Donovan Woods vs. Baylor Secondary
While there has been plenty of talk about the Oklahoma State defense this week in the wake of the loss to Texas, Baylor has really struggled on defense, particularly pass defense. The Bears are giving up more than 222 yards a game through the air.
Donovan Woods hasn't been a dynamo with his number of passes, but he has been potent with the ones he's thrown. Baylor only runs about four different coverages, and they use two the majority of the time (unless they throw in a bunch of disguises they haven't shown all season). Woods should be able to determine how the Bears are covering.
Provided that Mother Nature cooperates he will have opportunities to complete passes and start big plays against the Bears. Baylor has shown their blitzes and they are a middle of the pack team when it comes to sacks. Woods' mobility is a plus there. Big plays and successful strikes in the air should be a plus for the Cowboys on Saturday.
Edge: Donovan Woods
OSU Offensive Line vs. Baylor Defensive Line
The Bears are last in the league in rushing defense, allowing 184 yards a game. There have been few games where Baylor has gone toe-to-toe with opposing offensive lines. Defensive end Khari Long is the best playmaker on the defensive line with 47 total tackles. Linebacker Justin Crooks leads the team in tackles for losses.
If the Cowboy defense can handle the front four by getting a lineman to the second level to bother Crooks, it will make for lots of success on the ground. Expect plenty of Vernand Morency and Seymore Shaw on Saturday and with nice gaps to go through, either or both could have a big day.
Edge: Big to OSU Offensive Line
OSU Cornerbacks vs. Dominique Zeigler
Zeigler is the hero of the overtime win over Texas A&M. He caught both the winning touchdown pass and the two-point conversion. Zeigler has emerged as a local hero and big playmaker that can give the Baylor offense confidence. Shawn Bell as the quarterback starting with the A&M win has thrown 154 passes without an interception. Zeigler has 48 receptions for 465 yards and five touchdowns. If he gets rolling then the Bears gain confidence.
The Cowboy corners of Robert Jones and Daniel McLemore, who has been subbing for Darrent Williams, have been solid and they need to be effective in stopping the bigger Zeigler, who is 6-3.
Cole Farden vs. Daniel Sepulveda
This is as much a pride matchup as being a central matchup in the outcome of the game, although it certainly could effect the game. Baylor beat A&M because they kept the Aggies bottled up with bad field position, and Texas A&M turnovers gave the Bears offense short fields to work with. Sepulveda is second in the Big 12 with a punting average of 46.3 yards, while Farden is next with an average of 42.9.
If the two punters hold their averages then OSU is fine because they are about three yards better on punt returns than Baylor. If this matchup gets lopsided in favor of Baylor there has to be concern. Both Sepulveda and Farden have been very adept at pinning opponents deep inside the 20.
Edge: Daniel Sepulveda
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