gray||RB||Out for season - Achilles - 11/10/13|
|Chris Whaley||DT||Out for season - Knee - 11/10/13|
|David Ash||QB||Out for season - Head - 11/26/13|
|Bryant Jackson||WR||Out indefinitely - Ankle - 11/26/13|
Baylor Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Ahmad Dixon||S||Ques Sat - Suspension - 12/3/13|
|Bryce Hager||LB||Ques Sat - Groin - 12/1/13|
|Tevin Reese||WR||Ques Sat - Shoulder - 12/1/13|
|Spencer Drango||OL||Out for season - Back - 11/20/13|
Which Case McCoy Will Show Up?
Texas has a shot to win this game if the "good" Case McCoy shows up to play, but the senior quarterback has been far from consistent this season.
Three times in his last five games, McCoy has thrown at least two interceptions (TCU, Kansas, Oklahoma State). During these contests, he's thrown just one touchdown and seven interceptions.
However, McCoy has been brilliant in the other two games during this stretch against West Virginia and Texas Tech, throwing five touchdowns and just one interception.
Baylor's defense is exploitable, allowing 19 passing touchdowns this year.
However, the Bears also force turnovers with regularity, ranking No. 24 in the nation with 15 interceptions. Baylor is also adept at pressuring opposing quarterbacks (31 sacks), which greatly assists the secondary.
McCoy will need to be razor sharp on Saturday if Texas has any chance of winning. He must make quick decisions under pressure and let the game come to him. If he starts to get happy feet in the pocket, then the Bears will capitalize with turnovers.
Baylor has only been slowed down once in 2013. The Oklahoma State Cowboys shut down the team's running game and forced three turnovers, holding the Bears to just 17 points.
Texas doesn't have the defensive personnel to similarly shut down Baylor's offense, which averages 55.4 points per game in 2013 to lead the nation.
Which team will win?
On the other side, the Longhorns don't have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Bears in a shootout. Texas could make it interesting if running backs Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron put on a running clinic, but Baylor's No. 26-ranked run defense isn't likely to give up many big plays.
This one isn't going to be close.
Bryce Petty will have a huge game at home as he leads the Bears to a blowout victory.
Baylor wins 49-21.
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