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Baylor, TCU have 1st conference game in 17 years

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012

WACO, Texas (AP) — A few things have changed since Baylor and TCU played their wild season-opening game last year.

For the first time in 17 years, the Bears and Horned Frogs will play as conference rivals after TCU's addition to the Big 12 this summer.

Robert Griffin III, who started his Heisman Trophy-winning season with five touchdown passes in Baylor's 50-48 victory a year ago, is now starting for the Washington Redskins after being the NFL's second overall draft pick. And Casey Pachall, the TCU quarterback who threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter in his starting debut that night, is no longer with the Horned Frogs after helping them start 4-0 this season.

What hasn't changed is that Baylor (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) is still piling up big offensive numbers and playing TCU again at home, where the Bears have won nine games in a row.

Even with RG3 gone, the Bears are leading the nation in passing yards (417 per game) and are second in total offense (602 yards) and scoring (54 points). Nick Florence is the FBS leader with 435 total yards per game, and Terrance Williams is averaging a nation's best 167 yards per game.

The Bears take the field Saturday night for the first time since their 70-63 loss at Big 12 newcomer West Virginia two weeks ago.

TCU (4-1, 0-1) is also coming off its first loss, 37-23 at home last week to Iowa State after redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin took over for Pachall, who this week withdrew from school and entered an inpatient treatment program.

Dual-threat quarterback Boykin was working at tailback last week before Pachall's arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. Boykin threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, but he had three interceptions — on his first attempt and then two in the fourth quarter, one returned for a touchdown.

"We're talking about playing the first Big 12 game, and I think Iowa State is a good defense. We ran 83 plays for 455 yards," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "The key, you can't throw interceptions, especially not for touchdowns, and you can't turn the ball over. Got to do a better job of managing the game."

That could be easier with Boykin now solely focused on playing quarterback.

"We're excited about it," Patterson said. "He gave us some options we really didn't have before, so we'll move forward with that."

Asked about how TCU's quarterback situation affects his defense's preparation, Baylor coach Art Briles said the Bears just have to focus on themselves and make the necessary adjustments.

The last time Baylor and TCU played as league rivals was in 1995, the final season of the Southwest Conference, when the Bears 27-24 at home. The schools about 100 miles apart played four times in the interim, the Frogs winning the first three of those before last year's game.

Baylor is looking forward to finally getting into a routine after a season-opening stretch already with two open dates and two non-Saturday games. The Bears opened the season on a Sunday, and also had a Friday night game.

"We would have liked to have kept playing (after West Virginia). Our schedule has been a little erratic," Briles said.

The Bears now have games now on eight consecutive Saturdays, and used last week to adjust to a normal game-week schedule.

"I think it will be good. We've handled the ups and downs and the different schedules really well and now we're finally getting in a routine," Florence said. "It will be fun to get in a rhythm of things."


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