College Football
Baylor vs Vanderbilt
When: 9:00 PM ET, Thursday, December 27, 2018
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas


1. Baylor's big turnaround has landed them in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl to face Vanderbilt at Houston's NRG Stadium on Dec. 27. The Bears followed a one-win season in Matt Rhule's first year with a 6-6 record and a trip to a bowl game. Rhule's Temple team beat Vanderbilt 37-7 in the 2014 opener, which was coach Derek Mason's first game with the Commodores.

2. Vanderbilt junior running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn (1,001 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 144 carries) averaged an SEC-best 6.95 yards per carry and led SEC backs with seven runs of 40 or more yards. Vaughn, who also averaged 13.1 yards per catch, will be a big test for a Baylor team that has allowed 172.8 rushing yards per game. The Bears will also try to establish a ground attack after averaging 208.5 rushing yards in their six wins - 98 yards better than in their six losses.

3. The Bears will be without receiver Jalen Hurd, who played through a knee injury in the regular-season finale to help the Bears beat Texas Tech and become bowl eligible. Hurd, named the B ig 12's offensive newcomer of the year after recording 69 receptions for 946 yards and four touchdowns, had a procedure on Dec. 4. Hurd, who converted from running back to receiver after transferring from Tennessee, hopes to be healthy enough to play in the Senior Bowl in late January.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Vanderbilt -3.5

ABOUT BAYLOR (6-6, 4-5 Big 12): The Bears will need to focus on protecting sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer (2,635 yards, 17 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns) and the ball after having a Big 12-worst minus-9 turnover margin and allowing a conference-high 37 sacks. Sophomore running back John Lovett (546 yards, five touchdowns) is coming off a career-high 126 rushing yards in the regular-season finale and junior receiver Denzel Mims (49 catches, 699 yards, team-high eight touchdowns) will try to replace some of Hurd's production. The Bears lead the country with seven blocked kicks, getting three from sophomore end BJ Thompson (two extra points, punt) and two from senior end Greg Roberts (two field goals).

ABOUT VANDERBILT (6-6, 3-5 SEC): Senior quarterback Kyle Shurmur (2,844 yards, 23 passing touchdowns) finished the regular season on a roll - completing 73.2 percent of his passes for 999 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception over the final four games - and needs 119 passing yards, seven completions and 16 attempts to pass Jay Cutler's Vanderbilt career records. Shurmur, who already has the career record with 63 touchdown passes, threw 16 of his TDs to junior receiver Kalija Lipscomb (81 catches, 886 yards) and junior tight end Jared Pinkney (45 catches, 698 yards). Junior cornerback Joejuan Williams had four of the team's 12 interceptions as Vanderbilt finished the regular season plus-8 in turnover margin.

PREDICTION: Vanderbilt 30, Baylor 27
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Baylor 6-6 W1 28.2 31.2 4-2 2-4 5-4 0-0 4-5
Vanderbilt 6-6 W2 27.7 25.1 5-2 1-4 0-2 0-0 3-5
Last Meeting
Baylor Vanderbilt
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Baylor N/A
Vanderbilt N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Baylor N/A
Vanderbilt N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Baylor N/A
Vanderbilt N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Baylor N/A
Vanderbilt N/A
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Baylor C. Brewer 61.5 2635 17 8
Vanderbilt K. Shurmur 64.0 2844 23 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Baylor J. Lovett 100 546 5.5 5
Vanderbilt K. Vaughn 144 1001 7.0 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Baylor J. Hurd 69 946 13.7 4
Vanderbilt K. Lipscomb 81 886 10.9 9
Touchdowns Player TD
Baylor D. Mims 8
Vanderbilt K. Vaughn 12
Quickchart Matchup
Baylor Baylor Off vs  Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Def
Baylor 441.7 yards
Vanderbilt 419.8 yards
Baylor 4.2 yards/rush
Vanderbilt 4.8 yards/rush
Baylor 7.5 yards/attempt
Vanderbilt 7.3 yards/attempt
Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Off vs  Baylor Baylor Def
Vanderbilt 397.8 yards
Baylor 412.6 yards
Vanderbilt 4.6 yards/rush
Baylor 5.1 yards/rush
Vanderbilt 7.6 yards/attempt
Baylor 7.7 yards/attempt