BearsIllustrated Roundtable 11/5

In this weeks segment of the Roundtable, the staff looks at the keys to the Bears gameplan against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. The Bears will need a win in Norman to keep its Big 12 Championship and CFB Playoff hopes alive. Come inside The Bear Pit to discuss this and more!

In this weeks segment of the Roundtable, the staff looks at the keys to the Bears gameplan against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday. The Bears will need a win in Norman to keep its Big 12 Championship and CFB Playoff hopes alive. Come inside The Bear Pit to discuss this and more!

Tim Watkins - Publisher,

As Kevin and I spoke about on the podcast, this game will come down to the rushing attacks for both teams. In terms of the Bears, they have to rush the ball effectively, and they have to stop the run. If you want to get even more specific, I think the Bears need some big plays from their runners against OU. The Bears have had a startling lack of explosive plays from the running game so far in 2014, with only 1 rush for longer than 30 yards on the season. Big plays for the Bears rushing attack will be key.

On the flip side, forcing the Sooners into 3rd and long and obvious passing downs is a must for the Baylor defense. Oklahoma will look to run on 1st down and make 2nd and 3rd down much more manageable. The Bears need big games from their front-7, with Andrew Billings and the Baylor linebackers playing a starring role Saturday. If the Bears can effectively stop the Sooners rushing attack on 1st down and set themselves up for success (which is pretty much anytime Trevor Knight has to throw the ball), then they will have a good shot of forcing some punts and hopefully a few turnovers.

Kevin Barrera - Recruiting Analyst,

As with every other weekend, the Bears will need to establish the run to give themselves manageable 2nd and 3rd downs. This will be very important in establishing the play-action pass. It will be interesting to see the growth of Broxton and Colbert on the right side. The coaches seemed to make a concerted effort to run on the right side, which was very interesting. Oklahoma may try to employ the same type of defensive schemes that Texas and West Virginia did, by blitzing early and often.

My second key is the defenses ability to contain Trevor Knight. Oklahoma used a ton of diamond formation against Iowa State. This gives Knight several options. He can hand off, option with the RB, run screen plays, and scramble for big yardage. It will be very important for the Bears defense to NOT over pursue against OU. If they do that, then OU will burn the Bears with screen plays all day. The defensive line will be huge for the success of the defense, as their ability to slow down the Oklahoma rush offense will be very important.

James Holloway - Contributor,

My first is for the Baylor defense, they have to get consistent pressure on Knight. The Bears are a different team defensively when they are able to get pressure on the quarterback, in fact, I would say this is the most important thing for the Baylor defense to be effective. We saw what happens in a game where the Bears don't get consistent pressure on the QB in the West Virginia game, as both Shawn Oakman and K.J. Smith were kept in check. The most important player on defense this weekend is KJ Smith. Against Kansas he was able to get tremendous pressure on the QB, sacking him twice and causing two fumbles, but that was against Kansas. Smith needs to be a productive pass rusher opposite of Oakman, or Oklahoma will be able to put all their focus on Oakman and greatly limit his productivity.

My second key to the game is Bryce Petty needs to play like the QB that everyone thinks he is. Before this year everyone thought that Petty was Heisman caliber QB and a QB that could find success in the NFL, but that has not been the case. Petty's passing yards and TD stats look awesome once again, but if you look at his completion %, yards per pass attempt, and his QB ratings, they are all down this year. This is the first time that a Briles coached QB has regressed under his tutelage. Some think that his back still might not be right or that his chemistry is simply off with his WRs. Whatever it is, if he keeps playing like he has the past two weeks, the Bears are not going to win in Norman. I've continuously said that I believe that this team is better than the team Baylor had last year, but that has not been the case so far and the reason why is Petty's play. This weekend in Norman, that cannot be the case.

Matt Wilson - Contributor,

I struggled with this. Petty and the offense obviously need to continue to execute, but I think a massive key to this game is offensive adjustments from the coaching staff. When deep routes aren't connecting, use that receiving corps to attack the middle of the field. When runs between the tackles aren't succeeding, try a sweep. I'm no offensive genius by any stretch, but I feel Baylor gets stuck "doing what we do". Make the adjustments where necessary, don't be afraid to take what the Oklahoma defense is giving Baylor, and keep the offensive machine rolling.

The other is penalties. Baylor has to play a much cleaner game on both sides of the ball. I don't mind being aggressive with the play of defensive backs, but players have to be able to adjust to how the game is being called. False starts, holding, offensive pass interference calls all have to be eliminated to win. I don't want to call our penalty problems a lack of discipline, but if the trend continues...

Chase Medina - Contributor,

The first thing the Bears will have to do is contain Trevor Knight and the running game on defense. Baylor tends to have an issue allowing mobile quarterbacks extend drives with their feet. We saw this against Iowa State, TCU and some with Texas. The defense has to keep contain and not make it easy for Knight to escape the pocket. I expect some spying to happen to counter his running ability. While he doesn’t run a lot, he is effective when he does. He put up 146 rushing yards on Iowa State last week and is averaging 5.5 yard per carry this season. In addition, OU’s running backs Perine and Ross are both averaging over 5 yards per carry, so it will be imperative to not let them get going either.

The second thing the Bears have to do is START FAST on offense. I feel like I say this every week, but for the past few games Baylor has started slow. Bryce Petty will have to be more accurate in this game. The Bears will not be able to afford starting with a few three and outs or settling for field goals. While it’s no secret Baylor has never won in Norman, they can’t expect that to change getting less than a 55-60% completion percentage from Petty. This will obviously help open up the running game, and allow Baylor to play their style and their pace.

Elliot Coffey - Contributor,

My first key to the game is establishing the run. The success of Baylor's offense has rested heavily with our ability to gain large chunks of yardage on first down, and convert on crucial third downs. With Chafin and Shock healthy that dynamic duo should be able to do just that. I can't preach enough on how the depth and cohesion of our offensive line is helping, and will continue to propel this success. Establishing the run also allows Bryce to be comfortable in the pocket, and make smart decisions.

Second, limit big plays on defense and contain. If we run the ball well it takes a ton of pressure off of the defense and limits the plays they have. Even if the offense runs up the score, big plays on the road could shift the momentum of the game in the favor of Oklahoma. As Matt mentioned penalties and big plays coincide. Limit penalties, limit big plays.

Ryan Resch - Contributor,

If I'm remembering correctly, Stoops made it known in a press conference that he and his team studied the WVU game film on how to beat us. If they end up rushing their line-backing corps similar to the Mountaineers, I think the first key is adjusting the offensive schemes. I'm predicting that we'll see more stacked bubble screens and quick slant routes, just in an effort to get the ball out of Petty's hands quickly and gain enough yards to force the linebackers back into coverage.

On the defensive side, we need Billings and the line to keep up the great work against the run-game. OU set some type of rushing record against ISU last week, but our d-line is a completely different monster. If we can control the rushing game defensively and force Knight to pass more, I think we might force Trevor into his bad ways.

Bears Illustrated Top Stories