AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Baylor Bears have a chance to do something Texas fans could have hardly imagined not all that long ago: beat the Longhorns three years in a row.
That has never happened over 101 meetings dating to 1901. Texas holds such a lopsided edge in the Big 12 rivalry (73-24-4) that Baylor has seldom beaten the Longhorns even twice in a row.
But here come the Bears (3-2, 0-2) on Saturday night, looking to drive a stake into Texas' season that now looks so fragile after a 4-0 start. The Longhorns (4-2, 1-2) have lost two in a row, including last week's 63-21 debacle against Oklahoma.
"We are definitely going to bring it to them," Baylor offensive tackle Cyril Richardson said.
Both teams are struggling and all but out of the Big 12 title chase with two league losses already. The Longhorns badly need a win to shore up confidence in a defense that has allowed at least 31 points in four consecutive games.
Of course, the only team in the Big 12 playing worse defense than Texas right now is Baylor.
Baylor hoped to keep up the momentum created by former quarterback Robert Griffin III's Heisman Trophy-winning season last year, but hasn't been able to match that run so far. The Bears lost a 70-63 thriller at West Virginia, then had six turnovers last week in a home loss to TCU.
Like Texas, the Bears give up touchdowns at a crazy rate and need their offense to score at every opportunity.
"That's six possessions that we could have scored on and that we gave back to them. We can't allow that to happen," Bears quarterback Nick Florence said.
Florence leads an offense that can pile up points in a hurry when not giving the ball away. Florence ranks No. 1 nationally in total offense with 404 yards per game.
His top receiver is Terrance Williams, who averages 166 yards per game and 22 yards per catch with eight touchdowns. The last time Texas saw firepower like that, West Virginia's Geno Smith popped the Longhorns for four touchdown passes.
But Texas is facing problems all over a defense that has dropped to No. 99 in the nation.
Longhorns players sounded the alarm this week, publicly airing a lack of confidence with suggestions that not everyone was playing hard and some players still struggle to know where to line up six games into the season. Senior safety Kenny Vaccaro called the dismal play lately "embarrassing."
"There's got to be a point where we get everything together. We've got the players. We've got the talent," Vaccaro said.
Texas fans are starting to call for second-year defensive coordinator Manny Diaz to be fired. Head coach Mack Brown said he still has confidence in Diaz and says he's determined to get Texas' season turned back around.
"When you get kicked in the face like that (against Oklahoma), you're competitive and you're determined to make sure that you don't let that happen again," Brown said.
Texas quarterback David Ash is expected to play despite a wrist injury to his non-throwing arm that knocked him out of the game against Oklahoma. He has passed for 1,389 yards this season with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.