Baylor preparing with Chris Johnson as expected starter at QB

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Baylor quarterback Chris Johnson looks for a receiver during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Baylor won 45-35. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Baylor quarterback Chris Johnson looks for a receiver during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. Baylor won 45-35. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Baylor quarterback Chris Johnson could make his first career start in a big game.

The seventh-ranked Bears face No. 19 TCU on Friday night and head coach Art Briles said Monday that the team is preparing with Johnson as its starter while Jarrett Stidham works to return from a leg injury.

Johnson filled in admirably for Stidham (who’s considered questionable to play) over the weekend when the freshman was injured in Saturday’s game against previously unbeaten Oklahoma State. In what was his first significant game action, Johnson played the entire second half and led the Bears to a 45-35 win. Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound sophomore, threw for 138 yards and two touchdowns while also adding 42 yards and a score on the ground.

Johnson was actually briefly moved to wide receiver earlier in the season after Stidham, a true freshman, beat him out for the No. 2 quarterback role behind Seth Russell, who is out with a neck injury.

Nonetheless, Briles wasn’t surprised Johnson played so well.

“We knew we were in situation where if something happened to Stidham, he’d have to be ready to go, and he was ready,” Briles said per the Waco Tribune. “The playbook’s open, and we’re dialing up the same stuff that we are with Seth and Jarrett because he can deliver. He’s good, he can do it. That part of it is not surprising at all. He brings another element to the table because he’s a big guy that can run.”

On the other side, TCU may see the return of its own quarterback, star senior Trevone Boykin.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson said Boykin, who has been nursing an ankle injury, isn’t quite 100 percent yet, but he’s been gradually improving.

“Trevone isn’t 100 percent, but he’s far better than he was Friday and Saturday,” Patterson said. “Hopefully he’ll keep getting better every day. He’s doing his best to get back.”

Baylor (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) still has a chance to win the Big 12 if it beats the Horned Frogs.

A Baylor win coupled with a No. 11 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) win over No. 3 Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1) would give the Bears a leg up, provided they knock off 4-6 Texas in the season finale on Dec. 5. Baylor has the head-to-head edge over Oklahoma State, but Oklahoma’s win over the Bears on Nov. 14 swings the advantage to the Sooners if the two teams finish with identical records.

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!