Fans of Big 12 football are in for a treat this Thursday night when undefeated Baylor hosts Oklahoma in the biggest game of the year for both programs.
Both teams should be fresh and well prepared, having had an extra few days to prepare for this game with a Week 10 bye.
This means fans across the nation should enjoy watching two sharp teams hit the field, and there will be another treat to enjoy as well. Baylor will be wearing all-black uniforms for this important game, and the school is asking all fans to show up wearing all black, too, as noted by the school on Twitter:
Baylor has breezed through an easy early schedule, posting blowout wins against every opponent this season but Kansas State, which held the Bears to just 35 points.
For most teams, 35 points is nothing to scoff at, but Baylor isn't most teams. This offense averages 63.9 points per game to lead the nation, and it has scored 70 points or more in four games this season.
Oklahoma comes into the game having lost just once this year. Texas stunned the Sooners in the Red River Rivalry game earlier this year, forcing two turnovers and dominating the time of possession.
Instead of featuring a high-powered offense, Oklahoma relies on its defense to set the tone. The Sooners rank No. 14 in the nation, allowing just 18.8 points per game.
It's a classic strength-versus-strength matchup, and it'll be fascinating to see if the Sooners can slow down the Bears.
When: Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas
Watch: Fox Sports 1
- Over/Under: 74 pts.
- Spread: Baylor (-14)
Oklahoma Injury Report (via USA Today)
|D.J. Ward||DE||Ques Nov 7 - Stomach - 10/27/13|
|Trey Metoyer||WR||Out indefinitely - Disciplinary - 10/16/13|
|Corey Nelson||LB||Out for season - Pectoral - 11/2/13|
|Jake Reed||OL||Out indefinitely - Suspension - 8/26/13|
|Jordan Smallwood||WR||Out indefinitely - Foot - 8/17/13|
|Kendal Thompson||QB||Out indefinitely - Foot - 8/14/13|
Baylor Injury Report (via USA Today)
No injuries to report.
Can Oklahoma Control the Clock and Shock the Bears?
The only team that has been able to give Baylor a hard time this year was Kansas State.
The Wildcats dominated the time of possession in that game, possessing the ball nearly two-thirds of the game and keeping Baylor's high-octane scoring offense on the sideline. The Bear still managed to score 35 points in just 20 minutes, but Kansas State nearly pulled off an upset.
The reason the Wildcats were able to dominate the clock is that the team rushed for 327 yards in that contest, scoring three times on the ground. Kansas State pounded out 23 first downs using the running game to great effect.
The Sooners don't feature an explosive scoring offense, averaging 31 points per game—less than half of what Baylor averages. Thankfully, Oklahoma does feature a punishing running game and is used to leaning on it heavily to grind out wins.
If the Sooners try to win a shootout against the Bears, the strategy will backfire.
Baylor hasn't yet faced a top team like Oklahoma, so it's hard to predict how the Bears will perform against a top-flight team. However, that's the same logic many used when going against FSU in games versus Clemson, and we all know how that one turned out.
The thing most people don't realize about Baylor is that it's not just a pretty offense. The Bears feature some impressive claws in the defensive side, allowing just 15.9 points per game, which is the sixth-best scoring defense in the nation.
Bryce Petty will put up points in bunches, and Oklahoma won't have a chance of keeping up with the torrid pace.
Factor in the rabid home crowd, dressed in black, and you have a recipe for another Baylor blowout.
Baylor Wins 52-31.
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