KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
SITE: McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas
TV: Fox Sports Net
SERIES: Baylor has never lost to Northwestern State, going 3-0 in the series and 2-0 under current head coach Art Briles.
RANKINGS: Baylor 10th
KEYS TO THE GAME
Baylor opened the new on-campus McLane Stadium, and the Bears' defensive line put on a clinic in sacking SMU eight times in prime time on Sunday night.
But the question this week was, "How is the quarterback doing?"
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty suffered cracked bones in his lower back in the first quarter of Baylor's season-opener. That received most of the blame for Petty being just OK in the Bears' win. He completed 13 of 23 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns and sat out the second half.
Petty is expected to be ready to go when Baylor hosts Northwestern State on Saturday.
"At the end of the day, we want to win the Big 12 championship and be in the final four and we're going to need Bryce Petty to do that," Baylor coach Art Briles said.
Briles indicated the Bears will keep a sharp eye trained on Petty to make sure he feels good enough to play against Northwestern State.
"I just talked to him back there a while ago and he feels pretty good," Briles said. "It's easy to feel good just walking around talking and breathing. We'll certainly monitor him and be intelligent with how we approach him because we understand it's a marathon and not a sprint."
If Briles needs Petty to be 100 percent in order to play against Northwestern State, Petty signaled that he'll convince the coaches and trainers he's 100 percent.
"I actually felt great today," Petty said. "As far as Saturday goes, I know my body better than anybody else, so I'm going to be smart with it. But, at the same time, you take a risk every time you get out on the field. To me, we have one game and that game is on Saturday."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
-- QB Zach Adkins recored the third 300-yard passing game in 13 career outings when he threw for 318 yards against Missouri State. He had finished the 2013 season by passing for 333 yards against Stephen F. Austin.
-- WR Ed Eagan had a career-best nine receptions for 107 yards in the loss to Missouri State in the opener. A junior, Eagan began his career as a cornerback as a true freshman.
-- RB De'Mard Llorens is a threat to score at any moment. His 53-yard touchdown run on the opening series against Missouri State was his sixth score in just 13 career games. He averages a touchdown once every 11.5 times he gets the football.
-- CB Imoan Claiborne is the only two-year starter for the Demons with 18 career starts. The senior had three tackles and an interception in the opener.
--QB Bryce Petty seemed more like a game manager in the opener as he passed for 161 yards and two touchdowns in Baylor's 45-0 victory over SMU. Petty will likely be even more limited after he suffered a lower-back injury in the first quarter.
--DE Shawn Oakman posted a pair of sacks in an impressive debut in the starting lineup. With Petty and the offense appearing less dangerous than last season, the spotlight might shift to Oakman as the Bears' biggest star.