No. 8 Baylor hosts Texas Tech, eyes berth in Big 12 title game

No. 8 Baylor looks to punch its ticket to the Big 12 Conference championship game when it hosts bowl-eligible Texas Tech on Saturday in the teams’ regular-season finale in Waco, Texas.If the Bears win and Oklahoma State defeats Oklahoma later on Saturday, Baylor will garner a spot in the Big 12 title game against the Cowboys on Dec. 4 in Arlington, Texas. If the Sooners win, they will earn a rematch with the Cowboys despite their 27-14 loss to Baylor on Nov. 13.Baylor coach Dave Aranda said Monday that while playing for the Big 12 crown is a tempting distraction, he expected his team to stay the course it has traveled this season and focus on defeating Texas Tech.”With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s going to be family and friends, and I’m sure they’re going to bring up (the championship game),” Aranda said. “But from our end, there are parts of that that we don’t control. I know what we do control is our effort, our focus and mindset on Saturday morning.”The Bears (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) head home after a gritty 20-10 win at Kansas State last week in which starting quarterback Gerry Bohanon was injured late in the first half.A clutch performance by backup Blake Shapen (137 passing yards, 44 rushing) was augmented by a stout defense that limited Kansas State to just 263 yards for the game and three points after halftime.”It was probably our best game to date in terms of alignment and technique and effort to the ball and tackling,” Aranda said about the win over Kansas State. “I was so impressed with our coaches and our players playing this well this late in the year.”Bohanon is listed as day-to-day with a right hamstring strain. Given that Baylor leads the Big 12 in rushing yards per game (231.7) as well as total offense (447.5), expect the Bears to rely on their ground attack against Tech.

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