After a sluggish start, No. 5 Baylor exploded for 28 uncontested points in the second and third quarters to build a double-digit lead and roll the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners, 41-12, Thursday night. The Bears (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) remain the front-runner for the Big 12 title, while Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) are effectively eliminated from the conference race. Baylor was led by quarterback Bryce Petty and third-string running back Shock Linwood.
The two teams, both known for high-powered offenses, struggled to find their footing early and combined for four punts in the first quarter. A Baylor field goal was the only scoring in the first 15 minutes, and a sack of Bears quarterback Bryce Petty in the end zone narrowed the lead to 3-2. Oklahoma added a field goal to build a 5-3 advantage and settled in for a defensive struggle.
Baylor, of course, had no such intentions, and the Bears offense finally caught fire. After both teams missed long field goal attempts, Petty and Linwood took Baylor 69 yards in just five plays, with Petty running in a 5-yard touchdown. With Baylor's starting halfback tandem of Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk sidelined by injuries, Linwood took charge, running for 182 yards on 23 carries.
Baylor scored three more unanswered touchdowns to extend its lead to 31-5, and Oklahoma's offense -- which struggled to run between the tackles against the surprisingly stout Baylor defense all night -- had no answer. Petty added his third touchdown pass of the night with nine minutes to play to extend the Baylor lead to 41-12 and effectively end the game.
Box Score Hero: Despite Linwood's heroics, the award has to go to Petty. While the junior quarterback struggled against the Oklahoma secondary at times, he managed 204 yards passing and an additional 45 on the ground. More importantly, Petty had a hand in all five Baylor touchdowns, throwing for three and running for a pair.
Rankings Ramifications: Even with the impressive victory, there is little room for upward movement for the Bears. Barring a loss in the Top 4, the Bears could be stuck at fifth. There is a possibility that Baylor jumps Ohio State and enters the fourth position, even if the Buckeyes remain undefeated.
Oklahoma, now with two conference losses, will likely drop into the bottom half of the polls with Thursday's loss.
But Did They Cover? Baylor entered Thursday's game as a staggering 16.5-point favorite and somehow covered with ease.
Next Week's Schedule: Baylor faces Texas Tech at Cowboys Stadium, while the Sooners host Iowa State next Saturday.
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