Baylor, playing its first game after the graduation of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, is a nine-point favorite over in-state rival Southern Methodist. The teams will face off at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco on Sunday evening at 5:30 CT.
Baylor will turn to senior quarterback Nick Florence, who last played significant minutes as a freshman in 2009. Last season, Florence attempted 12 passes, completing nine for 151 yards, all in a 66-42 Bears win against Texas Tech. Baylor also has to replace leading rusher Terrance Ganaway, who ran for more than 1500 yards last season and is now with the St. Louis Rams. Look for Baylor to rely on junior Glasco Martin, senior Jarred Salubi, and Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk.
On the SMU sideline, the quarterback position will take center stage, as June Jones hands the keys to junior Garrett Gilbert. The Texas transfer has picked up the SMU system more quickly than expected, according to Jones:
"The biggest thing is that he's more comfortable in what we are doing," Jones said. "It's similar to what he did in high school. Lake Travis had a spread look and threw the football around. We have a lot of the same concepts."
Television coverage is available on Fox Sports Net, beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT.