Player of the week: Big 12

TCU entered the season with the reputation as the Big 12’s top defense.

When the Horned Frogs hosted Baylor on Saturday, it was the Bears’ defense that stole the show.

And linebacker Eddie Lackey was the foundation of it all.

The senior was all over the field in Baylor’s 41-38 win over TCU. He finished with six tackles, but it was his play against the Horned Frogs' passing game in the final minutes of the first half and at the beginning of the second half that made a huge impact.

Lackey’s pressure on TCU quarterback Casey Pachall forced a lofted throw in the final minutes of the second quarter, which Bears safety Orion Stewart intercepted and returned 82 yards for a touchdown. Then, on the Horned Frogs’ first possession of the second half, Lackey jumped a slant route and his 54-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Bears a 34-17 lead.

For his plays in important moments, Lackey earned ESPN.com Big 12 player of the week honors.

One of the Big 12’s most versatile linebackers, he has been a key piece in the Bears’ defense since arriving in Waco as a junior college transfer. The California native has started all 24 games he has played in a Baylor uniform and leads the Bears with 84 tackles in 2013. Lackey’s stellar play is one reason Baylor’s defense heads into its final game ranked among the Big 12’s best in several categories. The Bears sit atop the Big 12 in yards per play allowed (4.64) and yards per carry allowed (3.15).

A tad undersized at 6-foot, 220 pounds, Lackey makes up for it with speed, athleticism and aggression. He has made plays from sideline to sideline all year and has been crucial contributor to Baylor’s success.