Petty, Seastrunk make for dynamic Baylor backfield while Hager leads Bears defense

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Photo Credit: The Associated Press

QB Bryce Petty (Jr.)

Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel are garnering Heisman attention for their performances this season but Bryce Petty is putting up his own Heisman numbers. The junior signal-caller has led the explosive Baylor offense all season long, completing 62.4 percent of his passes for 3,557 yards, 28 touchdowns and only two interceptions. The Bears’ huge loss to conference foe Oklahoma State cannot be ignored but neither can Petty’s performance this season as the Baylor offense is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, averaging just over 55 points per contest. Petty has been about as efficient as one can be while putting up video game-like numbers and keeping his team in the Big 12 title hunt at 10-1 overall heading into the game with Texas. Petty has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game this season and has even done his part in the running game, racking up 11 touchdowns on the ground this season. If the Baylor offense is going to be contained, it will start and end with Petty.

 

RB Lache Seastrunk (Jr.)

Seastrunk is an interesting player who has finally found a home in Waco after bouncing around his first few seasons in college football. The Temple native is the leading rusher for a running game that ranks No. 11 in the nation, compiling 982 yards and 11 touchdowns on 126 carries this season. Seastrunk is a big and powerful back who can run defenders over just as easily as he can outrun them for big yardage. His 7.8 yards per carry is a staggering statistic that’s facilitated by the potent passing game of the Bears. If Texas can disrupt Petty, Seastrunk will still be there to pick up yards. The Longhorns need to limit his effectiveness to force Baylor to beat them in one way instead of two.

 

LB Bryce Hager (Jr.)

Texas will be looking to establish their run game to poke holes in the Baylor defense, one that is ranked No. 27 in the country. Bryce Hager will be the catalyst for this game plan. Hager is second on the Bears’ defense with 71 tackles despite missing two games this season. His 7.9 tackles per game are a team-high. Hager is the most complete defender on this defense, showing his ability to disrupt the passer with nine quarterback hurries and his ability to drop into coverage, evidenced by his three passes broken up. He will be around the ball the entire game and Texas has to find a way to move the ball away from his side of the field.