Baylor looks to snap skid in opener; Texas State makes debut for coach GJ Kinne

AP Photo/Jerry Larson

Texas State at Baylor, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Line: Baylor by 27 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Baylor leads 9-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Baylor gets a fresh start after losing its final four games last season, including a bitterly cold Armed Forces Bowl, to finish 6-7 a year after going 12-2 with wins in the Big 12 championship game and the Sugar Bowl. This is coach Dave Aranda's fourth season. Texas State, after eight consecutive losing seasons with three different head coaches, plays its first game for 34-year-old GJ Kinne, the second-youngest FBS head coach. Arizona State's Kenny Dillingham is 33.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas State’s new wide-open spread offense against the Baylor defense. Kinne came from Incarnate Word, bringing offensive coordinator Mack Leftwich with him after the FCS Cardinals averaged 581 total yards and 51.2 points a game while going 12-2. There are a lot of unknowns with Texas State having 53 newcomers.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas State: WR Ashtyn Hawkins was the team's leading receiver last year with 56 catches for 587 yards and seven TDs in nine games before a season-ending upper-body injury. He set a single-game school record with 13 receptions (for 114 games) against Baylor.

Baylor: RBs Richard Reese and Dominic Richardson. Reese ran for 14 touchdowns and set a Baylor freshman record with 972 yards last season, while Oklahoma State transfer Richardson had 1,139 yards and 15 TDs rushing in 30 games for the Cowboys the past three years. Aranda hasn't named a starter, instead labeling the duo as being like a two-headed monster.

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas State's roster includes 19 transfers from Power Five schools. That includes 11 from the Big 12, among them former Baylor DE Victor Obi. ... Baylor added 13 players from the transfer portal. ... Kinne's father, Gary Joe, was a standout middle linebacker for Baylor, with 323 career tackles from 1985-89 while playing for coach Grant Teaff. His younger brother, Landry, is currently a QB-turned-WR on the Bears' roster. ... The Bears have gone 10-3 at home the last two seasons, including a 42-7 win over Texas State last season.

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