Sooner Football: Five Takeaways From Oklahoma’s Victory Over Baylor

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Nov 14, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners safety Ahmad Thomas (13) and linebacker Devante Bond (23) and cornerback Stanvon Taylor (6) celebrate the interception by Thomas against the Baylor Bears during the second half at McLane Stadium. The Sooners defeat the Bears 44-34. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Defense Is for Real

Ever since the Texas loss, Oklahoma’s defense has shown steady improvement, so much so that they lead the Big 12 conference in scoring and rushing defense (fifth in pass defense). But, this encouraging trend came with a huge caveat: Many thought the Sooners were simply beating up on inferior competition, and that once they entered the November gauntlet the defensive woes would return, especially against Baylor’s potent attack.

Well, those fears proved to be unfounded. Oklahoma’s defense has officially arrived, and it’s for real. On Saturday night, Oklahoma held Baylor to 416 total yards (159 rushing, 257 passing). This is quite impressive, considering Baylor was averaging over 300 yards rushing and over 350 yards passing per game. The Sooner defensive line consistently controlled the line of scrimmage and pressured Jarrett Stidham, who threw two interceptions. And even though Baylor running back Shock Linwood rushed for 103 yards, 51 of those were gained in Baylor’s first drive of the game. Better yet, the Sooners held Baylor uber-receiver Corey Coleman to 51 receiving yards and no TDs.

If not for Baker Mayfield’s interception and a couple of penalties that extended Baylor drives, these numbers might have been worse for the Bears. As Oklahoma advances to its two remaining games, the vastly improved defense is going to make life difficult for the remaining opponents on the schedule. Except for a couple of silly mental mistakes that led to penalties that extended Baylor drives, the defense played with discipline and held Baylor’s high-octane offense in check. That is a huge confidence boost moving forward.


Next: Baker Mayfield Is a Serious Heisman Contender