The Oklahoma football undefeated season came to an emphatic end at McLane Stadium in Waco on Saturday and with it, in all probability, the Sooners national championship run.
In a game chalk full of missed opportunities, the Baylor defense held No. 8-ranked Oklahoma’s high-powered offense to just 260 yards of total offense, and Baylor took over the game in the fourth quarter for a 27-14 upset win over the Sooners.
Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon threw for just 117 yards but ran for 107 more, including two touchdowns. Senior Abram Smith rushed for 148 yards and averaged over seven yards per carry, including a 75-yard run that set Baylor up for a fourth-quarter touchdown that expanded the Bears’ advantage to 17-7 and ultimately provided the winning margin.
After a scoreless first quarter in which both teams missing a field goal opportunity, Oklahoma opened the scoring early in the second quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback Caleb Williams. Baylor responded with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own to draw even a seven apiece.
Oklahoma had a chance to take the lead going into halftime, but Gabe Brkic missed a 41-yard field goal and the game went to halftime knotted at 7-7.
Baylor took over the game after halftime. The Bears took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 51 yards in seven plays before settling for a 14-yard field goal by Isaiah Hankins.
Oklahoma scored its second touchdown in the game with only two and a half minutes remaining in the game. At that point the game was already out of reach with Baylor holding a 24-7 lead before the final OU touchdown.
This game was won by the Baylor defense, which had the Sooners stymied all afternoon. The Bears’ defensive unit set the tone from the very beginning, forcing a three-and-out on Oklahoma’s first offensive possession after negative-eight yards.
The Baylor defense was totally dominant in this game, holding the country’s 12th-ranked offense to its fewest points and the fewest offensive yards in the Lincoln Riley era at OU.
In the second half alone, Baylor rushed for 190 yards and outgained Oklahoma 250 to 129.
The Oklahoma defense played a solid game for three quarters. The Sooners bent a lot on defense but seemed to come up with the big play when it needed it. Although the final stats would indicate otherwise, it was the Sooner defense that kept OU in this game for the first three quarters. Baylor left as many as 13 more points on the table on missed opportunities. The Sooner offense was virtually non-existent, however.
Poor tackling and too many unnecessary penalties (9 for 86 yards) contributed to the Sooners’ downfall in this game.
Lincoln Riley actually pulled Caleb Williams from the game late in the third quarter with Baylor leading 10-7, replacing him with Spencer Rattler. Williams would return to the game late in the quarter, and engineered the Sooners final scoring drive.
Williams finished with 10 of 19 passing for a meager 146 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
The loss, Oklahoma’s first of the season, snapped a seven-game winning streak over Baylor and ended the Sooners consecutive-games winning streak at 17. It also was the first loss by Oklahoma in the month of November in 24 games dating back to the 2014 season. Ironically, the last team to beat the Sooners in November was Baylor.
Oklahoma now needs to regroup, get ready to host Iowa State next weekend and not let the Baylor loss bleed into two losses.
The Sooners (9-1, 6-1) are tied with Oklahoma State with one conference loss but still have a leg up over Baylor and Iowa State. OU is probably going to have to win its final two games (Iowa State and at Oklahoma State) to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship.