Memphis Tigers | The Commercial Appeal
Weather | Traffic

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.


College Football
Preview
Northwestern State at Baylor
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, September 2, 2016
Where: McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas

Perhaps no team in the nation is happier for the season to finally kick off than Baylor, which hosts FCS member Northwestern State on Friday night. To say the offseason was a tumultuous one for the Bears would be an understatement.

On-going sexual scandals and a scathing review by the law firm Pepper Hamilton of the Baylor athletic department for its handling of several alleged rapes resulted in head coach Art Briles being dismissed. Sixteen players have departed the roster since the scandal began and the Bears will go into 2016 with just 70 players on scholarship. Jim Grobe, who was head coach at Wake Forest for a 13-year stint that ended in 2013, came out of retirement to become interim head coach on May 26 when Briles was fired and has been involved in his own share of controversies, including retaining most of Briles' coaching staff instead of just cleaning house. Despite all the exits and distractions, the Bears were still picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 preseason media poll and begin the season ranked 21st in the nation.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN. LINE: Off

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN STATE (2015: 4-7): The Demons will try to build on a strong finish to the 2015 campaign, winning four of their final six games. They were picked to finish seventh in the 11-team Southland Conference in the preseason coaches poll and feature three seniors who garnered preseason second all-conference honors -- offensive guard Terrance Boyd, wide receiver Shakeir Ryan and running back De'Mard Llorens. Llorens averaged 4.7 yards per carry while rushing for a team best 820 yards and 11 touchdowns last season while Ryan has 108 career receptions which ranks fifth in school history and is 69 off the school record of 177 held by Ed Eagan.

ABOUT BAYLOR (2015: 10-3): The Bears return the nation's only 1,000-yard running back duo from 2015 in Shock Linwood (1,329) and Johnny Jefferson (1,000), who has been slowed in fall camp by a foot injury. Senior Seth Russell returns at quarterback after averaging 300.6 passing yards per game in seven contests before being sidelined with a neck injury. The Bears must replace first-round pick Corey Coleman's 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns at wide receiver but Grobe says the unit, led by junior KD Cannon and sophomore Chris Platt, has good depth.

EXTRA POINTS

1. OL Rami Hammad, the expected starter at right guard for the Bears, has been suspended from the team after being charged with felony stalking.

2. Baylor suspended potential starting WR Ishmael Zamora for three games after he was charged with a Class C misdemeanor for beating his dog.

3. Despite all the negative national attention for the team's off-the-field issues, Baylor still set a school record for public season tickets sales with 28,804 -- 420 more than in 2015.

PREDICTION: Baylor 63, Northwestern State 7
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Northwestern State 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Baylor 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Northwestern State Baylor
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/6/14 NWST 6 BAY 70 202 78 124 720 265 455
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern State Z. Adkins 41.2 112 0 1
Baylor S. Russell 64.0 438 5 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern State G. Atzenweiler 10 32 3.2 0
Baylor J. Jefferson 20 107 5.4 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern State E. Eagan 2 51 25.5 0
Baylor K. Cannon 6 223 37.2 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern State O. Adim-Madumere 0
Baylor K. Cannon 3
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Northwestern State N/A
Baylor N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Northwestern State N/A
Baylor N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Northwestern State N/A
Baylor N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Northwestern State N/A
Baylor N/A
Quickchart Matchup
Northwestern State Northwestern State Off vs  Baylor Baylor Def
Northwestern State 0 yards
Baylor 0 yards
Northwestern State 0 yards/rush
Baylor 0 yards/rush
Northwestern StateBaylor
Baylor Baylor Off vs  Northwestern State Northwestern State Def
Baylor 0 yards
Northwestern State 0 yards
BaylorNorthwestern StateBaylorNorthwestern State