Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Baylor Bears: Complete Game Preview
This Saturday, the Oklahoma State Cowboys host the Baylor Bears in a battle that could very well decide the Big 12 conference.
Both teams come in highly ranked (the Pokes are No. 10, while Baylor is No. 4) and are each looking strong after their last victories.
It will certainly be a test for both teams and should come down to the wire. Rest assured, this has "Game of the Week" potential and is rightfully the site of College GameDay.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 23
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Place: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218 cap.) Stillwater, Okla.
Radio: Cowboy Radio Network
All-Time Series: Oklahoma State holds an 18-13 advantage all time.
Oklahoma State Key to Victory
Bend, Don't Break Defensively
In 2010 and 2011, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were able to beat down the Robert Griffin III-led Baylor Bears largely because they adopted this mentality defensively.
The Bears are going to score points, that's a given. Defensively, you have to protect against the big play and toughen up when they get inside the 20.
Obviously, it's easier said than done; however, the Pokes field arguably the best defense in the Big 12 and have the rushing attack to control the clock offensively.
If anyone can best the Bears, it's Oklahoma State.
Baylor Key to Victory
Don't Buckle Under the Pressure
It's fair to say that it's not often the Baylor Bears find themselves in a place to potentially play for a national title.
As Oklahoma State fans know, that pressure can sometimes get to a team and cause them to have one bad outlier performance that tarnishes an otherwise great season.
Baylor has the talent to win this game, that much is certain. However, do they possess the fortitude to stand up to a true challenger and hold onto their place amongst the nation's elite?
Some would say they've already done that, with wins against OU and Texas Tech. however, both of those wins were on their home turf. This is a road game that will physically and mentally test the Bears in every way imaginable. Are they up to the challenge?
Only time will tell.
Oklahoma State Player to Watch
As you've probably heard by now, Baylor is going to be without their starting left guard this weekend, setting the stage for one of Oklahoma State's defensive ends to have a great game.
Tyler Johnson might be the popular pick, as he's the Pokes' best pass-rusher. That said, I'm pegging Jimmy Bean to make a big impact in this one.
Bean's been slowly becoming a quality player for Oklahoma State this season, and this looks like his chance to break out in a big way.
Look for Bean to be in the backfield often and make Bryce Petty's day a little more difficult than usual.
Baylor Player to Watch
On the other side of Baylor's injury report, it looks like Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin could be back in time for the marquee matchup against Oklahoma State.
Seastrunk was a dark-horse Heisman candidate before his injury and could give the Bears a big boost offensively against OSU's stout defense.
If he's able to play at anywhere near 100 percent, this might be a long day for Oklahoma State.
Look for Seastrunk to shake off the rust by halftime and make a big impact in the second half.
This one really could go either way.
Both teams look like legitimate contenders for a BCS bowl and rank among the top 10 nationally in countless categories.
In the end, I'm going to give the home team a slight edge, considering how poorly Baylor has historically performed in Stillwater. However, I don't think I'd be alone in saying that I wouldn't be surprised no matter who wins.
Oklahoma State wins in a nail-biter that comes down to the last minutes.
Oklahoma 45, Baylor 38