Oklahoma Sooners Football: Three Keys To Victory Against the Baylor Bears


The 16th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) will host the 10th-ranked Baylor Bears (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) this Saturday at 11:00 AM CT on Fox Sports 1.

Before the season, many were expecting this game to be the game of the year in the Big 12. Now, it’s not even the best game of the week in the conference, but nonetheless, stakes are high in the match up. Baylor looks to stay in the College Football Playoff Hunt, while Oklahoma looks to stay in the Big 12 Title hunt.

Oklahoma’s offense came to life in the past two games, gaining over 500 on Kansas State two weeks ago and a Bob Stoops’ record 751 yards on Iowa State this past weekend. The offense will need to keep it going if OU wants to keep up with Baylor’s high-powered offense. Without further ado, here are three keys to victory for the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday:

Score early.
You simply cannot let a team like Baylor get momentum early and get scoring. You will not be able to keep up if they do. The Sooners need to score early, preferably on the first possession, to gain the momentum at home and get the home crowd fired up.

If Oklahoma can take an early lead, it will make it a lot easier on the defense to get stops with a home crowd fired up and not having to play from behind. The Sooners are ninth in the country in scoring, averaging 41.6 PPG. So this offense can score, as long as Knight protects the football…

Limit the turnovers.
Trevor Knight cannot throw interceptions like the two he threw at Iowa State. Bryce Petty will capitalize on almost every opportunity he gets. Knight needs to protect the football. If the throw is not there, he needs to do what he does best and keep it and run.

It’s better to only gain a few yards than to throw an interception, allowing the Baylor offense on the field with momentum. If it is third down, it is still better to have to punt it away than to throw an interception. Knight needs to trust his receivers, but also cannot throw balls where his receiver has a less chance the the defender to catch it.

Open up the playbook.
The Sooners did this against Iowa State and wound up with 751 yards of offense. Heupel dialed up just about everything you could think of, including some triple options that gained big yards. Trevor Knight can be lethal in the option game. When in the option, Knight can be just as good as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.

With three of the best rushers in the Big 12, and maybe the country, Knight should be allowed to keep many options, just as he did against the Cyclones. If Heupel can mix up the play-calling and not be so predictable, the Baylor defense, which is 32nd in the nation in points per game allowed, can have some trouble. The Sooners can’t be too basic or else Baylor will stop them. Knight should be set free and the playbook should be stretched open more.

With a win, the Sooners can move into good position for at least a share of the Big 12. After the two close losses combined by five points to TCU and Kansas State, a win over a top 10 team would be satisfying. The chances for a playoff appearance are most likely gone, but the Sooners can still have a good end to the season, just as they did last year. And it can all start with getting revenge on Baylor.