by Jillian Gearin 11/14/15
The 12th ranked Oklahoma Sooners travel to Waco, Texas to face the undefeated Baylor Bears. The game is important for both teams, as well as the Big 12 Conference as none of the Big 12 teams are in the top four currently.
Baylor’s schedule so far has been a breeze for the Bears; however, the rest of the season will be a chance for the Bears to impress the committee. After Oklahoma, Baylor will face Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas.
Entering the season, Baylor was favored to win the Big 12 title. Oklahoma was looking to rebound from last year’s 8-5 record. The coaching changes paid off as the Sooners are 8-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The team’s only loss comes from Big 12 rival Texas.
Oklahoma has defeated Baylor 21 out of their 24 meetings. However, Baylor has won their last two meetings and three out of the last four meetings.
Even without quarterback Seth Russell, who is out with a season-ending neck injury, last week against Kansas State the Baylor offense pulled out the 31-24 win. True freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham should be able to lead the offense with little mistakes.
Stidham threw 23 completions for 419 yards and three touchdowns against the Kansas State Wildcats last week. He has not thrown an interception yet and averages 12.3 yards per attempt. The remainder of the season will be a challenge for Stidham but it is a chance for Stidham to prove himself.
The matchup on Saturday night will be a high scoring game as both teams average over 45 points per game. Both defenses are strong but the offenses are too explosive to shutdown. The main way the Oklahoma and Baylor defenses can slow down the offense is to take away the big plays. Oklahoma’s defense has been better at preventing the big plays with only allowing nine plays of 30 or more yards. The Bears have given up 19.
The game more than likely will have a close score and the Oklahoma fans have a right to be hopeful for an upset. However, the Bears still have an edge in that it is a home game and there is a wild card with Stidham. Even with his inexperience, he has shown his ability to make quick decisions and there is less film for the Sooners to study of him. Expect Baylor to come out with the win.