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Feud with TCU can help Baylor bounce back from loss

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In 2013, Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon was ejected for an illegal hit on TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin which led to coach Gary Patterson’s now meme-famous “If that’s what class is, then I don’t want to be it” speech. The fallout, of course, was in 2014 after what’s still the best game of the playoff era: Patterson said he was threatened by Baylor safety Orion Stewart.

That was a simple misunderstanding, but it didn’t help matters for Baylor. Bears fans went into an uproar when Patterson didn’t shake Art Briles’ hand after last year’s matchup. Again, another misunderstanding caught up in the commotion.

Regardless of circumstance, there’s bad blood — *insert mandatory Taylor Swift reference here* — between these two teams. With Baylor being Public Enemy No. 1 in the Big 12, the fire has only grown, and after losing another big rivalry game to Texas last week, there should be even more fight in the Bears.

“We gotta battle with these guys because I think I saw somewhere that we’ve split 3-3,” Baylor coach Jim Grobe said.

“That’s what fuels rivalries, that you take the field and you don’t know who’s going to win. That’s one thing that should help our guys bounce back, knowing not only that you’ve got a really good football team but one that you better play well to beat because they wanna get you.”

He’s right, the series is split at three wins the past six matchups. Moreover, the score is tied at 52-52-7 in the century-old rivalry. Whoever wins has a year of bragging rights until the other has the chance to even the score once again.

Grobe’s comments about getting out of the doldrums after a one-point loss to the Longhorns weren’t just limited to the team as a collective. He also had words for starting running back Shock Linwood and leading receiver K.D. Cannon, knocking their attitudes by noting a lack of consistency and not being at full-tilt.

Cannon may have two touchdowns and 161 yards the past two games, but he hasn’t been in the right spots to make as many plays as he’s expected to. “It’s tough on the quarterback if he doesn’t know where the wide receiver will be,” Grobe said referencing Cannon’s recent performances.

Similar sentiments were shared about Linwood, who has had just 27 carries the past two games after a phenomenal performance against Iowa State which Grobe credited for the win. That recent turn in production isn’t entirely because of his tight hamstring.

The week of practice is over. Now arrives a clash with a TCU team which has a quarterback mystery between Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer that could throw the Bears for a loop. That means going under the hood to pinpoint how Texas pulled off the upset last week.

“Texas did a nice job especially in their two-back sets running the football and TCU’s in two-back sets a lot,” Grobe said. “So I think we’d look at the Texas film. But at the same time, if you sell the farm stopping the run, you know what that does to you, putting everyone on islands in the throw game.”  

Grobe also said he subscribes to the theory that you play like you practice. With its most bitter rival driving down I-35 Saturday, Baylor gets to show just how well it has practiced this past week. Guiding BU in its practice sessions was the burning incentive to avenge last year’s loss to the Frogs in Fort Worth.

Win out, and the conference is Baylor’s once again… but TCU’s first on the checklist.

Getting mad and getting even are often portrayed as different goals. For Baylor, they’re one and the same on the first Saturday of November.

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