The Baylor Bears host the Houston Cougars in their season opener Saturday afternoon from McLane Stadium. The Cougars are looking to build on last season’s 4-8 record and are confident they will yield better results in 2020. The Bears will need a spectacular season to top last years’ terrific 11-3 finish which included an 8-1 mark in the BIG 12. Can Baylor’s potent offense lead to the cover on Saturday?
(this game has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns on Baylor)
Cougars Attempt to Build on Four Win Season
The Houston Cougars are looking for progress this season. They are coming off a tough rebuilding season that led to a 4-8 record including a 2-6 record in AAC action. The Cougars expect a big season from #1 QB Clayton Tune. The junior QB displayed potential last season, throwing for 1533 yards with 11 TD’s although he did toss nine picks. He did not play the full season and should easily surpass last year’s passing yard total.
The running game should be solid. Kyle Porter led the team with 616 rushing yards on an average of 4.7 yards per attempt in 2019 and should build on those numbers. Watch for Marquez Stevenson. The talented senior WR registered 907 receiving yards last season and should be able to reach the 1000 yard mark as he continues to build chemistry with Tune.
The Cougars' defense was their downfall last season. They have an influx of new players via transfers that should definitely help, especially in the secondary. Houston was one of the worst teams against the pass last year. Linebacker Grant Stuard who led the team with 92 tackles is back in the mix.
Houston was selected to finish 7th in the AAC preseason media poll. They averaged a solid 30.7 points in 2019, ranking them 51st overall. The Cougars allowed an average of 34 points, pegging them 113th in the FBS.
Baylor Lands New Coach, QB Brewer Poised for Big Season
The Baylor Bears are glad to finally return to action. They had their season opener against L.A. Tech postponed and negotiated a date with Houston to finally return to action. The Bears are very optimistic and for good reason. New head coach Dave Aranda is fresh off a National Championship with LSU as the defensive coordinator.
Baylor features a terrific offense propelled by Charlie Brewer. The senior QB was among the best in the BIG 12 last season and finished with 3161 passing yards and a dazzling 21:7 TD to INT ratio. The running game is also a threat as 2019 rushing leader John Lovett is back after posting 655 yards. The senior could eclipse 1000 yards this season. Baylor lost last year’s receiving leader Denzel Mims to the NFL but have RJ Sneed ready fill the void. The junior made 42 receptions for 437 yards last year.
The Baylor defense will need to be revamped after losing several starters. Baylor’s defense was elite last season and the result of their season could depend on how effectively the defense adapts. They return Terrel Bernard who led the team in tackles with 112 accompanied by 4.5 sacks.
Baylor was selected to finish 5th in the Big 12 preseason media poll. They averaged 37.5 points last year, good for 27th in the FBS. The Bears held opponents to 19.8 points, placing them 19th overall.
The Houston Cougars are:
- over is 6-2 in their last 8 games as an underdog.
The Baylor Bears are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games on grass.
- over is 43-18-1 in their last 62 games as a home favorite.