Texas Tech-Baylor Preview
The star quarterback may also be on the verge of another Baylor first.
Griffin looks to bolster his Heisman Trophy candidacy Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium against one of the worst defenses in the nation as the 21st-ranked Bears try to end Texas Tech's lengthy bowl eligibility streak.
These teams are the only two that have defeated Oklahoma this season. Baylor (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) stunned the Sooners 45-38 last Saturday, storming 80 yards in the final minute for the winning touchdown on a 34-yard pass from Griffin to Terrance Williams with 8 seconds remaining.
It was the Bears' first win in 21 all-time meetings with Oklahoma, and a signature victory for Griffin's resume - one he called "the greatest game I've ever been a part of."
"We've been waiting for it, preparing for it, and it finally came to pass," Griffin said. "We don't consider it an upset. It's good for our team to come out and show the resiliency we have and keep pushing forward."
The junior QB has powered Baylor's second-ranked offense all season, creating a compelling case for the school's first Heisman winner.
He's sixth in the nation in passing yards (3,572), second in passer rating (191.7) and tied for fourth in passing TDs (33), all while completing 72.9 percent of his throws with just five interceptions. Defenses also have to be wary of his legs, which have carried him to 550 rushing yards and five more TDs.
Griffin torched the Sooners for a career-high 479 yards through the air and four touchdowns.
"It's another day at the office for Robert," coach Art Briles said. "He's been doing that for three or four years. When the ball's in his hands, good things happen because he's very intelligent, very gifted."
Griffin, named this week as one of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, has thrown for more than 400 yards in four of his last five games, and he could put up another big number against Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders (5-6, 2-6) shocked Oklahoma 41-38 on Oct. 22, but they've since allowed 558.5 yards and 47.5 points per game while dropping four in a row. They need a 16th straight victory over Baylor to extend their Big 12 record bowl eligibility streak to 19.
They've appeared in a bowl each of the last 11 seasons.
"If we don't win, it will be our last game," quarterback Seth Doege said. "But the feeling I get from this team is we're excited to play again. There is no added pressure."
Doege said he wonders if his team wasn't ready to play after upsetting the Sooners.
"At the time I thought we were over it. But we showed up in the game, and it showed that we weren't ready to play yet," Doege said. "I'm sure Baylor will be ready to play."
Last weekend's 31-27 loss at Missouri was easily Texas Tech's best effort during its skid even though it allowed 318 yards rushing.
The Red Raiders led by 10 entering the fourth quarter, but the Tigers rallied and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:22 left. Doege led his team to the Missouri 6-yard line in the final minute before throwing an interception.
Missouri's dual-threat quarterback, James Franklin, took to the ground for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries against the Red Raiders.
Griffin threw for 384 yards and two TDs while rushing for two more scores against Texas Tech last year, but Baylor lost 45-38 at the Cotton Bowl. Another shootout is expected between two teams that rank among the 10 worst in the FBS in scoring defense and among the seven worst in total defense.
"Both teams know exactly what we're getting into," Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. "This is not a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust conference. This is one where, hey, grab ahold and hold on."
Tuberville is dealing with some roster uncertainty after the Red Raiders sustained several injuries against Missouri. Running back DeAndre Washington, wide receiver Alex Torres and offensive guard Lonnie Edwards all left the game with seemingly significant knee injuries.
Doege will continue to anchor the offense. The junior leads the FBS with 525 pass attempts, although his 6.94 yards per attempt rank him 69th.
Griffin is second in that category (10.63), with many of those passes going to Kendall Wright. The senior, who had a career-high 208 receiving yards last weekend, hauled in 11 balls for 145 yards and a touchdown last year against Texas Tech.
A victory Saturday or next week against Texas would give Baylor five Big 12 wins in a season for the first time in program history.