The Oklahoma State Cowboys are headed back to Stillwater after an extended road trip to take on the high-powered Baylor Bears.
The Pokes need to win this to remain in the national championship hunt, and should play tough in front of their fans.
Will they have enough to get it done with the possible absence of Justin Blackmon? We will see on Saturday.
Keep reading to find out more about this Big 12 battle.
Where: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. EDT
Listen: Baylor—1660AM ESPN RADIO, Oklahoma State—KSPI 780AM
Who Will Win?
Betting Line: Oklahoma State -14 (via ScoresAndOdds)
Oklahoma State controls their own destiny, and could very well be on their way to playing for the first national championship in school history after moving up to No. 3 in the nation and tying the highest ranking the program has ever achieved.
Baylor is looking to get back on track after losing two of their last three games after looking like a legitimate contender in the first four weeks.
This is a big game for both teams, but Oklahoma State has a lot more to play for at this point.
Who Might Not Play for Baylor (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
CB Tyler Stephenson—QST (Ankle)—Will this be the week that the starting corner finally returns from the high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 1?
Who Might Not Play for Oklahoma State (via CollegeInjuryReport.com)
WR Justin Blackmon—QST (Head)—Blackmon sat the second half of the Pokes game against Mizzou after taking a hard shot to the head. If he is out, this really hurts OK State.
Will Justin Blackmon Play?
WR Hubert Anyiam—OUT (Foot)—The Pokes will definitely be without their third-leading receiver, as he has been shut down for the season with a broken left foot.
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Oklahoma State needs to win this game to continue on their collision course with Oklahoma on Dec. 3 undefeated.
If they manage to win that game, they are without a doubt going to play in the national championship, as the No. 1 and 2 teams play each other on Nov. 5.
The BCS currently has OK State ranked No. 3, and I believe that is a very fair ranking. They could help build their margin of victory computer points up in this game with a big win.
Baylor would shock the world if they won this game, and would move back into the rankings, but it won’t happen.
What They're Saying
The Associated Press has a quote from Joseph Randle, the Pokes RB who scored four touchdowns last week. He says the team is preparing for Baylor and not thinking ahead.
"We're pretty comfortable in our ability to prepare for each team, and we play each week in not looking past nobody," said Randle. "I think this team is very focused on the goals that we have and taking things week by week and not looking at the big picture as much."
Gerald Goodridge for NewsOn6.com points out that Baylor could play spoiler to Oklahoma State’s dream season because of their offense.
“Even though two losses have derailed the Bears' chances at crashing the BCS party, they're still one of the most dangerous teams in the conference. Baylor ranks first in the conference in total offense—averaging 549.7 yards per game—and second in the Big 12 in scoring offense with 44.3 points per game.”
Baylor Player to Watch: Robert Griffin III
This kid has thrown just two interceptions all season, and is the most efficient quarterback in the nation.
At one point he had more touchdown passes that incompletions, and he is still having an incredible season despite the two losses, coincidentally the two games he threw interceptions in.
Griffin is the key to any upset hope that the Bears have.
Oklahoma State Player to Watch: Brandon Weeden
How will Weeden perform without stellar possession receiver Hubert Anyiam and possibly the best WR in the nation, Justin Blackmon?
If they can’t replace their production, Weeden is going to have a rough day and the Pokes will need to rely more on their running game.
It could be a whole different game plan for Weeden and the OK State offense without those kids.
Key Matchup: Baylor Defense vs. OK State Offense
Will the Bears be able to handle the Pokes’ explosive offense?
What if they don’t have to worry about Anyiam or Blackmon?
Baylor is only seventh in the conference in total defense, and has looked very suspect at times. If they can find a way to shore up their weaknesses and get lucky, and Blackmon doesn’t play, they have a shot at winning.
Oklahoma State 47 – Baylor 35