TCU at Baylor primer

Last season's meeting was one of the Big 12's best games of the year as Baylor escaped Fort Worth, Texas, with a 41-38 win against TCU.

The series is tied at 51-51-7 heading into the 110th meeting between the schools, and few meetings have loomed larger. The Big 12's headline game features a pair of quarterbacks, Baylor's Bryce Petty and TCU's Trevone Boykin, who can single-handedly win games and two of the conference's top defenses.

Max Olson and Brandon Chatmon break down the matchup.

How Baylor can control the game: The typical Baylor way: fast scores on offense, three-and-outs on defense and an explosive first half to swipe the momentum. But keep in mind that the Bears probably lose to TCU in Fort Worth last season if not for two pick-sixes on defense and a fumble recovery to set up a 1-yard touchdown drive, as well as the game-clinching interception. Baylor’s defense made the big plays when it mattered and will need to do so again this season. -- Olson

How TCU can control the game: Play like it did last season. It’s easy to forget that TCU allowed Baylor’s explosive offense just 4.11 yards per play but gave the game away with two Bears interception returns for touchdowns. If the Horned Frogs defense can repeat that performance and the offense protects the ball while being as explosive as it was in last week’s upset win against Oklahoma, TCU should love its chances for back-to-back wins against the Big 12’s preseason favorites. -- Chatmon

Baylor’s X factor: Petty didn’t have his usual magic last week against a stout Texas defense, but the Bears compensated by being perfectly content to pound the run. The effectiveness of Shock Linwood and Johnny Jefferson is a big factor once again this week. Baylor’s offense will take whatever TCU gives it. If the deep shots aren’t there or if TCU brings looks that slow Petty down, that run game has to provide. -- Olson

TCU’s X factor: We already know Boykin is a game-changer, but B.J. Catalon has the chance to be the playmaker who shifts this game in TCU’s favor. The junior running back has the potential to impact games in many ways, from his kick returns to his carries to his pass-catching skills out of the backfield. One or two game-changing plays from Catalon could push TCU over the top. -- Chatmon

What a win would mean for Baylor: Affirmation that this is the team to beat in the Big 12. TCU has the full respect of the conference right now after its hard-earned win against Oklahoma. If the Bears take care of business against Gary Patterson’s crew, they will bolster their playoff résumé with another quality win against an elite defense. -- Olson

What a win would mean for TCU: The Horned Frogs are a legitimate College Football Playoff contender. Patterson’s squad would be 5-0 with back-to-back wins against a pair of top-10 teams with plenty of national acclaim. The Horned Frogs would go from chasing their dreams to protecting them for the rest of the season. -- Chatmon