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Case Closed: Baylor Bears prep for Floyd Casey finale, host Longhorns Saturday

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As the No. 9 Baylor Bears embark upon the team's final matchup at Floyd Casey Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2:30 p.m. CT on FOX, head coach Art Briles and company are focused on one thing and one thing only.

The mission: beating the 25th-ranked University of Texas Longhorns and entering the team's first-ever postseason BCS bowl game.

"When we're in the season we're not out there looking around. We're staying in here and staying focused on getting through this one and getting to the next one," Briles told the Bears official athletic website. "That's not going to change. I'm sure there are a lot of good scenarios out there, but we've got to win Saturday and we'll see where the dust settles from there. Our focus from day one was to win every game we play this year, and we haven't done it but we've been pretty close and we get another opportunity Saturday."

When the 2013 season kicked off a few short months ago, no one expected the Bears to blast into the national spotlight and be in the hunt for the Big 12 title.

No one, of course, except the coaches and players donning the green and gold jerseys -- for Baylor Nation, the belief has never wavered.

"Anytime you can play in a bowl, it's special," junior quarterback Bryce Petty said. "Anytime you get wins, it's special. For us, and I'm going to answer this as truthfully as I can, we have to control weekend control, which is winning Saturday. That is my soul focus. This is where it is. We've broken every lid that I can think of off Big 12 Champs and this is what it's come down to and so I'm not worrying about what happened in Stillwater, I'm worrying about what happens at Floyd Casey on Saturday. Whatever bowl we go to, that's going to be great. We'll manage that when the time comes, but right now we got to get to that point which is by winning Saturday."

Saturday's rivalry showdown between Baylor and the University of Texas will also be the very last game to be played at The Case, as the Bears prepare to move to a new multi-million dollar stadium next season.

"It certainly worked out nicely. Whoever made up the Big 12 schedule is sitting around getting the hands off their back this morning because it certainly turned out well at the end with the two games that are going on," Briles said. "You couldn't ask for a better scenario, other than winning the game, and that's the bottom-line all the way around. That's where our focus will be plus closing out the stadium."

For the seniors on the 2013 team, this year's season means more than most -- especially with it being their final time to play for the Bears in front of their home crowd.

"It's a blessing to be a part of; it is very special because these are my guys," Petty said. "The ones that [I've] fought for and the ones that [I've] contributed for. It just adds a whole new dimension to what a "senior" class is to [me] as an underclassman. I'm going to do all I can. I'm going to fight, I'm going to scratch and claw to get everything that I can to be successful and to get a win for these guys."

Senior safety Ahmad Dixon, who has been a leader both on and off the gridiron, will be forced to watch from the sideline in the first half of Saturday's showdown due to a suspension in the TCU game that stretches over to the team's regular season finale.

But that has stopped Dixon's heart and soul being soley focused on the team bringing home a Big 12 Championship.

"It's a blessing," Dixon said. "We've worked hard for this. We are thankful for this chance, and we are taking advantage of it. We want to make the best of it. You can't put (winning a Big 12 Championship) into words. It's more than just a word or a feeling. It means everything to me."

It also means everything to Baylor Nation, as the Bears have quickly simmered from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the world ever since Briles took over the helm for the Bears.

"For us, I feel like it has been a reality all year," junior wide reciever Levi Norwood said when asked about the Bears winning the Big 12 title. "We knew what our team was, who we had and what we'd be able to do all year. It's cool that it's right here, and that we've come this far. We definitely don't want to stop right now. We definitely want to get this last one, and make it a true statement."

I believe.

Do you?

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