Sooners Vs. Bears Pregame: Breaking it Down

Sooners Illustrated digs deeper into this weekend's big contest between No. 14 OU and Baylor.

The Matchup:

Normally, this one could already be chalked up as a victory. But not now, not this year, as the Bears are a much improved team and the Sooners (8-2, 4-2 Big 12) have struggled big time on the road. Baylor (7-4, 4-3 Big 12) boasts an offense that produces 489.2 yards per game, which ranks ninth in the nation. And it's led by dual-threat quarterback Robert Griffin, who has racked up 3,071 passing yards and 508 more on the ground. So, the Sooners will have their hands full with him and have to put up some points of their own to get out of Waco with a win.

OU players to watch:

1. QB Landry Jones--It seems like a reoccurring theme that Jones is a player to watch in road games, but it's because he's been so poor away from Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. It's like Jekyll and Hyde. Will the real Landry Jones please show up? The Sooners need him to put together a good away outing in this one.

2. DT Casey Walker--He could return from a sprained knee suffered in the Cincinnati game, and that is comforting news considering the season-ending loss of defensive tackle Adrian Taylor in last week's contest against Texas Tech. OU has lacked depth there for a majority of the season, so it will be interesting to see how he performs in his first appearance since late September if he does play, which head coach Bob Stoops said he was "optimistic" about earlier in the week.

OU will win if: It contains the Baylor ground attack of Griffin and running back Jay Finley. Finley is averaging just less than 100 yards per game in addition to the 46.2 yards per game from the athletic Griffin. The Sooners can force the Bears to be one-dimensional if they play assignment football early and limit the rushing game.

Baylor players to watch:

1. QB Robert Griffin--The stats speak for themselves. He is a tremendous talent that OU will have to be fundamental in defending. He can beat a defense with his arm or his legs, and has the ability to put up huge numbers if the Sooners break down in their coverage and assignments.

2. S Byron Landor--He leads the team with 105 tackles, including three tackles for a loss of eight yards. Landor has six passes deflected, three fumble recoveries, an interception returned for 32 yards and a quarterback hurry. He's getting it done in all phases of the game as a solid player in the Bears' secondary.

Baylor will win if:It can use the common ingredients other teams have used to beat the Sooners when hosting them, get a lead early, force turnovers and make them struggle in the red zone. OU trailed early in three of its four contests away from home, turned the ball over recklessly at times and has not punched in scoring opportunities with any consistency.

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