Scouting the Sooners

The #16 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2, 4-2) are coming to Waco to face the Baylor Bears (7-3, 4-3) in the Bears' regular season finale at 7:05 this Saturday. Baylor is coming off a loss to A&M where they were held scoreless in the second half as Oklahoma looks to build off a 45-7 thumping of Texas Tech. Inside we look at who and what the Bears can expect to see this Saturday. FREE ARTICLE

QB: Landry Jones may very well be the best QB the Bears have had to face this season. He's coming off a 5 TD performance last weekend against Texas Tech where Landry was able to spread the ball around to 9 different receivers. However, Jones has struggled a bit on the road, like the rest of his teammates. He has only thrown 6 interceptions this year, but 4 of those have come in the Sooners' 3 road games (not counting vs. Texas in Dallas). He's coming into the game averaging 315 yards per game, and Baylor's secondary has helped Andy Dalton and Brandon Weeden have record-setting days this season, so things could get ugly if the Bears don't find a way to slow the passing attack early.

RB: The Sooners' leading rusher (and second leading receiver) is senior DeMarco Murray. Murray is averaging 91 yards per game and has 13 TDs on the year on the ground. A year ago, he ran for 107 yards against Baylor. Last week, the Sooners had a perfect example of a balanced rushing attack. Murray had 79 yards and was joined by Mossis Madu (72 yards) and Roy Finch (67 yards). Each guy was able to bust a run of 25 yards or more and ran for over 200 yards against Tech.

WR: The Bears have had to face two great receivers in Justin Blackmon and Jeff Fuller over the past couple of weeks and they have another big test against the Sooners. Ryan Broyles is coming into the game averaging almost 120 yards per game and is the Sooners' all-time leader in TD receptions. Last week, he added 3 more to his total. Broyles is quick and has the ability to leap up and grab the ball out of the air, despite the fact that he's only 5'11". Freshman Kenny Stills is another receiver to watch out for. Last week, he slipped by a defender and caught a 59 yard TD pass.

O-Line: The Sooners' offensive line is coming off one of their best games of the season. After struggling against A&M's pass rush, they rallied and led a 500+ yard performance against Tech. Gabe Ikard and Eric Mensik are both tight ends-turned-linemen and have played well this season and make the line very athletic and quick. Against Tech, the Sooners used an 8 man rotation to lighten the load off of some of their starters and to keep them fresh throughout the game.

D-Line: The Sooners' defensive line has been fighting injuries all season long. Last week, they lost Adrian DT Taylor for the rest of the season. Ends Pryce Mason and Stacy McGee have both played tackle due to the lack of depth. Mason has 3 sacks on the year. Oklahoma is expecting DT Casey Walker to return, who hasn't seen action since September because of a knee injury. DE Jeremy Beal is a great player, with 7.5 sacks this season, 16 TFLs, and 3 forced fumbles. Due to their lack of depth, opposing teams have been able to run the ball well up the middle, something Baylor has done well all season long.

LB: Defensive coordinator Brent Venables is stressing the importance of not giving up big plays, and the play of the linebackers is key there. Last week, the Sooners responded and Tech only had 2 plays of 20 yards or more. Travis Lewis is the Sooners' leading tackler this season, with 86. He also has 2 picks this season. LB Tom Wort is also having a solid year, with 3.5 sacks and 5 QB hurries.

DB: The Sooners' defense uses a lot of 5 DB sets, and their secondary is full of talent. Safety Quinton Carter was all over the place last week, leading the team with 17 tackles. Jamell Fleming has broken up 11 passes and has 4 picks this season and Jonathan Nelson is the Sooners' second leading tackler, with 81.

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