OSU-Baylor Matchups & Prediction

Robert Allen breaks down Saturday's game against Baylor and gives his thoughts on the three key matchups in the game.

Three Most Dangerous Bears
1. Brandon Whitaker, RB
He went off for 149 yards and two long runs last week at OU. He is a senior that came out of Edmond Santa Fe, so expect him to be very motivated Saturday. You cannot let Baylor get its anemic run game going because it will help set up what they really want to and are set to do, pass the football.
2. Thomas White, WR
He took advantage of Whitaker's running and some busts in the OU secondary for a pair of touchdown receptions last week. On the season he has the best yards per catch average at 16.3 yards.
3. Jordan Lake, SS
Defensive leader with 108 tackles and two interceptions. Cowboys can't turn the ball over and he seems to be the most likely Baylor defender to come up with one as he also has two fumble recoveries on the season.

Three Key Matchups vs. Baylor
1. OSU offensive line vs. Baylor defensive front seven

With Adarius Bowman sidelined the OSU passing game doesn't go with him. In Big 12 play he was averaging 89 yards receiving a game and had a total of three touchdowns. However, his presence and what it did to a defense was immeasurable. The Cowboys could find running the football harder and could find a Baylor defense that loads the box. That said, OSU averages 262 yards a game rushing in conference play and Baylor yields an average of 197 yards rushing a game. The offensive line may have to work a little harder along with Savage, but the running game has to produce.
Advantage: OSU offensive line

2. OSU quarterback Zac Robinson vs. Baylor secondary
The Baylor secondary is banged up and a few players down, including standout safety Brandon Stiggers. Baylor averages allowing 299 yards passing a game, so Robinson, using his running ability as a threat, needs to be sharp throwing the football. Keep it moving through the air and let Savage and the offensive line do their job in the running game and the Cowboys will get more offense than Baylor can overcome.
Advantage: Zac Robinson

3. OSU defensive front seven vs. Baylor offensive line and RB Brandon Whitaker
Baylor used Whitaker and the running game to spark a nice offensive effort last week against a tough OU defense. There is no doubt that OSU will give up some passing success to Baylor quarterback Blake Syzmanski and the Bears wide receivers. The offensive line has done a good job of protecting Syzmanski, but the OSU defensive front, which has done a decent job against the run, needs to make sure they keep the Baylor offense one dimensional.
Advantage: OSU defensive front seven

OSU-Baylor Prediction
Yes, this is another outscore the opponent situation. If OSU gets it past 40 points that should be enough. Baylor has averaged just 13.4 points per game in Big 12 play and 18.5 points overall this season. Their highest point total was 42 in a blowout win over Rice. Their highest output in conference play was 23 at home in a 43-23 loss to Colorado. By the way OSU is allowing 33.8 points per game in Big 12 play, and Baylor is allowing 43.9 points per game in Big 12 play.
OSU 48, Baylor 28

Last OSU Prediction: OSU 42, Kansas 38 (KU won 43-28)
OSU Prediction Record: 5-5

Big 12 Predictions
@Kansas 45 Iowa State 20
Missouri 38 @Kansas State 24
Oklahoma 30 @Texas Tech 21
Big 12 Prediction Record: 62-17

OSU Nonconference Opponents Predictions
@Georgia 37 Kentucky 17
@Florida 52 Florida Atlantic 10
@Troy 42 Middle Tennessee St. 7 (Nov. 20)
Sam Houston State 28 @Texas State 24 (Nov. 15)
Opponents Prediction Record: 26-8

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