Setting the stage: No. 12 Baylor at No. 15 OU

The showdown is almost here between No. 15 OU and No. 12 Baylor.

SoonersIllustrated.com is going to set the stage every week breaking down Oklahoma’s game during the 2014 season.

No. 12 Baylor (7-1, 4-1) at No. 15 OU (6-2, 3-2)

When: 11 a.m. CST

OU’s biggest question going into the game

Will the Sooners be able to put the pressure on Bryce Petty? A lot of the talk this week for Baylor has been about its potent run game. Though it’s true the Bears lead the conference in rushing, that hasn’t really been the issue for OU.

Sooners routinely get teams in third-and-long, and that’s when the problems have occurred. Playing too passive has given opposing quarterbacks time to find a guy and make big play after big play.

West Virginia came after Petty, blitzing him nearly 75 percent of the time. With OU’s pass rushers, this is the game to let them loose. Guys like Eric Striker, Geneo Grissom, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, let them do what they do best.

OU has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season but has been torched through the air. Rattle Petty early and often and this game takes on a different tone.

Baylor’s biggest question going into the game

Will Baylor’s wide receivers be able to run all over the field? There is no doubt this group of Baylor receivers is something special, and it’s going to be one heck of a challenge for OU’s secondary to cover them all.

What this season has shown is OU hasn’t been able to handle a team with multiple threats, and you get that in Baylor with guys like K.D. Cannon, Corey Coleman, Antwaan Goodley and others. No go-to target, but in a way, they’re all go-to targets because they can all make the big play.

OU’s communication in the secondary last week was better than it has been in quite some time. But the Cyclones didn’t have the threat of what the Bears possess. If Baylor’s receivers get into a rhythm, could be a long day in Norman.

Quotable

“We got beat last year. We got beat really bad. It’s an embarrassing thing. It is always embarrassing when you go out there and lose like that, but we kept our heads up and we kept fighting all season. I felt like last year we were in the same position we are now. We had lost two games and everyone was counting us out. Now it’s just us making sure we keep our heads up, stay positive, and know that we are focused on trying to finish the season 10-2.” - OU cornerback Julian Wilson

Breakout player

The consistency isn’t there just yet for Michiah Quick, but it’s clear the big-play potential is about to happen. With Sterling Shepard slowed down because of nagging injuries, Quick plays his best game of the season and almost eclipses the 100-yard mark and begins showing why OU coaches were so excited for his arrival.

Prediction

OU 45, Baylor 31. If it’s not now, then it’s never for this season’s OU team to go out and put together a complete game. You’re not going to stop Baylor, but the defense gets back to causing turnovers, and with Trevor Knight more involved in the running game, it leads to a four-touchdown performance and OU’s best victory of the season.


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