Baylor vs. Abilene Christian fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: McLane Stadium, Waco, TX
Network: Fox Sports Net
Baylor (0-0) vs. Abilene Christian (0-0) Game Preview
Baylor will equal its 2017 win total by the end of the first day of September. And if it doesn’t, that’s it for the football season.
The Bears struggled in Matt Rhule’s first season at the helm, but it was a year of transition and a whole lot of good, veteran, new pieces are in place now to do more.
Abilene Christian is coming off a 2-9 season with blowout losses to New Mexico and Colorado State to kick things off. Now it has to find something that works for an offense that didn’t do nearly enough, and has to toughen up a defense that gave up close to 30 points per game.
Baylor should have some fun. Again, if it doesn’t …
One Reason Why Abilene Christian Will Win
Will the Wildcats catch a break on the defensive line?
They struggled in a huge way throughout last season when it came to getting into the backfield and had a nasty time stopping the run. There’s a little bit of size up front for ACU, but the D has to hope for former Fresno State transfer Jaleel Carter and former JUCO transfer Dante Hibbert to hold up.
Baylor has the skill parts in place, but the O line that allowed 38 sacks and didn’t do much of anything for the ground game has to be night-and-day better. The front five couldn’t keep anyone out of the backfield – ACU has to find it right away.
One Reason Why Baylor Will Win
There’s hope, even for the line.
Despite a minor knee injury, getting Clemson transfer Jake Fruhmorgen will eventually be a big deal at one tackle spot, and he’s not alone when it comes to the new parts of the offensive puzzle.
Former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd is about to be a factor as a receiver, former NC State quarterback Jalan McClendon will find a role in some way, and everyone will benefit from a receiving corps that should dominate. Chris Platt is back from a knee injury, Denzel Mims is terrific, and again, Hurd is going to be a thing.
ACU doesn’t have the firepower to keep up if and when the Bears get up early.
What’s Going To Happen
Get ready for a new Baylor.
Last season was the foundation-builder, and now it’s all about to change. This will look like a far, far better team, but that’s partly because it’ll be playing Abilene Christian.
The Bears will dominate on the lines, and the passing game will rip it up in the first half, putting the game out of reach after a few drives. ACU will throw for over 300 yards and make it look cosmetically okay late, but Baylor will get what it needs.