Baylor (6-6) vs Vanderbilt (6-6)
Date/Time: Thursday, December 27th at 8 pm CT
Location: NRG Stadium in Houston, TX
Conference tie-ins: Big 12, SEC
Last year’s result: Texas defeated Missouri 33-16
Baylor bowl history
Baylor is 12-11 all-time in bowl games, including a 31-12 win over Boise State in the 2016 Cactus Bowl.
This is the second Texas Bowl appearance for the Bears. They lost to Illinois, 38-14, in 2010.
Baylor is seeking their first
Vanderbilt bowl history
Vandy is 4-3-1 in their bowl history, including a 41-17 loss to NC State in 2016.
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Prior to 2008, the Commodores had only been to three bowl games.
The Texas Bowl is the first bowl game in the state of Texas for Vandy. Their last game in the state was at Houston in 2015.
Baylor is 2-0 against Vandy all-time. However, this will be the first matchup since playing two years straight in 1953-1954.
Key player to watch for each team
Baylor: Wide Receiver – Denzel Mims
Vanderbilt: Running Back – Ke’Shawn Vaughn
Certainly, Matt Rhule has done a tremendous job of getting Baylor bowl eligible in his second year in Waco. Their starting lineups can match up with a lot of teams in the country, however, depth is an issue. Charlie Brewer has led the Bears to the 36th ranked offense in the country this season. Baylor has not run the ball particularly well. Defense, like a lot of Big 12 teams, is an issue as they rank 77th in the nation. Another ugly factor for Baylor is that they rank near the bottom of the nation in turnover margin.
Despite having a defensive-minded head coach, Vandy has struggled on that side of the ball this year. In fact, their defense ranks even lower than Baylor’s, at 83rd in the country. However, their offense has not been very good either, ranking 68th in the nation. They took advantage of mismatches through the season, but also play tough-minded football. Certainly, Kyle Shurmur and Kalija Lipscomb form a solid quarterback, wide receiver tandem.
Neither team is incredibly impressive, that is for sure. In fact, they are similar to each other, although Baylor has a few more athletes. Wide receiver Jalen Hurd will miss the game for Baylor, which eliminates one of their primary weapons. Expect a close game in this one.
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