By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor football faces No. 12-ranked TCU at 11 a.m. Friday in Fort Worth to close out its season.
The Bears (1-10, 1-7) head into the final game with no chance at becoming postseason eligible for the first time since 2009.
Head coach Matt Rhule said Baylor has had a difficult year, and playing a top-tier conference team will hep remind the young Bears of where they should want to be someday.
“As I’ve told our team, we’ve had a tough year,” Rhule said. “We’ve had a hard year. We’ve had a lot of growing, and this is one last opportunity for us to look and see how far away we are from getting to where we want to be. We’d like to be TCU at some point in terms of where they are.”
The matchup against the Horned Frogs is Baylor’s fourth meeting against a top 25 team this season. All three prior games have been losses with the average score coming out to 49-31.
The score will likely not be as high this time around, as TCU has the 14th-best defense in the country in yards given up per game. The Horned Frogs are giving up just over 310 yards per game on the season.
Rhule said there is no secret to their defense, they just have great defensive players.
“What they do is they just play football,” Rhule said. “There is no gimmick. There’s no how do we figure it out. They have really good players at every level of the defense – the d-line, the linebackers, the secondary. They lineup and they play man-on-man football.”
The Baylor defense has been improving throughout the season, especially recently. The Bears are giving up just 350 yards per game in the month of November, good for second best in the conference.
The Baylor offense, on the other hand, is struggling to keep possession of the ball. The Bears are 113th in the country in turnovers this season with 22 total combined fumbles lost and interceptions.
In the past two games, the Bears have given the ball up six times, and freshman quarterback Charlie Brewer has been responsible for four of those.
Brewer said the offense could be much better if they can take care of the football, especially in the red zone.
“It’s being careless with the football,” Brewer said. “We need to find a way to eliminate that to score touchdowns. It’s just frustrating for everybody. And for me, you know, I like to win. Obviously, everyone does. And I need to find a way as the quarterback, leader of the football team, to help put us in better positions.”
Meanwhile, sophomore wide receiver Denzel Mims has extended Baylor’s streak of having a 1,000-yard receiver to seven straight seasons. The Dangerfield native has 1,061 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on the year.
The Bears and Horned Frogs will meet for the 113th time. TCU leads the all-time series 53-52-7. The game will air on FS1.