Greco: OU Must Replicate Performance vs. OSU

One down, one to go. Following the Sooners' 53-24 victory over the Baylor Bears on the road, OU is one win away from claiming another Big 12 South title and making its conference-best eighth appearance in the title game. And isn't it only appropriate that the Sooners have to punch their ticket to Arlington, Texas, by going through the Oklahoma State Cowboys?

The only way the Sooners are going to get past Oklahoma State in Stillwater, though, is if they put together another performance like they did against the Bears.

Everything seemed to be working on offense, redshirt sophomore quarterback Landry Jones was on point with almost all of his passes and senior running back DeMarco Murray played his best true road game of the year. After the game's opening drive, Baylor's defense had no answer for an OU offense that was clicking on all cylinders and used good field position to take a 21-point lead entering the second quarter.

The early lead gave the Sooners their first early road momentum during Big 12 play, and that is the key to this week's game against the Cowboys.

The most successful formula that the Sooners have used this season has been when they get out to an early big lead and just hold on in the fourth quarter. OU took a 43-point lead into the fourth, which was the team's biggest conference road lead through three quarters, and the defense held on despite the offense, minus Jones and a good amount of the starters, not putting up any points.

Yes, a lead that big is easy to hold onto for 15 minutes, but weirder things have happened in college football – just see what Kansas was able to do in the fourth quarter against Colorado earlier this season.

If the Sooners can build up a big enough lead against Oklahoma State, then the destiny that they are in control of can be as good as a wrapped-up reality.

But that is easier said than done.

Baylor did not exactly pose the road threat that the Cowboys will this week, and the Cowboys will be the favorite in both the spread and the rankings. The last time the Sooners defeated a higher-ranked team on the road during the regular season was in 2000 when a No. 8 OU squad defeated a No. 2 Kansas State team in Manhattan, Kan.

So, in that regard, the odds are stacked against the Sooners. But, this Bedlam matchup is a rivalry that is greatly tilted in the Sooners' favor.

So, at this point, a trip to the Big 12 title game is anybody's game, but if the Sooners can get off to a hot start, the odds should be stacked in their favor.

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