CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Forget for a second that Baylor is scoring an eye-popping 70 points per game. The Bears — and some other teams in the high-scoring Big 12 — are doing solid work on the other side of the ball, too.
Baylor (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) has another test in its first road game Saturday at Kansas State (2-3, 0-2).
For all the Bears have done to get into the end zone, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said Baylor’s defense has improved since helping to end the Wildcats’ national championship dreams last November in Waco, Texas.
Six Big 12 teams rank in the top 50 nationally in total and scoring defense, led by No. 12 Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0).
The Sooners are sixth nationally in scoring defense (13.0) and ninth in the fewest yards allowed (281.6) entering Saturday’s game with Texas (3-2, 2-0) in Dallas.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops likes his defense’s speed, discipline and abilities to put pressure on the quarterback and stop the run.
“We’ll need to do all those things the same way here playing Texas this week,” Stoops said.
The Sooners will be without linebacker Corey Nelson, who will have surgery for a torn pectoral muscle this week and will likely miss the rest of the season. Nelson was injured in Saturday’s 20-17 win over TCU. He was second on the team with 27 total tackles this season.
No. 20 Texas Tech (5-0, 2-0) will try to keep pace with the Oklahoma-Texas winner behind a defense that gave up 10 first-quarter points to Kansas in the 54-16 win.
The status of Texas Tech freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield, who hurt his right knee last week, isn’t known for Saturday’s game against Iowa State (1-3, 0-1).
Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads is trying to find a way for his team to break through against a Texas Tech defense that allows only 14 points per game.
The other conference matchup on Saturday is Kansas (2-2, 0-1) at TCU (2-3, 0-2).