The Baylor Bears finished off the non-conference portion of their schedule last week, finishing up 3-0 and winning by an average of 34 points over an over matched trio of schools in Northwestern State, SMU and Rice. The schedule ramps up in toughness though as Oklahoma State comes to Waco, TX looking to win at Baylor for the first time since 2009.
Oklahoma State is 2-1 on the season, with that "1" being a incredibly tough loss to Central Michigan that should never have occurred. However, it is a loss, and one that the Cowboys bounced back from well in a closer victory over Pittsburgh last week. OSU is making their first trip away from Stillwater this season, and looking to start 1-0 in conference play.
With an offense that features an incredibly talented passing attack, the Cowboys have one of the best receivers in the nation in James Washington and a very good quarterback in Mason Rudolph. It will be the Bears stiffest test by far through the air.
16/15 BAYLOR (3-0) vs Oklahoma State (2-1)
Sept. 24, 2015 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Waco, Texas | McLane Stadium (45,140)
Talent: Gus Johnson (pxp), Joel Klatt (analyst), Shannon Spake (sideline)
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- Baylor is looking to start a season 4-0 for the 4th-straight year, which would be a program first.
- Baylor and Oklahoma State meet for the 35th time on Saturday. OSU?leads the all-time series 19-15
- BU?holds a 7-6 lead in Waco and looks to win 3-straight for the 1st time since 1915-42 (9 in a row)
- Baylor is 12-2 in the $266 million McLane Stadium, with an average scoring margin of + 27.1 points
- Baylor has the nation's best home record since 2011 at 31-3
- Baylor has won 22 of its last 27 Big 12 games, including 13 of its last 15 in Waco
- BU?has been especially good against the pass, leading the country in team pass efficiency defense (58.60), while giving up just 97.0 yards per game through the air, which ranks 1st in the league and 3rd in the nation
- For 3 games, the Bears are averaging 282.0 yards on the ground, which is tops in the Big 12 and 9th in the nation
- Baylor ranks 2nd in Big 12 and 6th in FBS giving up only .33 sacks per game
- BU also ranks 10th nationally and 3rd in the Big 12 by allowing only 3.33 TFLs per contest.
- The Bears are 2nd in the Big 12, allowing only 16.86 yards per kickoff return, after ranking 7th a year ago (23.05)
- Oklahoma State has won each of its last six true road games, dating back to the 2014 season
- Oklahoma State has won four of its last five games played against teams from the state of Texas
Quick Look at Oklahoma State
- Location Stillwater, OK
- Founded Dec. 25, 1890
- Colors Orange and Black
- Enrollment 25,854
- Conference Big 12
- Team Name Cowboys
- Mascot Pistol Pete
- President V. Burns Hargis
- Athletic Director Mike Holder
- Starters Returning (O/D/S) 9/7/2
- Starters Lost (O/D/S) 3/6/1
- Letterwinners Returning (O/D/S) 19/18/2
- Letterwinners Lost (O/D/S) 10/11/3
- Head Coach Mike Gundy
- Career Record 94-47/12th Year
- Big 12 Record 56-37
What Happened Last Time
The Bears went into Stillwater and did something they have never done; leave with a win. With Jarrett Stidham dominating the first half and Chris Johnson in the second half, the Bears rolled to a 45-35 victory over the 10-0 and conference leading Cowboys. The Baylor defense was brilliant against the run, limiting OSU to just 8 yards on 23 carries and getting to the quarterback or 6 sacks. A stretch of 7-straight drives ending in punts gave the Baylor offense more than enough chances to build a big lead, 38-14. The Bears ran for over 300 yards and dominated the line of scrimmage on their way to a season saving win.
RealTimeRPI - Bears win 43-29
Massey - Bears win 42-34
TeamRankings.com - Bears win 42-34
Tim Watkins, BearsIllustrated.com - Bears win 45-31
When the Bears defense and Phil Bennett knows what are you going to do, the Bears tend to win and win big. A one-dimesional offense has not beaten the Bears in recent years. In fact, they haven't come close. A 10 point win over an undefeated Oklahoma State team on the road is the best example, but look at Texas Tech (28, 2, 29, and 7-point wins the past 4-years) . With their size and strength in the interior of the defense being the major weakness for the Bears, I just don't see how Oklahoma State can take advantage of that. All of the Bears weaknesses and strength align perfectly in this game.
The Bears allow over 350 yards passing to Mason Rudolph and company, but get 5 sacks and force two interceptions to give the offense enough chances to score on an average OSU defense. Terence Williams leads the Bears in rushing, and Blake Lynch has his first 100-yard receiving game.
Kevin Barrera, BearsIllustrated.com - Bears win 42-31
I believe this is a game in which the Baylor offense will find its way and start showing its true worth. Seth Russell has been off his game but you could see things begin to click for him in the second half of the Bears game against Rice. The Bears welcome Ish Zamora back from suspension and KD Cannon seems to be becoming the star Bears fans thought he could be. With two RBs beginning to find their way and the OL gaining more experience, things are in place for Baylor to control this game.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears face a team that is very one-dimensional. Baylor has always fared well in games like this and Phil Bennett has the strengths to cover OSU's strengths. The Pokes have a subpar running game and I don't see them concentrating on it enough to make the Bears pay. The Bears win by 11 but its not as close as the score indicates.