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No. 25 Football Faces Texas in Big 12 Showdown

No. 25/24 Baylor (6-2, 3-1) at Texas (4-3, 2-2)
Oct. 30, 2010 | 6:10 p.m. CDT
Austin, Texas
| Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119)

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Texas leads 73-22-4
Texas leads 29-14-2
    Austin: Texas leads 43-8-2
    Neutral: Texas leads 1-0
    First Meeting: Texas won, 23-0 [Oct. 29, 1901]
    Last Meeting: Texas won, 47-14 [Nov. 14, 2009]

6-2, 3-1 Big 12
Ranking: 25/24/25 (AP/USA/BCS)
Head Coach: Art Briles
    Career Record: 48-46 (8th season)
    Baylor Record: 14-18 (3rd season)
    vs. Texas: 0-2
Statistical Leaders:
Jay Finley [105 att., 697 yards, 5 TD]
    Passing: Robert Griffin III [180-270, 2,373 yards, 18 TD, 4 INT]
    Receiving: Kendall Wright [46 rec., 648 yards, 5 TD]
Byron Landor [76 tackles, 2.0 TFL, 1 INT, 3 PBU]

Record: 4-3, 2-2 Big 12
Ranking: NR/RV/- (AP/USA/BCS)
Head Coach: Mack Brown
   Career Record:
218-104-1 (27th season)
  Texas Record: 132-30 (13th season)
   vs. Baylor: 12-0
Statistical Leaders:
Foswhitt Whittaker [59 att., 264 yards, 2 TD]
Garrett Gilbert [152-253, 1.557 yards, 6 TD, 8 INT]
James Kirkendoll [28 rec., 332 yards, 1 TD]
Keenan Robinson [65 tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1.0 SACK]

After clinching bowl-eligibility status for the first time since 1995, No. 25/24 Baylor (6-2, 3-1) looks to defend its new rankings when the Bears visit long-time conference rival Texas at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. Saturday's game will kick at 6:10 p.m. CDT and will be televised live nationally on FSN. The Bears are ranked in the AP poll for the first time since Sept. 5, 1993 (No. 24), and in the coaches' poll for the first time since Oct. 16, 1995 (No. 21).

Baylor is vying for its school-record fourth conference win in the Big 12 era, while the Bears are looking for their first win as a ranked team since 1991. For the first time since 1986, a ranked Baylor team will face an unranked Texas squad.

For the month of October, Baylor has been led by its record-setting duo of sophomore QB Robert Griffin III and senior TB Jay Finley. The pair has combined for 685 rushing yards in four October games with Finley averaging 114.5 yards-per-game on the ground. Griffin III is averaging 350.5 yards-per-game through the air, while the Bears are averaging 602.8 yards of total offense per game in the month of October.

Texas (4-3, 2-2) is averaging 23.6 points-per-game and has reached the 30-point plateau only twice in 2010, while the Bears have scored 30+ points seven times through the first eight games. Baylor's high-powered offense, which ranks fifth nationally in both passing and total offense, will face a Longhorns defense that is ranked second nationally in pass defense and sixth in total defense.

Most of Baylor's success in the Big 12 has come against teams from the North Division. The Bears are 13-32 against teams from the North with only four victories (Texas, 1997; Texas A&M, 2004; Oklahoma State, 2005; Texas A&M, 2008) against teams from the South (4-67). BU has won nine of its last 16 against North opponents.

Baylor's 12 victories are as follows: Iowa State (1996), Kansas (1998), Kansas (2002), Colorado (2003), Iowa State (2005), Kansas State (2006), Colorado (2006), Kansas (2006), Iowa State (2008), Missouri (2009), Kansas (2010), Colorado (2010) and Kansas State (2010). Baylor swept the 2010 season series with the Big 12 North (3-0, defeating Kansas, Colorado and Kansas State.

For the first time since 1993, the Baylor football team is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, debuting at No. 25 in the poll released Sunday. Baylor is also ranked No. 24 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches' poll and No. 25 in the latest BCS standings.

This week marks the first time Baylor (6-2, 3-1) is ranked in the AP Top 25 since Sept. 5, 1993, when the Bears were No. 24 for a week. Baylor earned its ranking after opening the 1993 season with a 42-39 win over No. 25 Fresno State. Baylor's ranked in the coaches' poll for the first time since Oct. 16, 1995, when the Bears were No. 21 with a 4-1 record. Following its 47-42 Homecoming victory over Kansas State on Oct. 23, Baylor became bowl-eligible for the first time since 1995. That season, the Bears finished 7-4 in their final year in the Southwest Conference, but did not receive a bowl bid.

Baylor, which hasn't been to a bowl game since 1994, is 6-2 for the first time since 1991. Prior to this week's rankings, Baylor was among others receiving votes three times in the AP (Sept. 12, Oct. 3, Oct. 22) and two times in coaches' (Oct. 3, Oct. 22) polls.

Baylor's 47-42 Homecoming win over Kansas State on Oct. 23 was its sixth victory of the season, making the Bears bowl eligible for the first time since 1995. That year, the Bears finished 7-4 in their final season in the Southwest Conference, but did not receive a bowl invitation. Baylor has not played in a bowl game since the 1994 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, suffering a 10-3 loss to Washington State. Entering the 2010 season, Baylor owns the seventh-longest active bowl drought among NCAA Division I FBS schools.

A week after rushing for a career-high 143 yards at Colorado on Oct. 16, senior TB Jay Finley shattered both his personal single-game and Baylor's single-game rushing marks against Kansas State (Oct. 23). Finley rushed for a school-record 250 yards, breaking the previous school best held by QB Robert Griffin III, who rushed for 217 yards against Washington State in 2008. Finley became only the fourth 200-yard rusher -- and second in three seasons -- in school history, joining Griffin III (217), Jerod Douglas (210) and Walter Abercrombie (207).

Through the first six games of the 2010 season, TB Jay Finley rushed 65 times for only 304 yards and one touchdown. In the last two games, Finley has more than doubled his season production, rushing for 393 yards on 40 attempts with four touchdowns. Finley has more rushing yards (393) in the last two games (143 at Colorado, school-record 250 vs. Kansas State) than he did in nine games last season (370).

In the first 15 games of his career, sophomore QB Robert Griffin III completed 61.0 percent of his passes and threw for 2,572 yards with 19 TDs. Through the first eight games of the 2010 season, Griffin III has completed 66.7 percent of his passes, throwing for 2,373 yards with 18 TDs.

With the return of sophomore QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor's offensive numbers have improved drastically through eight games of 2010 as compared to the 2009 season. Griffin III has thrown more touchdowns (18) in 2010 than Baylor threw as a team in 2008 (16) and 2009 (13). Baylor is averaging 510.8 yards of total offense in 2010 -- 167.9 more yards-per-game than the Bears accumulated in 2009 (342.9).

The Bears are averaging 314.2 yards passing and 196.5 yards rushing through eight games in 2010 (242.3 passing and 100.6 rushing in 2009). Baylor ranks fifth nationally in passing offense, fifth in total offense, 15th in pass efficiency, 20th in scoring offense and 26th in rushing offense.

Baylor's 1-2 backfield punch of senior TB Jay Finley and sophomore QB Robert Griffin III have racked up 3,443 career rushing yards. Finley has 2,139 career rushing yards, the sixth-best career total in Baylor history. With his school-record 250 yards against Kansas State on Oct. 23, he became the seventh 2,000-yard rusher in school history.

During Baylor's 34-6 win over Buffalo on Sept. 11, Griffin III became the 29th 1,000-yard rusher -- and first 1,000-yard rushing QB -- in school history. Griffin III ranks 24th all-time with 1,304 career yards. He needs 196 yards to become the 16th 1,500-yard rusher in school history.

IR Kendall Wright is quickly climbing Baylor's career charts for receptions and receiving yards. Wright is fourth on Baylor's career list with 162 career receptions. He needs 22 more catches to become Baylor's all-time leader in career receptions. Last season, Wright became the first Baylor player with 100 career receptions by the end of his sophomore season.

Wright ranks fourth in Baylor history with 2,037 receiving yards; with his 113 yards against Kansas State on Oct. 23, he became only the fourth 2,000-yard receiver in school history. Wright ranks ninth in the Big 12 and is tied for 29th nationally with 5.8 receptions per game. He also ranks fifth in the Big 12 and 31st nationally with 81.0 receiving yards per game.

Senior DT Phil Taylor currently has 33 tackles (18 UT-15 AT), more than any defensive lineman last season (Jason Lamb led all d-linemen with 32 tackles in 2009). Taylor is on pace for 50 tackles, which would stand as the most by a d-lineman since Lamb's 53 in 2007 and the most by an interior d-lineman since Ethan Kelley (eventual NFL player) made 76 in 2002. In first season at Baylor in 2009, he played in all 12 games, starting nine at defensive tackle. He totaled 25 tackles (2.5 for loss), an assisted sack, five QB hurries, two blocked kicks and one interception. Taylor made more than half (13) of season's tackles (25) in first three games.

Prior to the season, Taylor was named to preseason All-Big 12 second team by Sports Illustrated and Phil Steele and third team by Athlon. He was also rated nation's No. 10 defensive tackle by Phil Steele. He sat out the 2008 season after transferring from Penn State. He was a member of the 2007 Penn State defensive line that ranked seventh nationally in rush defense (93.8 ypg) and held opponents to nine rushing touchdowns in 13 games. He played in 18 games in two seasons at Penn State. In May 2010, he traveled to Kenya for mission trip with Baylor student-athletes. He was named preseason Big 12 Newcomer of Year selection by media in 2009.

Baylor has scored 30 or more points in seven games this season -- a single-season school record. Baylor has reached the 30-point plateau in five consecutive games (4-1 in those contests), which is also a school record. Since 2001, Baylor is 28-3 (.903) when scoring at least 30 points and 10-71 (.125) when scoring less than 30 points. The losses in that span when scoring 30 points were at Texas in 2006 (63-31), at Oklahoma in 2005 (37-30 in double overtime) and vs. Texas Tech in 2010 (45-38).

Prior to Baylor's 45-38 loss to Texas Tech (Oct. 9) in the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout, the Bears had won 15 consecutive games when reaching the 30-point plateau. It was Baylor's first loss when scoring 30+ points since a 63-31 setback at Texas in 2006. Conversely, the Bears have lost 30 of their last 31 when not reaching the 30-point plateau. The lone victory in that stretch was a 24-21 win at Wake Forest in the 2009 season opener.

Redshirt freshman PK Aaron Jones, nicknamed `Stork' by coach Art Briles, is 16-of-20 on FG attempts, including 12-of-14 from 30+ yards. Through eight games, Jones has made more FGs (16) than Baylor made as a team in the last two seasons (15) combined (6-of-9 in 2008 and 9-of-14 in 2009). Jones' 16 FGs are tied for second-most on Baylor's single-season list with Ryan Havens (2005).

`Stork' is two FGs shy of tying current Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland (1989) for the single-season school record of 18. He currently is tied for third for single-season field goal percentage (minimum seven made), making 80.0 percent of his kicks -- Mike Conradt (8-of-10) in 1970 and Matt Bryant (12-of-15) in 1998. Jones has hit two 50-yard FGs, becoming the first Baylor PK with two FGs of 50+ yards since Jeff Ireland did it in 1991 (58 and 50). Jones is tied for third -- and second in the Big 12 -- nationally in FGs per game (2.00) and 18th nationally in scoring (9.88 ppg).



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