Winless Baylor won’t change quarterbacks ahead of Saturday’s visit from in-state rival Texas despite freshman Charlie Brewer’s near comeback last week. The Longhorns, meanwhile, might have a change as starter Sam Ehlinger is under concussion protocol.
The freshman Ehlinger (1,419 yards, six TDs, four INTs) missed practice Sunday and is day-to-day while opening-week starter Shane Buechele is taking first-team snaps in his place. Brewer led Baylor to 23 unanswered points in the fourth quarter against West Virginia but was sacked on a two-point conversion that would have tied the game. First-year coach Matt Rhule said sophomore Zach Smith - who has started five straight and played most of the West Virginia game despite a stomach flu - will get the start. “I just think in these times Zach’s done too much,” Rhule told the media Tuesday. “Charlie needs to be ready to play, but I don’t want to have a quick trigger on our quarterback.”
TV: Noon ET, ESPNU. LINE: Texas -7.5
ABOUT TEXAS (3-4, 2-2 Big 12): Buechele (55-of-80 for 557 yards, three TDs and two INTs in three games) has thrown two passes outside of his two starts this season. Texas has struggled on the ground, averaging 151.4 rushing yards behind Chris Warren III (307 yards, five TDs) and Ehlinger (265 yards, two TDs). The Longhorns’ receiving corps could be thinned as quarterback-turned-receiver Jerrod Heard (12 catches, 116 yards, one TD) will get some practice at quarterback and Reggie Hemphill-Mapps (31 catches, 323 yards) has a sprained knee.
ABOUT BAYLOR (0-7, 0-4): Brewer threw for 109 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Smith (1,421 yards, eight TDs, six INTs). Freshman John Lovett leads Baylor with 403 rushing yards and four touchdowns and freshman Trestan Ebner gave the Bears a boost with three scores against West Virginia, even though Terence Williams (155 rushing yards in four games) is listed as the starter. Freshman cornerback Harrison Hand leads the conference with eight passes broken up while sophomore linebacker Clay Johnston has a team-best 52 tackles and nine tackles for loss.
1. Baylor leads the FBS with seven plays of at least 70 yards, including two touchdown catches by leading receiver Denzel Mims and a scoring run by Lovett.
2. Texas is allowing 18.3 points and 97.2 rushing yards in its past six games after giving up 51 points and 263 rushing yards to Maryland in the opener.
3. Texas coach Tom Herman said WRs Collin Johnson (30 catches, 535 yards, one TD) and Armanti Foreman (17 catches, 158 yards, three TDs) have not been featured in the offense as much recently because others are practicing better.
PREDICTION: Texas 30, Baylor 20