Four Reasons Why OU-Baylor Will Wind Up in a Sooner Victory


For many months now, the college football prognosticators and pundits have pointed to the Baylor-TCU game on the last weekend of the regular season as the game of the year in the Big 12. Previously unbeaten TCU went down to defeat last weekend, and now all eyes are on OU-Baylor this weekend to see if the Sooners can deliver a similar blow to the Bears’ championship hopes.

Not many people are siding with the Sooners in this one, particularly given that the game is being played at Baylor, which also happens to be the host site this week for ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcast.

There are some in the college football business who say it would have been better if this game and the other big games to follow involving the Big 12’s top four teams would have been more spaced out In the schedule and not played in consecutive back-to-back – and, in Oklahoma and Baylor’s case – to-back weeks.

On the counter side of that issue, however, the three toughest games on the schedule come at a time when Oklahoma is playing extremely well and in good rhythm offensively and defensively, which may give the Sooners a better shot at unbeaten and No. 4-ranked Baylor than they would have had had this game been played earlier in the schedule.

Nov 8, 2014; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners linebacker Eric Striker (19) during the game against the Baylor Bears at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If you, like me, are tired of reading and hearing why OU will not come out on top against Baylor, read on, because here is a case for how the Sooners will pull the so-called upset against Baylor:

Pressuring and creating disruption for the young Baylor quarterback: Jarrett Stidham was one of the country’s top QB recruits, so he is very capable of beating teams with his arm when given time and space. Oklahoma will take this away from him and force the young QB, making just his second career start, to get rid of the ball sooner than he wants or take a sack. And, oh, by the way, the Sooners are second in the nation this season in quarterback sacks. Quarterback hurries affect the throwing accuracy and disrupt receiving routes, and often end up in interceptions. The Sooners are tied for 18th in the country in the latter category with 12 in 2015.

Keep the Baylor offense off the field by sustaining long drives and winning time of possession: The Sooners are the best defensive team in the Big 12 through nine games, but that defense becomes even more of a factor when the OU offense makes first downs, sustains drives and keeps the high-powered Baylor offense on the sidelines. When the offense is off the field, chances are better than not that Baylor won’t score, and the less opportunities Baylor has to score the better Oklahoma’s chances of winning.

Stop the Baylor rushing attack with Shock Linwood: Since the loss to Texas, the Oklahoma run defense has been outstanding. If the Sooners are able to take away Shock Linwood as a rushing weapon, it will put more pressure on the Bear’s passing attack, but it will also increase OU’s opportunity to unload on the Baylor quarterback with blitz packages and additional pass rushers designed to keep the young Baylor QB off balance and uncomfortable.

Score quickly and get out in front on the scoreboard: In the last four games, Oklahoma has outscored its opponents 60-6 in the first quarter and 112 to 33 in the opening half. Baylor also likes to get on the scoreboard early and force its opponents to play from behind. When the Sooners lead at halftime, they are 7-0 this season and 155-10 under Bob Stoops.