NORMAN, Okla. – These things just don’t happen to Oklahoma. And they never ever happen to the Sooners at Owen Field.
But they did happen to OU, and it did happen on OU’s home field. The Sooners were outplayed in every way possible in a 48-14 loss to No. 12 Baylor on Saturday afternoon.
“Poor job by all of us,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.
In years past, it always felt like OU had just a little bit bigger of a margin of error than some of the other teams in the Big 12. But through six conference games in which three of them have resulted in losses, it’s clear OU is no longer head and shoulders above the rest of the field.
The Sooners (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) cannot overcome a horrible Trevor Knight interception like the ones that occurred against TCU and Kansas State. It was déjà vu as Knight again threw an ill-advised throw that was picked off by Baylor’s Bryce Hager and returned to the one yard line. The Bears would score on the next play to take a 17-14 lead.
OU cannot leave points on the board like it did against Kansas State in the kicking game. But there it was again as Michael Hunnicutt could not hit a 31-yarder with the wind in the second quarter. The usually reliable Hunnicutt has now missed three consecutive field goals in Norman.
Penalties haven’t often been the thing that has stood out for the Sooners, but a roughing the punter penalty in the first half was definitely among the biggest plays of the game.
“It was a poor decision,” said Stoops about going for the block when Baylor was punting into the wind.
The Bears were only up 17-14 at that point and scored after the penalty. It’s hard to believe OU was winning 14-3 after the first quarter as Baylor scored the final 45 points of the game.
“It hurts, it really hurts,” linebacker Dominique Alexander said. “It’s a tough loss. It’s frustrating.”
Now the door can be shut on OU’s chances for a spot in the college football playoff and a shot at another conference championship. The Sooners weren’t favorites by any means for either, but the door was just slightly opened heading into the weekend.
Baylor slammed that shut emphatically, giving OU its worst home loss in the Bob Stoops era and winning in Norman for the first time in program history.
OU had to play without star wide receiver Sterling Shepard. The junior participated in pregame warmups and tried to tough it out before being ruled out at kickoff by Bob Stoops.
But wide receiver production was far from why the Sooners couldn’t get the job done. Michiah Quick had six catches for 94 yards and his first career touchdown. The passing game overall, however, just couldn’t find that consistency. OU might have been able to get away with that in the past but not Saturday and not this season.
“We just weren’t in rhythm throwing the football,” co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said.
Knight finished 12 of 27 passing for 146 yards with two touchdowns and the interception. Knight was carted off the field after being sacked on fourth down with 11:11 remaining in the game.
No injury update has been provided at this time with Knight. OU released a statement saying Knight left the stadium under his own power and is in good spirits. He will undergo more evaluation Saturday night.
It’s about regrouping for OU. A season that started with aspirations of a national championship saw Saturday being filled with boos from the 85,048 fans in attendance, a rarity in Norman for an OU home game.
“It’s definitely hard to take it, especially at home,” said junior wide receiver Durron Neal, who caught the other touchdown. “You never want that. It was just one of those days, all I can say. We can’t hold our heads down. Can’t have this hold us back. All we can do is finish strong and make it to a nice bowl game.”
Just not the bowl game OU fans were hoping for back in August. It is, however, the reality because of the errors the Sooners have committed that they cannot overcome anymore.