The Big 12 is a new conference. Oklahoma are one of the old powers, and right now, not good enough to stop the winds of change, crushed by Baylor who remain the conference’s only undefeated team through a 41-12 win over the Sooners, thanks to an accurate performance from Bryce Petty and a defense that is probably a lot better than usually given credit for.
Oklahoma? A good team, nothing more. Not one that can contend for the Big 12 title. Not when they score only 12 points in the biggest game of the season for them, losing to Baylor for only the second time in program history. Baylor stretched the field but relied on their running game more than before, getting 182 yards from the surprising Shock Linwood, while Petty himself ran for 45 yards, scoring two touchdowns. Petty hasn’t run more than 9 times in a game previously this season, averaging 9.1 rushing yards per game.
There was defense as well from Baylor, heading into their toughest patch of the season, and looking to move up at least one place in the BCS standings thanks to Oregon losing for the first time this season. Blake Bell was awful at 15-of-35, throwing two interceptions, as the running game was also taken completely out of the picture, limiting the Sooners to only 87 yards and 2.6 yards per carry.
The play-action, which has been such an important part of Oklahoma’s offensive arsenal, completely fell apart. Bell completed 22% of his play-action pass attempts against Baylor, after completing 71% of such passes entering the game.
The second quarter was when everything fell apart for Oklahoma. They did go up 5-3 at some point after a safety sack in the end zone, but it might have been Blake Bell’s inability to convert against a goal line stand from Baylor’s defense that ruined any chance of a victorious momentum for Oklahoma. Later on, his intercepted pass that was followed by a touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley with 13 seconds left in the quarter killed off any chance Oklahoma had of coming back.
Baylor might need a few more stumbles above them in order to unexpectedly find themselves in the national champions game, but they’re on the right path. Playing Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech means their job isn’t finished yet, but by showing they have more than just offense on this team to cope with the bigger threats in the conference, they might have proved once and for all that they’re undefeated start to the season has nothing to do with a soft schedule.
Oklahoma? A program that finds it hard to grasp the change around them. Losing Landry Jones to the NFL was rough, but it’s not quite certain that Blake Bell, who was mostly the guy who ran on short yardage situations prior to this season, is going to be enough in bringing Oklahoma to the front of College Football once again. If this defense gave up 77 points in their losses this season against two of the better teams in the conference, maybe it wasn’t that good to begin with, unlike what was advertised.