One team showed up with their hair on fire playing with nothing to lose and everything to win. The other team came out timid and scared to make a mistake, with eventually led to those mistakes. For 9 games, Baylor was the first team. Against Oklahoma State though, they were the latter, getting bulldozed 49-17 in a game that really didn't feel that close. Trailing 14-3 after everything had gone wrong in the first 30 minutes of action, there was hope that adjustments and resetting a bit would lead to better results.
All that happened though was the continued dominance of Oklahoma State. They suffocated the Baylor rushing attack, not letting 3rd stringer Shock Linwood get anything going, other than two fumbles. The Cowboys made him look like the third string running back that most teams throw out there. They forced Baylor to pass the ball against their man to man coverage on the outside, which the Bears failed to take advantage of.
The game can pretty much be summed up with a look at the Bears offensive performance inside the 5-yard line. They had two chances at the goal line, and left with no points. Oklahoma State though recovered two fumbles, returning one of those for a touchdown. So on plays inside the 5-yard line, Baylor was outscored 7-0. Everything outside of that is window dressing.
The strong Baylor rushing attack, averaging almost 300 yards per game was held to just 94 yards on 36 carries but a tremendous Oklahoma State defense. Shock Linwood was held to just 2.1 yards per carry Baylor also gave up the ball 3 times and could not force a single OSU turnover.
In the end, the Bears were outplayed and outcoached by a better team that dominated in all phases of the game. Oklahoma State ran the ball with authority and had a career game from quarterback Clint Chelf in the passing attack. They stripped the Bears of the swagger they had shown all year, and all that was left was a big loss.
Words of the Game
Offense – Scared
The only word that comes to my mind is scared. Were the Bears scared to lose, or scared to try and win? Were they scared to push themselves? No idea, but they looked scared. From the play calling (a short side quick option on a key 4th down, or a jet sweep that everyone saw coming on third and short) to the players on the field, the Bears were timid. The offense playing loose and free with innovative play calls was on the other side of the field, while the Baylor offense struggled to get across midfield for a good portion of the game.
Defense – Erosion
This Baylor defense played its heart out in the first half. To be down only 14-3 after the first 30 minutes felt like a miracle. It could have been much worse, and it would soon be. The Cowboys would start to break those tendencies that they set in the first half and take advantage of a very aggressive Baylor defense. Counters to plays already shown and outright trick plays would get the Cowboy offense rolling full speed ahead. The Bears defense simply could not keep up, and their effort and energy slowly drained away from them.
Play of the Game
3rd and 2 at OSU 28 1st quarter
This is the play of the game for all of the wrong reason. With a brilliant play call, Bryce Petty has a wide open lane to the end zone, but tripped up by himself to fall short at the one yard line. This would have put the Bears up 7-0 and possibly made the game different, though it is impossible to tell. Two plays later, Shock Linwood would fumble the ball reaching for the goal line for the first of his two costly fumbles on the day.
Players of the Game
Offense - ???
Can you pick out an offensive player that played great? Neither can I. The Baylor offense was manhandled up front and couldn't run the ball, and the wide receivers were beaten by the secondary for most of the game. This was domination from the OSU defense.
Defense – Eddie Lackey (12 tackles, 1.5 for loss, .5 sacks)
Shifting over to the middle linebacker spot replacing injured Bryce Hager, Lackey did a tremendous job for most of the game. In the first half, the Baylor defense kept them in the game by getting stop after stop on 3rd down and holding OSU to just 14 points.
In a game that the Baylor attack played timid, the defense did enough to keep them in it for 30 minutes, but could not hold the line after that. Oklahoma State scored 35 points in the second half to put the game out of reach. Baylor's rushing attack finally felt the loss of its top two threats and had only 2.6 yards per carry. The other losses on offense were also felt as the Baylor receivers could not separate from the OSU defensive backs, and the Cowboys defense got some timely sacks early. The key to this game now will be limiting it to just 1 loss. Baylor cannot let this game impact the rest of the year. Too much is still left to play for.