Posted November 08, 2013

Three and Out: Baylor’s defense makes a statement in 41-12 win over Oklahoma

Baylor Bears, Big 12, Oklahoma Sooners
Bryce Petty

After a slow start, Bryce Petty (14) and the Baylor offense routed Oklahoma in Waco. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

After weathering a slow, mistake-filled start, No. 5 Baylor dominated No. 12 Oklahoma to improve to 8-0. Here are three takeaways from the Bears’ 41-12 victory:

• Baylor’s defense makes a stand: The Bears’ high-flying offense was a well-known commodity entering Thursday night, but Baylor’s defense took a star turn against the Sooners. Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett’s unheralded unit came in limiting teams to an average of 4.17 yards per play, and it shut down Oklahoma repeatedly in this one.

The Sooners, who put up 38 and 34 points, respectively, in their previous two games, were stuffed twice at the goal line in the second quarter (once to force a turnover on downs, once to force a field goal). As Oklahoma tried to make things interesting before the half, Baylor linebacker Eddie Lackey picked off a pass from quarterback Blake Bell. The Bears promptly scored their third touchdown in a seven-minute span, extending their lead to 24-5 at the break.

Oklahoma managed only 98 yards in the first half. They finished with a meager 237.

The Sooners finally found the end zone late in the third quarter, as Bell connected with Roy Finch for a 10-yard score. But the outcome was already well in hand. Baylor’s offense gets most of the headlines, but on Thursday, its defense showed it may be equally worthy of praise.

Sooners’ struggles: While Baylor’s defense provided a stiff test, Oklahoma’s offense could seemingly do no right. Bell completed only 15-of-35 passes for 150 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Sooners combined for 87 rushing yards on 34 carries. Most glaringly, the offense’s play-calling lacked imagination, as neither Bell nor backup quarterback Trevor Knight could establish any sort of sustained success.

For a program in need of a win to stay in the Big 12 title hunt, Oklahoma made far too many mistakes. That ultimately proved costly once Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, running back Shock Linwood (who stepped in for an injured Lache Seastrunk and carried 23 times for 182 yards) and receiver Antwan Goodley found their footing.

What’s next for the unbeaten Bears? After taking advantage of a light early-season slate, Baylor was expected to face a challenge on Thursday night. Yet Briles’ squad had little trouble dispatching of Oklahoma, and it will continue to make a BCS push in the weeks ahead. Baylor’s remaining schedule isn’t easy, however. It will play Texas Tech next week before closing with Oklahoma State (Nov. 23), TCU (Nov. 30) and Texas (Dec. 7).

Do any of those foes have the firepower to beat Baylor? If the Bears’ defense continues to keep pace with its high-scoring offense, this program has a legitimate chance to run the table in the Big 12.

13 comments
NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Oklahoma has to be the worst Top 25 team I've ever seen. Hard to think of any phase of the game where they are even good.

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

I'm guessing Baylor moves up in the discussion for BCS championship and Oregon moves down. Still some more interesting games this weekend

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

I have never, ever, seen a team ranked that high that is that bad.  Oklahoma has to be the worst coached, with the least amount of talent, that I have ever seen in the top 25.  Their basic skills are are as bad as you will ever see.  I actually saw a player whiff on a tackle right in front of hm!!  WHIFF!!!  The strength of the Baylor defense was their speed...yet they CONTINUALLY tried to turn the corner on them!  Did they not even watch the Kansas State film??  The Texas game was no fluke...and Baylor has yet to be tested.  Oklahoma is that bad.

Blinker
Blinker

@ss whipping.  First  half looked tough but then....... 

Chessmaster
Chessmaster

Everyone was expecting TCU to be the "little school" to knock off the usual big boys and take the B12 crown, but they just can't catch a break (or exorcise a curse). But up jumps Baylor to fill that roll. With an easy creampuff first half schedule, it was hard to tell for sure, but a convincing win over OU says they may be for real. Still a killer lineup to go with TxTech-Okla.St.-TCU-Texas, but if the Bears run that gamut its gonna be hard to choose who plays for the NC. Too bad they didn't go ahead and start the playoff this year.

Darrell1
Darrell1

Texas Tech game is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, not in Waco.

Briles is a Texas guy through and through, and at his age, I don't think he'd leave the state. Unless UT comes calling, I think he'll stay put at Baylor. He doesn't strike me as a UT guy, but who knows?


BenMyers
BenMyers

about 5-6 years ago, I told a friend about a freshman QB and new coach at Baylor, that I thought had some real potential.  For 2-3 years my friends IN Waco thought I was nuts, and kept rooting for the Longhorns.  and over the last 3 years the world is starting to realize that Art Briles is one of the best coaches in the game.  I hope he stays there and keeps the Bears going strong.  I like seeing the smaller schools get great coaches like TCU and Baylor have now.


Blinker
Blinker

@Richard--Ramirez  

That stupid sun visor he wears and his khakis make him look like a bus driver.  Hahahahaha

RandyHyle
RandyHyle

@mbroncofan But, they're Oklahoma! Theyalways get the benefit of the doubt.  Go back a few years.....

Highly ranked and expected to be playing for the national championship, they went into the Big 12 title game against K-State and were totally outplayed and humiliated 35-17. Guess what? Even though they didn't even win their conference, THEY STILL PLAYED in the National Championship game!

A couple of years earlier an undefeated and 2nd ranked K-State went into the Big 12 championship game and lost, in overtime, to a good and ranked Texas A&M team. Where did K-State end up playing? The Alamo Bowl! Not even a BCS bowl!

It's good to be Oklahoma!



radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

@Chessmaster I'd love to see an undefeated Baylor in the title game as much as anyone, but if 2 teams from the Alabama/OSU/FSU group do the same, we all know that's who will play for the championship.  Bring on that playoff.