Kevin Barrera - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Recruiting Analyst
I keep going back and forth with this game. I’ve tried to look at the past three games, to figure out what Baylor has done to win those games, and quite frankly you can’t take anything away from those games. The one reason for that is the play of Bryce Petty. Bryce has been a completely different QB this year, but I don’t believe it is because he has regressed. I believe that defenses have begun to scheme completely different against the Bears then they have in the past. WVU, TCU, Texas, and ISU to an extent, have thrown completely different looks, and I think that has thrown this offense off a ton. We have also seemed to see the coaches call plays based on our talent, because they felt that we could overcome those issues based off of our talent, but as anyone can plainly see, this has not been the case. Sure we have won games, but Baylor has looked bad doing.
So for Oklahoma, I am a little reluctant to go with the Bears, but I just can’t pick against them. Not because I am a Baylor homer (well I am, but thats not leading my decision here), but because I believe that Baylor has an edge in the mental aspect of this game, and beating OU, the team that is supposed to be WAY more talented, is something that this team believes they can do. Almost the same thing with Texas. The mystique and mental strangle-hold on Baylor, is gone. I think Baylor shocks everyone, and gets their first win in Norman EVER!
James Holloway - BearsIllustrated Contributor
I've been dreading this post all week, because I just can't pick the Bears here. When the Bears travel to Norman, the National Press usually points out the fact that Baylor has never won there, that is just stupid. For college football you can only look 1-2 years in the past to see anything that might be helpful to judge how a team might play in a certain situation. While the Bears have won 2 of the last three against Oklahoma, both at home, and scored enough points to win in Norman that third time, I am just looking at this year to make my decision. Nothing I have seen from Bryce Petty the last four games gives me confidence that he will go into Norman and play well, and the Bears will not win if he does not. This is the first time in two years that I have gone into a game thinking that the Bears are not going to win. I hope they prove me wrong.
Score: Sooners Win 38-28
Chase Medina - BearsIllustrated Contributor
The key to this game, like I said earlier this week, is the play of Bryce Petty. If his main reason for returning was to win championships, then this is the game where he has to step up and play like he did last year. James already pointed out that he hasn’t looked good recently. He has struggled with accuracy and his outside throws tend to sail high. I would attribute this to him compensating for his back and not being 100 percent, but that’s just speculation. What’s not speculation is that his completion percentage is down from 62% last year to 54.8% this year. If the Bears want to walk out of Norman with a win, Petty must be the Petty of old. Baylor must also establish the running game. Shock and Devin have to take the pressure of Petty as much as possible. The Bears will need their play-action passing game to get back on track.
Oklahoma has looked good this year, only losing two games by a combined 5 points. Although Trevor Knight has looked shaky at times, he has made enough plays for his team to be successful. And as everyone knows, this game is in Norman. I expect this game to come down to the fourth quarter, and possibly the final drive. If Bryce Petty can play to his potential and the Baylor defense steps up, I believe Baylor can win for the first time in Norman. I may be in the minority, but I think this is the turning point of the season for the Bears, where they finally get everything clicking.
Score: Bears win 42-35
Ryan Resch - BearsIllustrated Contributor
I've been going back and forth between one aspect of this game, and it's not Baylor's road play. What I can't decide on is which Trevor Knight will show up to this game. That said, I think our defense has shown incredible grit when faced with adversity and I believe that Phil Bennett will find a way to pressure Knight, make him uncomfortable, and force him into making bad decisions. However, I am still concerned about his mobility and I think OU will gain more yards than desired due to QB scrambles. Offensively, if Stoop tries to employ the same defensive game plan as WVU, I think Briles and crew will open up the playbook beyond the streaks we have relied on so heavily this season. I have faith that we will see the rebirth of the bubble screen and the slant game.
Score: Bears win 38-27
Tim Watkins - BearsIllustrated Co-Owner, Publisher
I want to be confident about this game, I really do. I want to say that the Bears front-7 will slow down the Sooners running game and make Trevor Knight beat them with his arm, rather than with his legs. I want to say that the Bears will get the turnovers and stops they need to give the Baylor offense the ball in good positions to score. I want to say that Bryce Petty and the Baylor receivers will finally be on the same page for the first time all season and that the Bears will exploit a weak Sooner pass defense for big 3rd down conversions and even bigger touchdowns.
Too bad I am not confident of that. The Sooners have been perfect at home in the month of November under the reign of Bob Stoops. They have the talent at the coaching to beat the Bears, and in front of a packed stadium full of crimson with little green and gold to speak of, they make the last big play to win and hold off the Bears late.
Score: Sooners Win 42-38
Matt Wilson - BearsIllustrated Contributor
Ya' know, earlier this week I was really nervous about this game.
People keep mentioning Briles' record versus ranked teams on the road on social media like twitter dot com, but a lot of things happen after not happening for a long while:
- Man landing on the moon
- Getting the correct order from a fast food place
- The Houston Texans making the NFL playoffs
- Electronic music becoming popular
- Matt resisting a free baked good
AND BAYLOR BEATING OKLAHOMA IN NORMAN.
Score: Bears win 44-35