Coming off of their first loss of the season, the Baylor Bears will limp in to a top 10 matchup against the Oklahoma State Cowboys this Saturday.
Coach Art Briles met with the media yesterday and was somber about the state of his football team. Coming off of a 44-34 loss to then #12 Oklahoma, the Bears will head to Stillwater to face an Oklahoma State team that they have never beat in Boone Pickens Stadium.
Lets take a look at who the Bears will likely be without on Saturday:
Orion Stewart - Stewart suffered a hamstring injury against Oklahoma, and did not participate in practice yesterday. It is highly unlikely that he plays against the Cowboys on Saturday. This would be a big loss for the Bears, as Stewart is a seasoned veteran in the defensive secondary.
Beau Blackshear - The 5th year senior suffered a knee injury against Oklahoma and never returned. His absence was immediately felt, as the Sooners began to punish the interior of the Bears defensive line, which was also dealing with a less than 100% Andrew Billings. Blackshear is out for Saturday, and there is some speculation about whether or not he will return this season. Lets hope that isn't the case.
Terrell Burt - Burt was the subject of some unfair criticism on Saturday, but is dealing with a true ankle injury. He was seen taped during media time on Monday. Burt hasn't necessarily been ruled out, but if his ankle isn't improved then it will be tough for him to go. The ankle joint is important from a shifting and cutting perspecting. This type of injury also hinders the speed of the player, which an important characteristic of Burts game. Burt will likely be a gametime decision.
Byron Bonds - Bonds is doubtful for the game. Bonds is also currently nursing a knee injury and is unlikely to participate Saturday. The loss of him and Blackshear isn't as bad against an OSU team that isn't know for its running game, but it will likely give the Cowboys an edge to run the ball Saturday.
A few others that are probably for the game, but nursing some ailments, are RSFR Chance Waz, 4th year JR S Taion Sells, SR DE Shawn Oakman, SO WR KD Cannon, and TRFR QB Jarrett Stidham.
Stidham is coming off of a mediocre game, in only his second start of the season. The first year QB was injured in the early moments of the game and was never able to fully recover. Briles told the media Wednesday, that Stidham wasn't as far along as he'd like, but it would likely take a lot to keep Stidham off the field. If the Bears are to keep their Big 12 Championship and CFP chances alive, Stidham is a must start on Saturday.
This is a tough time of year for most college football teams, and the schedule that the Big 12 put forth for this season does them no favors. In what was essentially a response to the Big 12 being left out of the inagural CFP, the Big 12 has seemingly hurt themselves in having their 4 best teams play each other late in the season. It remains to be seen if Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or even Baylor can somehow get the Big 12 in to the playoff.